Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

My friend Lisa invited us to celebrate fall by going to a local pumpkin patch with her and her two little boys (one of whom Gabe calls his, "best shrend" which is how he says friend. We invited our other friend to come as well and they both brought their nice cameras. I was especially happy that Tari's schedule allowed him to come. It was my first time going through a corn maze, and I was so happy to be able to do it with him. It was a lot of fun, and definitely worth the $4. Gabe couldn't stop talking about it, and kept telling me we were going to Pumpkinland every time we got in the car. I love fall! It's definitely my favorite season. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Good Friends

One of my friends has the most inspiring blog I have ever read. She is a mother of 4, and has gone through a lot of things that I am now going through, including raising a young family. It seems like every time I read her blog, she has posted something that applies directly to whatever I am struggling with, and she has the answers that I am looking for. Not that she is the most wise person I have ever known (although she is very wise) but because she knows where to look and has the same questions I do. I just want to follow her example so that I can be a better mother and wife in Zion. I really look up to her as a wonderful example, and I am so grateful to know her. She probably doesnt know how many times she has been an answer to my prayers. It makes me appreciate the blessing that technology can be. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Asher Owen

So, this post is about 2 weeks late, but I figure better late than never!

Asher Owen Britton was born at home at 10:36 pm on Saturday, July 24. He weighed 6 lbs, 9 oz. and was 19 1/2 inches long. He is a sweet baby that we have just been enjoying. The labor was great, my best one so far! I will hopefully post the full birth story soon.

The newborn pictures were taken by our friend Amy. I love how they turned out!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spring Cleaning (of sorts)

I haven't really cleaned my kitchen in two days. I at least did most of the dishes last night, but I haven't wiped down counters, cleaned the table, or swept since Monday evening. I guess my boys decided it was time to do a little deep cleaning, because they spilled wildberry smoothie all over the linoleum and the table. Definitely need to mop.

But wait...what is this? Oh yeah...they took the smoothie into their bedroom. So I am not just cleaning the kitchen, I also had to borrow a carpet cleaner and clean smoothie out of the couch, carpet, sheets, teddy bear, lambskin, and my wedding quilt (which got it the worst! :( ). I ordered pizza for dinner.

On a cuter note, while spending the morning at our good friends house, Savannah (Gabe's BFF) asked her mom if she could go outside.
"Yes, we can go outside later."
"With Gabe and Tommy?"
"Yes, with Gabe and Tommy"

When Gabe heard that he perked right up and pointing very excitedly to himself said, "Gabe right here! Gabe right here!" It was super funny. His super excited facial expression was the best part.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Schedule

We have been adjusting to our new schedule of putting the boys down in their own room. It's going pretty well, although there are still a few bumps. Tommy is completely weaned now, although he occasionally asks for milk. I am amazed at how it's helping me be more organized and how much more smoothly my days are going. Effective bedtime and menu planning seem to be the secrets to my day going well. Speaking of which, I am going to go update my calendar, review the budget, and go over the menus for this week. Ci vediamo!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Maternity clothes

In general I like being pregnant. I have pretty easy pregnancies, so I don't think of it as a time of aches and pains and pukiness. I like feeling the baby move, and thinking about what the newest little one will be like. One of the things I don't like about pregnancy however, is maternity clothes. Actually, let me correct that-maternity pants. I can't seem to find pants that look cute, stay up, are comfortable, and don't start sagging (especially in the butt area). They drive me crazy!

Luckily, I have finally found a solution: Leggings. Specifically, leggings with skirts. I always like wearing skirts when I am pregnant (for the above mentioned reasons), but now I can wear them in complete comfort of being totally modest. I borrowed a pair of leggings from Alice the other day to wear to church, and I am now firmly hooked. I went and bought three pairs tonight. Now I just need to find some comfortable drawstring/elastic waist skirts to go with them, and I am good to go. You might not see me in jeans again this summer. Plus, a pair of leggings costs $5, as opposed to maternity pants which can range anywhere from $20 all the way up to $100. So, leggings it is!

And now, pictures of some skirts I would like to own:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lack of Inspiration

"Help, help, I'm being oppressed!"
"Did you see my house oppressing me?"

Okay, so I may have paraphrased a little, but that is pretty much how I am feeling right now. Here is a list of things that are oppressing me:

1. My orange couch covers. I don't even like orange that much to begin with, and I have had these large, citrus eyesores for over 3 years now. I think one of the main reason I don't decorate is because my couches do not inspire me. At all. They just get messy (very quickly) and dirty (also very quickly) and I can't ever think of anything that really "matches" that I would want to decorate with. I am sure they would be perfect for someone, but I am ready for a change.

2. My kitchen. I have so little useable space, and I have more things than have homes. So It doesn't ever really look clean, even when it is. Also, it could use a good paint job.

3. My living room. I keep dreaming of having a peaceful haven, that I want to retreat to. But instead I have a badly organized room with a big orange lump in the middle. Not the place I want to retire to at the end of the day so I can read and relax.

4. The lighting. I like having a variety of lighting....natural, bright, soft, different combinations depending on time of day and my mood. I have some lamps, but they are currently missing lamp shades, so they aren't very useful. I just hate incandescent lighting when I am wanting to wind down and relax.

5. My bedroom. My bedroom can be arranged in only one way that is even slightly useable. It is not the most graceful, or pleasing, or I am sure, "feng shui" method of arranging the furniture. It's just the only one that lets you access all the doors and keeps the furniture in the room that needs to be there. I am very tired of that particular arrangement.

All of this oppression and lack of inspiration also means that my house isn't staying as clean as I would like. It's hard to motivate oneself to clean a room that doesn't look *that* much better when you are done. It just feels a little fruitless.

Now, this isn't just a post to whine about how I don't like my house. It's actually a post where I am recording the things that are bothering me about my house, in the hopes that as I identify them, I can also identify solutions. Number 2, for example, lets me know that I need to de-clutter, re-organize my cupboards, re-evaluate what I have in my kitchen, and maybe ask the landlords if I can paint. I can almost guarantee I would do a better job then the last people who painted it, seeing as how they missed a section of wall. I might even ask if I could paint it a color, just to make it a little more interesting and exciting.

I also know that if I start going through my house and getting rid of things, that I will feel better. I can rearrange the living room, try to figure out some lighting options, and maybe even figure out a new couch cover. Really, anything has to be better (except the couches that are underneath the covers, unfortunately). I will also start looking for pictures to inspire me. I will just make it a goal to make my house as comfortable and homelike as I can within the limitations that I have. Hopefully as there is some improvement, I will be inspired to make more. I am also hoping that as my house improves, my routines will fall into place more, and I can get my home to a manageable point before the baby comes. I want it to be easy for other people to maintain things while I am recovering, so that it can be a happy, peaceful experience for all involved.

What inspires you?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My angel Gabriel

I love my sweet boy. I think he is currently cutting his final set of baby molars, because for the last two days he has been sad, clingy, grumpy, tired, and has had no appetite. Also, he got a high fever last night. I know not all kids do, but fever is one of the big signs of teething in my children.

Yesterday we woke up, showered, got dressed and went upstairs for breakfast. After I had given the boys each a muffin to tide them over until I finished making the french toast, Gabe went in the playroom. I went to check on him a few minutes later and he was just laying quietly on the bed. I asked him what he was doing. He replied, "I'm sleeping". He played that he was "sleeping" for the next hour. Every time I checked on him he was still laying quietly on the bed. Once or twice he got up and came in the kitchen to tell me, "I woke up" but then he would head back to the bed. It was so sweet, but a little heartbreaking too. You know he can't be feeling great if he thinks the best game is just laying down for an hour. Today we are watching movies and vegging out. "No Herbie! Just Thomas!". So...no Love Bug...only that old' Tank Engine.

His vocabulary has been increasing by leaps and bounds. One thing we have been working on lately is what sounds different animals make. He is great at monkey, dog, pig, cat, snake, fish, etc. The other night at dinner we taught him that Mommy and Daddy say, "I Love You!". He says it in the sweetest little voice. However, for some reason Daddy has now morphed from saying, "I love you" to "I love grxxely mxeglsh" some weird sounds. Mommy still says "I love you" quite clearly. :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I just posted a best-practices list for using iPhone art. Please leave me a comment!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

meanderings of my brain

My house is a complete mess right now. Last night I picked up 12 HUGE* bags of clothes from freecycle. It was a completely random mix, and I have been sorting clothes all day. I am now trying to get rid of the things we can't use, and make some kind of sense of the things we can. It's definitely going to be a two day project.

There was quite a lot of baby girl clothes, which we won't know if we need until mid-March. Going through all of them of course made me hope we are having a girl, since they have the cutest little dresses and outfits! Also, I happen to know that if we had a girl she would be quite beautiful. I won't tell you how I know, and neither will Tommy. Let's just say I hope his sisters get his eyelashes and curly hair.

My wonderful aunt sent Gabe a box of matchbox cars and toy dinosaurs. He has been playing with them all day. Tommy and Jack prefer the dinosaurs, but Gabe (of course) loves the box of cars. He just carries it around and asks "Where's Gabe's car box?" It's pretty cute.

Last night my phone rang at 3:00am. That never means good news. I woke up groggily to see who it was..."caller Unknown". Huh...so I answer, to hear my sister (who lives far away in another state where it was currently 5:00am) saying, "Hello? Elise?" I explained, that no, I wasn't Elise, to which she responded, "Meggan? What are you doing up at this hour?" Um...answering my phone. Once my sleepy brain figured out that she was not calling to tell me that someone had died, but was just trying to call her early morning seminary student for their regularly scheduled class, and skype had just misdialed me, I hung up and went back to sleep. It was pretty funny...this morning, when I was awake enough to appreciate it.

*The footnote has nothing to do with the bags of clothes. Just writing that sentence reminded me of a sign that Evan and I saw today. It said, "HUGH Sale on Saturday!". I wanted to take a picture and send it to anyone I know named Hugh.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Morning...

Wow, for a little while there I was blogging every day. That is completely out of character for me, but probably a pleasant change for my readers (of which there are probably not many, but I appreciate the faithful few).

The boys are getting so cute! Gabriels vocabulary is expanding daily. Some of his favorite phrases are, kitchen, blankie cuddle, help, no poop (that one is almost always a lie), dinosaur, read it to me, mom mom mom mom mom, and my personal favorite, "Brother". He has stopped calling Tommy by name, and now always addresses him as "brother". As in, "no brother!" "cute brother" "Go away brother!" "oh, baby brother!" etc. It's pretty funny. The other phrase he has that makes me think we can never buy him concessions at the movie theater is when he asks for popcorn but calls it, "car porn". Yeah...that's a little awkward. He has been sick the last few days, so we have been spending a lot of time just cuddling and reading books. Also watching Thomas the Tank Engine.

Tommy is just getting cuter and cuter. He loves books, and will sit and read to himself (with weird growls) for long periods of time. He can say "mom", "dad", and "alice" and loves to cuddle. He is walking all over, chasing Gabe and trying to be just as big as his brother. That works out sometimes and not at others. They are getting much better at playing together. He has six teeth, 2 on the bottom and 4 on the top. He likes to tell baby jokes, and he can crack himself up. It's pretty funny to watch.

Ontario is still super busy. We are trying to figure out how to work his new schedules, and we aren't quite there yet. Hopefully we can figure out a better system soon.

Last night we went on a super fun double date with our good friends Krissie and Barry. I want to blog more about it, but I will wait until I have pictures to post with it. It turned out really cute, and Krissie and I had fun planning it.

Now I have to go finish all my Sunday prep, and take care of these sick little boys. I hope they get over this soon. It's no fun for any of us.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tommy's Birth Story

I was reading other birth stories and it reminded me that I had not yet finished Tommy's. So here it is. As long as it is before the next baby arrives, right?

Anyway...on to Tommy's story. Tommy was due on Saturday, Jan. 17th, 2009 so both of Ontario's parents came out to be with us that week. I started having contractions Friday night so it seemed like things were progressing nicely. Gabe was born at 12:27 am on his due date, so it looked like we just had very prompt children. Saturday everyone helped me get ready, and by the afternoon all of the set up and prep was taken care of.

We chose to have a home birth, and the midwife we were working with was Dianne Bjarnson. She is one of the most experienced midwives in Utah, and has delivered over 1100 babies. She actually founded the Midwives College of Utah. Needless to say we felt very comfortable having her as our birth attendant. On Saturday she sent one of her assistants to check on me and see how I was progressing. I am sad that I can't remember her last name, but Laina was one of my favorite midwives ever. We connected so deeply and felt like she was part of the family, even though we had just met. She stayed all day and even slept over waiting for something to happen, but I just wasn't progressing. So, she left Sunday morning and Ontario and I went for a long walk.

It was even longer than we had anticipated. We drove to the mall to have a warm place to walk around in, and when we got back to the car we found out one of the tires was flat. So we walked the mile or so home. All of that exercise didn't matter though, because I kept having intermittent contractions without any real progress. On Wed my father in law flew home. By this time I was very anxious to meet the baby. We didn't know the sex, so I was still really curious about whether or not it was a girl or a boy. We kept trying different things, but nothing was working. I wasn't worried about my health or the baby, but I did want to finally meet that small person!

On Friday I had an appointment with my midwife. She said everything looked fine and that baby was doing well, but there was no change. I was all ready, it was just up the baby to decide when the time was right.

That evening one of Ontario's friends had a fondue party. Since nothing else was going on, we went and had a fun time visiting and eating yummy food. I'm pretty sure Tari tried chocolate dipped bacon, but I refrained. :) I had contractions about every 15 minutes, but since that had been happening all week I didn't think much of it. When we got home I was still having contractions. Ontario and I decided to go on a walk and see if that would help. We went on a long walk around the neighborhood, and the contractions stayed steady. By this time I didn't think I would ever go into labor, so I was just relieved whenever I had another one. We called the midwife when we got home and she said she would come check on me.

While we waited Ontario and I layed on the bed and did relaxation exercises. We had taken a hypnobirth class when I had Gabriel, and it worked really well. We had reviewed the book and Cd's again for this birth, but I didn't feel as prepared. Next time I want to take another class so I feel more ready. It was still soothing to lay there and breathe through each contraction.

The midwives arrived around 1:20 am. The attendants at the birth were Dianne Bjarnson, Angela (Johnson?), and Lisa (?). They got set up while Tari and I kept breathing and relaxing. I knew that this baby would be different from Gabriel, and I guess I thought that meant a faster labor. However, I kept having contractions well into the night without the kind of progress I had with Gabe. Most of the time Tari and I were on the bed or the couch just laying together while he helped me breath through each contraction. Around 6 I was getting pretty tired and frustrated. Tari had fallen asleep and I wanted to let him rest, but things started getting a little too hard. About 6:30 I started feeling the need to push, so the midwives came down. With Gabriel I had pushed for half an hour, and everyone says the second birth is faster, right? Not this little monkey...he took his own sweet time. I pushed for an hour, trying different positions to help the baby through the birth canal. I finally pushed the head out, but he was such a little chunk I had to do another push for his shoulders, then one for his chest, one for his tummy, one for his butt, one for his thighs, and then he finally slid the rest of the way out. It was 7:39am, Saturday, Jan 24. I was so excited to see him and find out we had another son! He looked so much like his daddy, even from the first few minutes he was born.

I remember before I had kids thinking that it might be a little gross to hold them when they first come out and they are all covered with vernix and amniotic fluid and who knows what else. But it turns out I love the feeling of holding them when they are all still slippery and warm. We cuddled him for about an hour and started nursing, and then he got to go get cleaned up and measured and I got to get a few stitches. He came in at a healthy 9 lbs, 20 inches. Once we were both cleaned up a little everyone went to bed. By that time I was so tired all I wanted was to sleep and cuddle my baby. I would say that his birth was harder than Gabe, just because I was more tired going into it. I was also expecting it to be shorter, which it wasn't. However, it was just as peaceful and joyous, and I am very happy with the outcome. Tommy is now a happy, joyful part of our family, and we are happily awaiting the arrival of baby number 3.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another rambling post...

I feel like I usually post on my blog when I have insomnia, or in this case, child induced sleeplessness. Maybe that is the only time I really have time? Don't know...

Anyway, Tommy has been restless and/or screaming and/or awake for the last two-four hours. He was restless from when we went to bed till about 1:30, when he decided to take it to the next level with screaming. I don't know what the problem was, but I finally gave him some tylenol and he has just conked out. I, of course, am still awake.

So, we are looking at buying a house. I am very ready to move out of this place. I have loved living here, but it's time to go. We were planning on renting again, but since Ontario's calling limits us to a 10 block radius with extremely limited housing options, we will take what we can get. I think this really might be the house for us though. At least for the next few years. It's a fixer upper, but it has great potential. And as my brother Evan said, "it's definitely an Anderson type of house". It's true...we like going for the old houses with lots of character.

I took a bunch of pictures of the inside when we did our walkthrough, but I am still having issues uploading from the camera. So I will just include the ones I have found online. It looks cleaner in the pictures then it is in real life. The first tasks will be painting the kitchen (I don't hate that purple, except in the kitchen. It just clashes with the cupboards) and ripping up the carpet. I want to put in wood floors, but we will have to see what our options are. Actually, the very first job will be getting a new roof. But we will be hiring someone to do that. :)

It's a 3 bed, 2 bath house with a 1 bedroom accessory apartment in the back. The downstairs rooms are all very spacious, and the lighting throughout the house is amazing. I love the way old houses use natural light. I love the idea of being able to control what happens to our house. I also love the idea of getting a garden started. That will be one of the other top priority projects.

We will hopefully be talking to someone tomorrow to get the ball rolling on paperwork, applications, etc. The realtor selling it has been a little slow about getting info to us, so I am hoping it comes tomorrow.

Okay...I am going to try and put this baby down, and maybe get a little more sleep myself. Night all!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Crazy Hair

So, I took a couple of pictures with the iSight camera in an attempt to capture the awesomeness of Tommy's post nap hair. I don't know how he gets that kind of body and fullness. He is just naturally blessed with it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day of rest....for me

So, our first real Sunday with Ontario as second counselor. It turns out that Sundays will not be a day of rest for him. Here was his schedule for today:
7:00am-8:45am Bishopric meeting.
9:00am-12:00pm Church
12:00pm-1:00pm lunch and getting hometaught
1:00pm-1:45pm sacrament at the Complex (an apartment complex for older people)
2:00pm-3:00pm counting tithing
3:00pm-4:00pm Sunday School presidency meeting (he still hasn't been released as president)
4:00pm-10:00pm Bishopric training meeting with the stake presidency.

That is right...he had an hour (only it was really more like 30 min) break for lunch. And that is pretty much the only time we saw him today. My schedule was more like, church, lunch, nap, brownies...you see the difference?

His last meeting is a training they said could take "3-6 hours". So I just took them some brownies, cause a 6 hour meeting is just depressing.

Well, I think I need to go rescue my kitchen before the chocolate elves wreak any more havoc.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Changes for the Brittons

Well everyone, this is a post to update people on the many big changes happening in our lives currently. It feels like 2010 is off to quite a crazy start. Let's go back to the beginning...

ITEM 1. January 1 saw us still in MD about to begin the last leg of our very long cross continental drive for Christmas vacation. While there my sweet, wonderful in-laws gave us their Toyota Sienna minivan. Let me tell you...to 5 people who had just driven across America in a Chevy Cavalier, with all of their luggage and christmas paraphanelia, no greater joy can be imagined then driving back in a much larger, more comfortable vehicle. This also answers the question of what we were going to do this summer when...

ITEM 2. Baby #3 arrives. Probably around the end of July/beginning of August. I think we will find out the sex ahead of time, but that won't be until March. I am super excited. Tommy has started walking (which is so cute as he zombie toddles from room to room) and I am in need of another baby. We love that our family is growing and getting bigger each year.

ITEM 3. Ontario's work. Before we left on vacation, there was a period of unrest when there was the possibility that Ontario would be laid off (right after we found out we were pregnant of course) and so he started sending in resumes to various companies. The company he was working for ended up deciding to keep him, so we had *some* job security, but he decided to keep looking at his other options. When we got home, he contacted, and eventually hired by, LIME marketing. This week he has been finishing up his last work for ZAGG, and he starts at LIME on Tuesday. It's a higher paying job, doing work he likes a lot better, for a company he is really excited about. We both felt really good about his decision to switch. It looks like it will be more high pressure, and I don't know what the hours will be like yet, but I think it will be awesome.

ITEM 4. New calling. On Thursday we got a phone call from the Stake Executive Secretary asking if we could come talk to the Stake President that night. Man...that phone call makes you nervous. So we went in and Ontario was called as the new 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric. He was officially called and sustained yesterday during Ward Conference, and was set apart that evening. His papa flew out to ordain him, and we loved having him visit, even though it has been for a very short time. Sunday was a little crazy to say the least. I know Ontario will do great, and the initial shock is subsiding. I keep thinking about what it means for our family (basically, we see him a lot less), but it also makes me grateful for how the Lord prepares us. I am not usually one to make New Years resolutions, but I have had a lot of goals this year, and I can see how they will all help us as Ontario magnifies his calling. Maybe I will do a separate entry on them later.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

School Bag

Alice (our exchange student) has been having lots of issues with her school bags. She prefers using a tote, but every bag she has gotten has broken within a couple of weeks. I suppose that is one of the hazards of using a handbag for schoolbooks. Anyway, she has been getting really frustrated with it, and she finally asked if I would make her a bag. So...she bought some sturdy black material, and last night I made her a bag.

I didn't have a pattern, so I just made it up as I went. I have actually made quite a few bags recently as part of a church humanitarian aid project, so I wasn't flying completely by the seat of my pants. This one was a little more complex though, since she wanted side panels and a pocket. It actually turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. The bottom corners are a little funky, and it doesn't have the straightest lines ever, but to a casual observer I think it will pass just fine.

Things I am glad I did:

-I topstitched all the seams after I was done, so it had a little more structure. It also reinforced all the seams, making the bag stronger.
-I sewed a seam on the pocket to make it into two front pockets. It was originally one large pocket, but it kept flopping open. It just looks better this way.

Things I wish I had done:

-Have someone teach me how to do those corners, or figure it out online. They turned out okay, but I am sure they could have turned out much better.
-Measure a little more. I faked a lot of stuff, and I think measuring and creating even a simple pattern would have made it a little better.
-Made it slightly smaller. Alice wanted it big, but the material is a little light for it's size. So, I would either use a sturdier material that had more structure for a bag that size, or make it a little smaller so it wasn't quite so floppy.

I was going to post some pictures, but our camera is ghetto, and won't let me upload them. That also means I can't upload any pics from our Christmas trip. Hopefully I can figure that out sometime soon and get the pictures up.

So, what creative projects have you done lately?