Thursday, April 29, 2010

kissy face.

"What do kisses mean when handed out like pretzels and robbed of sacredness?" (President Spencer W. Kimball).

That was one of my favorite quotes as a teenager.

Luckily it doesn't apply to an 8-month-old.

Because Miss Carly loves to hand out big, slobbery, open-mouthed kisses to her mommy, daddy, and Cubbie teddy bear. And we all love receiving them.

Just might be the cutest thing she has ever done. And thats saying something because she has done a lot of very cute things.

Chris made a good point a few days ago when she first started her kisses. He said at least we are doing one thing right: we are giving her plenty of kisses.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

home sweet home.

carly's first nap at home on the couch.
this morning the maintenance man came by. the handle on our oven had come off and the door to our laundry "nook" had come off track. it is so nice to have tiny problems that we can't fix ourselves and to just have a nice guy come knock on the door and fix it for free. and he came within an hour. chris dropped the request off this morning and my 9:30 when carly and i were still sleeping i heard the tell-tale soft knock at the door. we have loved this place. its not perfect, but we have loved it. it reminded me of the perks of renting. it reminded me that anywhere can be home.
the other day i was chatting with a friend from our ward. her husband is a dental resident and they have three children. we were talking about our move to michigan and how i was bummed we wouldn't be buying a house. she said in another state where they went to dental school, they bought a house. and here they are just renting a house (beautiful house, by the way). and she said renting, for such a short period of time, is SO nice. when there is a problem . . . its not her problem. "because sometimes you just don't have the 100's or 1000's of dollars you need to suddenly make some repair." amen, sista. it reminded me of the perks of renting. it reminded me that anywhere can be home.
i'm growing suprisingly tenderhearted as our time here in knoxville continues to count down ever so quickly. i swear we move every time we really get integrated into a place and start to make real friends. i'm hoping our 4 years in michigan allows us to feel like we get to stay in one place a bit longer.
when the maintenance man was doing his thing, carly crawled around the corner and watched him. she is curious and brilliant, and when she saw he was having all sorts of fun, banging on things and making noise, she wanted to join him. i dragged her back into her room and the tenderheartedness took over. i thought about what this apartment has meant to us. I remembered the first time we saw it. we were living in another apartment in the same complex. the other apartment was much bigger, and therefore much more expensive. and with a baby on the way (i was about 15 weeks at the time) and the hopes that i would quit my job, we figured we should downsize and save some money. we visited this apartment and i walked into the small second bedroom. The spirit rushed over me and I said "we are moving here. this is the perfect baby room". i could see it in my head the second I walked in. and today? its the perfect baby room for our perfect baby.
i am tenderhearted because this is carly's first home. it is where i felt her move in my tummy the first time. where we brought home the pictures of the ultrasound, celebrating our little girl. where i started having contractions and experienced most of my labor. where we brought her home for the first time, two days old. fresh from heaven. where i spent long nights up with a newborn. where she got sick, where she learned to eat, roll over, stand, crawl, tell stories, and give kisses. and its where chris and i faced some of our hardest days, some of our greatest days, and some of our hardest-greatest days.
thats all. i'm just a little tenderhearted today. i'm sure the next time the laundry room door comes off track i will change my mind and be ready to get out of here.
carly tearing our home apart.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

made my day.

well considering we are approaching all-out summer (we've been wearing shorts and short sleeves here) i figured i should get a swim suit. you see, like most other people i'm not a huge swimsuit shopping fan.
my last swimsuit purchase was made 4 years ago. i got a tankini from Victoria's Secret for our honeymoon. I never really loved it. not a huge fan of the quality and it fit weird (online purchase . . . boooo). but i went with it and last year I was probably overdue for a new one but considering I was 6-9 months pregnant during swimsuit season I didn't worry about it much.
but now it was time.
i want three things out of a swimsuit:
1) modest. i want to be able to wear it if I run into an apostle. I don't know why an apostle would be anywhere that I'm wearing a swimsuit, but you know what I'm saying.
2) comfortable and supportive. one of the things I hate most about swimsuits is that everything feels so footloose-and-fancy-free and I'm constantly tugging here and there to avoid overexposure.
3) cute. of course.
you can find any one requirement in one swimsuit or another. but to find all three requirements in one? near impossible.
one time I made up a dream swimsuit in my mind.
It was a sporty tankini. Probably made by Nike. Had lots of built-in support. Had boy-cut shorts for the bottom (I don't to undies-bottoms). and was cute. I think I saw one online when I googled it. went for $80 dollars. I don't spend $80 dollars on a swimsuit.
So the hunt began.
I found a few candidates, each slightly lacking in one requirement or another.
We looked all around.
on our way home from Dicks (no luck there, stupid saggy Reebok tankini), we approached TJMaxx. Hmmmmm. I started to feel like we should stop. No, no. TJMaxx had failed us much too much lately. There was no point. But the feeling persisted. So we went.
Do you think God cares enough about my swimsuit to tell me to go to TJMaxx?
Probably not.
but He cares about modesty. And He cares about my happiness.
And you know what?
In TJMaxx there was ONE cute navy/white/green Nike tankini with boy-cut shorts.
Exactly my size.
Original price: $76 dollars.
Erin-takes-it-home price: $19.99.
made my day.
I would put I picture of myself in it. but that would be really weird.
so instead I'll put a picture of Carly in hers.
if i can rock a swimsuit the way this girl can, i will be a happy woman this summer.

ps. the Penguins just came back from being down 0-3 to win in overtime 4-3. amazingness. that made my day, too. totally worth scrunching over the computer to watch the little screen with headphones in so I don't wake the kraken.

bring on round 2.

pss. i L-O-V-E this picture of carly. she is such a wild thing, amongst her fellow lions.


Friday, April 23, 2010


once upon a time before we went on a trip to indiana my baby took regular naps.
it was a wonderful time. a time of happy babies and happy mommies and some sort of order in general. in indiana, the babe did not nap well. too much partying . . . you wouldn't want to miss anything! and since we've been home she continues to refuse to nap.

once upon a time when carly was a baby and she just laid there all cute and nursed all day and hung out, she didn't nap. but she was happy all day, so i couldn't complain too much. then she started regular scheduled napping and i saw just how blissful life could be with a child who naps. now? not napping. now? not happy all day. now? fussing/screaming/whining all day. the girl is exhausted but won't sleep.

we have serious chaos right now in the c house.

carly's current favorite hobby is to crawl around crying and whining and tearing the house apart.
and chewing on shoes.
and everytime i put her down in her crib she screams like its a torture chamber.
its your BED, child.
i wish someone would force me into bed to sleep twice a day.
you think you would be able to stay one step ahead of such a tiny thing.
so wrong.

i'm considering never going anywhere ever again.

though i don't get it because she did great after Idaho.

maybe she is teething.

i don't know but i finally left her in her crib and got in the shower

i think she is asleep now.



i could use the back-up.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

there and back again.

We returned from Indiana on Monday.
My internal clock is all messed up because we usually drive home on Sundays.
So I'm about 95% sure today is Tuesday.
Assorted pics from our visit.
Road trip.
Carly is quite good in the car.
The only time she really put up a fuss was the last hour before we got home to Kville.
I was putting up a fuss by then too.
Feeding Carly lunch.
Classy, I know.
But we were somewhere in Hickville, Kentucky, so we blended right in.
All dolled up to be shown off at Stake Conference.
Exploring grandma/pa's kitchen table.Burrowing.
Bath time.
Extended C family.

'Twas a nice weekend. On Monday, errrrr . . . Tuesday (yesterday) I was sitting in our apartment playing with Carly and couldn't believe how quiet it was. We had gotten used to the party.

But it is so nice to be home.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

saturday lunch.

I don't think I ever mentioned the reason for our Indiana visit.
Wasn't sure I was allowed to.
After 9 years, Chris's dad is being released as stake president in the morning.
Elder Richard G Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is in town to make the change.

~We were about to leave for Target when my mother-in-law got a phone call. All decisions were made, and Elder Scott needed some lunch. Maybe they could come by for some sandwiches? The mad rush to clean began. About 10 minutes before their estimated arrival, Carly puked her whole lunch all over her aunt Sarah. Down her shirt, all over her hair. Sarah ran to the shower. Carly has impeccable timing.

~Elder Scott arrived. What is it about the Twelve that gives a person chills? I shook Elder Christofferson's hand at my BYU graduation, but its different to stand and watch the man eat a sandwich and "apple pieces" (as he called them) in your in-law's kitchen. When he met me and Carly, he complimented her big beautiful blue eyes. She gets that a lot. But you know its extra cool coming from him.

~And how about Elder Scott was born in my home town. When he found out I was from Pocatello, he asked if I knew some monument in a park and said he was born just up the street from there. I told him I knew what he was talking about. I really didn't. Think he knew I was fibbing to carry on conversation? Probably. Oops. But I told him that was "really cool". Felt pretty dumb telling an apostle anything was "cool". He called Indiana's blossoms "exquisite". I will have to work on my diction.

~He asked if anyone knew any good jokes. I think its bad when an apostle asks that and you search your brain for a clean joke. Oops. But he told a few funny ones. Religious-based ones, which was ironic. But he mentioned how important a good sense of humor is, and that he thinks more members of the church need to appreciate a good sense of humor. He said the Twelve have a great "brotherhood" and a sense of humor is part of that. I can imagine the 15 of those men can be quite hilarious. I always get some good laughs at General Conference. I think I'd like to hang out with them.

~Remember how I mentioned Carly's impeccable timing? As Elder Scott was eating, Carly was standing holding on to one of the chairs at the kitchen table. Suddenly she started grunting loudly and her face went bright red. Yes, the child was pushing. After several loud grunts and pushes, her face went regular-shade again and she sighed comfortably. Yes, my child went poo in front of an apostle. An eating apostle, no less. Thankfully he didn't seem to notice. I was slightly horrified when I could smell it within seconds. I whisked her away and changed her, returning just in time to bid them farewell.

~So that was our lunch today. The adult session today was really spectacular. Strangely, it was my first time hearing my father-in-law speak in church. He spoke over Christmas, but I got stuck in a nursing room fiasco with Carly and didn't hear a word. But it was great. He is great. And Elder Scott wasn't too shabby either. I am very blessed to be a member of this church. Tonight the other GA in town called us the "luckiest people on earth" because we know we have living prophets to guide us. I second that.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

train of thought.

Last night Carly woke up around midnight screaming-crying. She usually wakes up and wines a bit, but last night was hardcore crying. I went in to check on her and she was sitting up in the dark, cheeks wet with tears. Poor baby, must have had a scary dream. I know when I have a bad dream, I have to hug Chris and sing hymns in my head to fall back asleep. Poor baby, couldn't do that for herself, so I rocked her and held her tight and sang her primary songs. The girl was wide awake. She would grip tightly on my arm and suck her thumb and stare up at my face. And every time we tried to put her back down she would scream. She just needed to be held. At 2:30 she finally fell asleep in my arms. She hasn't done that in a long time. It was a sweet (albeit slightly frustrating, I'll confess) night. She is the sweetest thing.

Speaking of sweet things . . .

NHL playoffs start tonight. Everybody with me now . . . "Go Pens Go!" Pretty sure I'm the only person south of Chicago who really cares (oh, and Chris, too), and I wish we actually got the games on TV. I think we will be getter off in Michigan when it comes to that! But I'm voting for the same result as last year. Isn't he too cute? . . .

Speaking of too cute . . .

Just when I thought Carly couldn't get any cuter, she goes and fits into the jean shorts I got a while ago. She was so insanely cute in her little shorts, riding in the Walmart cart flailing her arms around so happily. She looked like the Queen waving to her adoring subjects. The Queen in some dang cute jean shorts. (ps. I made that onesie. amazing, aren't I?). She is just too yummy.

Speaking of yummy . . .

When I was in Idaho my dad made me an asparagus omelet. Pretty much changed my life. I have one every other day now. So delicious. One egg, a sprinkling of cheese, 3 stalks of asparagus. The veggies keep you full, its super fast and easy, and oh so good. I do love eating.

Speaking of eating . . .

Yesterday I gave Carly some little baby snack thingies and tried to get her to feed herself. I've tried before and she just looks at it and opens her mouth waiting for me to feed her. Its funny, because everything she picks up goes straight to her mouth, but food? No, she just plays with it. But yesterday she actually managed to get it near her mouth. And some even went in. It was a huge success.
Speaking of huge successes . . .

Chris defended his thesis last week and passed with flying colors! He even got praise from people who don't often dish out the praise. It went great and he has been working on a few minor revisions, and then graduates in May. So you can just call him Master Chris. He looked so handsome in his GQ outfit I picked out for him the night before, but I didn't get a picture. He came straight home and put on his Cubs jersey for Opening Day. The Cubs lost miserably, but, hey, that didn't dampen our spirits! It has been a long journey and we are glad it is coming to an end.

Speaking of long journeys . . .

We are headed to Indiana tomorrow for an extended weekend with Chris's family. We are getting up dark and early (hopefully . . . little nervous after our night last night) to drive as long as possible while Carly is asleep. We have learned from past experience that letting her sleep all day long in the car makes for some bad days and nights ahead, so hopefully we can learn from the past. Wish us luck. Happy early weekend. xoxoxo.

Monday, April 12, 2010

eight months old.

On our journey back from Idaho, we had a stop in Dallas. The plane that was to take us from Dallas to Knoxville landed and everyone got off. The pilot of that plane came off, and I instantly recognized him as the same pilot who had flown us from Knoxville to Dallas a week earlier. After he got off the plane in Dallas, the pilot came right up to me and Carly as we sat in the airport and, looking at Carly, said "Hey, I remember you! You rode on my plane last week. You're so pretty! You must be a frequent flier!" I was shocked. I remembered him easily, but how many planes had he flown, how many faces had he seen, how many babies had he smiled at?
Carly is just that memorable.

Carly, at 8 months old you . . .

*are officially crawling everywhere and getting into everything. You especially love to pull the DVDs off the entertainment center and the books/magazines off the bookshelves.

*have developed a preference for one parent or the other depending on your mood. If you want to play, you crawl over to daddy. If you are tired or hungry, you crawl over to mommy. But you do crawl to both of us when you are just happy. You love being by us.

*prefer to be standing while holding on to the coffee table over any other position.

*continue to sleep 9-12 hours a night. And when we come get you, you pull yourself right up in the crib and smile and screech. We love that you are happy to see us.

*love to play "fetch" with daddy, where you throw something on the ground, he picks it up for you, and you throw it on the floor again.

*love your bottle when you are tired. And love to drink cold water out of a cup. But I can't get you to even consider using a sippy cup.

*make all sorts of sounds. My favorite is when you talk in this low guttural voice. It sounds like you are a "demon baby". Its hilarious.

*are very friendly. You are such a ham and smile so big at strangers. You are good at making new friends . . . as long as mommy or daddy is holding you.

*enjoy all foods . . . except green beans. You literally cry between bites when I feed them to you. But I do think your favorite is apples, and blueberry/apple.

*find things humorous. Like the tape measure or mommy saying "boo". Its so funny when you laugh (or grunt-laugh) at particular funny things.

*really love vanilla ice cream. We probably shouldn't know that. But when we give you tiny tastes your eyes go wide and you wave your little arms around so excitedly.

*make every day fun. We can't imagine our lives without you.

Happy 8 months, Car. We are glad you joined us.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

carly takes the two-oh-eight.

Carly flew on an airplane.

Carly played with grandma and grandpa and uncle Brady.
A lot.

Carly visited
great-grandpa and great-grandma.
her friend Maggie and mommy's friend Renee.
Grandpa's co-workers in two different cities.
Uncle Brit and Auntie Addie.
That pretty girl named Brenna.
Jan, Randy, and Parker.
Uncle Michael and Auntie Camie.

Carly tasted
Ming's sesame chicken sauce.

Carly slept
in the crib her mommy and three uncles used.
in that fancy MyRide 65.
on the big airplane.
on grandma.

Carly experienced
Idaho's spring snowstorms.
her first shopping day in Idaho Falls.
her first crawl.
severe jet lag.

Carly missed
That was about it.
She was pretty spoiled.

Carly's mommy
gained 4 pounds in 6 days.
We had a fabulous trip full of doing nothing in particular.
Counting down to our return in May.
p.s. Our last night in Idaho, my dad finally coaxed Carly into crawling. He had been working on it all week. There are 3 things I L-O-V-E about this video: 1) before she starts crawling she lets out a warrior princess yell like "Alright! Here I come!" 2) half-way to her destination she starts to veer off in the wrong direction. 3) she dives after her goal at the end like a runner diving across the finish line. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

happy easter.

[an Easter card from my mother]
isn't that hilarious?
We had a fabulous Easter here at the C house. The Easter Bunny did show up. S/he was considering skipping up since s/he had been out of town all week, but yesterday ran to Walmart to pick through the remaining baskets to find one just right for Carly. S/he then stuffed it full of things recently sent to Carly from both grandmas and a few jars of her favorite baby foods and called it good. We went to get her this morning and found her standing in her crib. That, along with another new hobby mean a whole new phase for the C house.
As it was General Conference today, Carly didn't get to wear her Easter dress. So I put it on her anyway and tried to get her to pose for some pictures. Its getting impossible to get her to sit still, so she isn't looking at the camera for any of them. Spells trouble for our monthly shoots.

Oh, what is Carly's new hobby, you ask?
And getting into . . . everything.
[we have video. it will come.]
Here we have proof of the devastation she can
cause when I watch Conference for a minute or two.
I'm going to have to learn how to adjust to this new very-mobile child of mine. Looks like I will be breaking open our never-used pack & play.
But Easter was wonderful. We had an unconventional Easter feast of BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. I also made my favorite: deviled eggs. Though they didn't turn out as good as my dad's. Of course. Mostly we just enjoying hanging out just our little family.
We loved Conference. We actually heard some of it, which was amazing. My flavs: Elder Bednar, Elder Perry, and Elder Holland. Elder Holland is my favorite every single time so I looked for others so I could mix it up a bit. Oh, and I loved the talk on mothers . . . think it was Elder Foster of the 70. There were lots of talks about mothers and the Youth. Gave me a lot to ponder on considering I'm a new mother and called to serve in the Young Women.
Last night Chris and I read the account of the crucifixion in Matthew 27 and plan to read on the Resurrection account in Matthew 28 tonight. I highly recommend a reading. Its amazing that I've heard the story 1,000 times, but every time I read it it pricks my heart and touches my soul.
I'm so very grateful for my Savior, for His sacrifice. I'm grateful that 3 days after that sacrifice, He rose from His tomb to live again.
I know He lives.
Happy Easter.

Friday, April 2, 2010

reunited and it feels so good.

As I stumbled from my hotel room in SLC this morning at 3:55, I was seriously doubting my ability to get Carly and I home alive. With just over 2 hours of sleep and nothing in my tummy, I felt weak and nauseous. We had a 6 am flight to Dallas, a three hour layover, and another flight on to Knoxville. There was no way. Surely we would die on the way.
You know how you hear stories about people on early morning flights and there is some baby that won't stop screaming and drives everyone crazy? Today, Carly was that baby. She was not happy at all about being dragged out of bed at such a crazy hour, and as we sat on the plane as the wings were de-iced she let everyone know it. It wasn't until half way through the flight and about 10 near-tear experiences on my part that I got her to sleep. Thank goodness for the nice lady from Park City next to me, and the little kids across the isle who made funny faces at her. They saved me today.
But we did, in fact, survive. And my handsome husband has never looked so good. I came home to a surprise: the Gap sunglasses I've been eyeing for a while. Perfect for Kville's current 80+ temperature (quite the contrast from Utah's snow). Then Carly slept in her room and I slept on the couch while Chris hobbled around and made me one of my favorite dinners. Husband of the year award, to be sure.
sunglasses to hide the dark circles under my eyes.
daddy and daughter reunited.

[sorry about my phone-quality photos]

We are awfully happy to be home with our man. Life was a bit incomplete without him.

We did have a fabulous time though. And don't you fret, tales of our wild wild west vacay will come. I will even upload real pictures from the camera.

But for now I'm going to sleep.

Happy Conference Weekend.