Tuesday, July 31

Printable Quiet Book

Crew's curiosity and desire to learn has just exploded lately. I was a bit surprised, as I was not
expecting to start teaching him his alphabet, numbers, colors and other skills quite so soon! But as soon
 as I realized he was ready and I started buying developmental activities and puzzles, his appetite for
them has been insatiable! He will practically beg me to do his "alphabook" or other activities all day
long and we have had many a tantrum because of it. 

It all started with putting together a few quiet books for church. You know the kind; the oldies but
goodies that are in file folders with velcro. He loves them. He loves them so much that I wanted to
make some more so he wouldn't get bored of the ones we have. After looking around online for 30
minutes or so, I determined there are really no good printable quiet books out there. So I decided to
make one.

I haven't quite gotten mine finished but I wanted to share with you mommies out there. Here is the
book, and a simple tutorial on how I'm putting mine together.

(A sample of the pages)

 It's currently on Etsy for $4.99 but you are welcome to follow the link and download it for free.

Ok, so here is a simple explanation to how I'm putting mine together along with a couple of links:

After using the velcro quiet books in church, I wanted to go the magnetic route. It's not that velcro
is super noisy, and probably no one but me noticed but I was still self-conscious about it. Also,
I think it's fun for a little toddler to play with magnets because it's a new sensory experience.

My sister-in-law, Kirstin, had found some decorative boards at a store that were magnetic which
she just glued paper onto to use as a quiet board. She was kind enough to give me one but I also found
these magnetic boards for $10 online that I think would work just the same. 

I got my two copies of the PDF printed at BestValueCopy.com. Your first 50 color prints are free.
They charge you an arm and a leg for shipping, but it was still almost half the price of getting them 
printed locally. I had them printed on 65# Cover Laser White paper which is a heavy cardstock 
and it didn't cost anything extra! It also came really fast, so I would recommend them.

After cutting out and laminating all the pieces, I plan on attaching 4 magnets to the corners of each
original pattern so it will stick to the magnetic board, then one self-adhesive magnet to the back of
each corresponding piece. That way, you have one magnetic board, then just one other folder
with all the other templates that can be switched in and out. I hope that makes sense.

Here is a listing for 200 self-adhesive magnets on Ebay for $7.99. There are about 175 pieces in this
Quiet book, so 200 magnets will be perfect with a few left over. I'm a little worried that after
laminating the cardstock, these magnets wont be strong enough to stick through, but having
them self-adhesive is a big selling point for me! I can't imagine glueing 175 magnets. I'm hoping
they will be fine but I'll update you once I finish my book.

SO...there was the not-so-short version of my Quiet Book story. I hope some of you will
download it and that your children will enjoy it as much as Crew has! 

Wednesday, July 25

hospital list

For you mommy's-to-be. I was searching for a good hospital bag list and 
only found really extensive ones. This one seems to hit the nail on the head 
without being too lengthy. Plus, it's really cute :)

Checklist found here.

Tuesday, July 24


It might have something to do with the babes growing in my tummy, or the 
adorable 2 year old sleeping in the other room, or the hunky hubby that comes home 
to me everyday but I'm feeling incredibly lucky.

Lucky to be living this life, with this family, in this beautiful home and in this free land 
where we don't have to worry about how we worship or where our next meal is coming from. 
I feel lucky to have the modern conveniences we have (being 8.5 months pregnant might make 
me disproportionately thankful for this one :), and to have the knowledge of God's plan for us.

Oh! I just feel like I could go on forever.

Being this thankful also reminds me that I need to step up my game.

Where much is given, much is required.

Tuesday, July 17

34.5 weeks

Yes, that .5 is very important to add in... :) 

We had our 34 week ultrasound yesterday and it was so fun for Lance and I to see baby girl and 
to know that everything is perfect with her growth and development. They estimate her weight to 
be right about 5 pounds, which is 33rd percentile. A little on the small side, but exactly what they'd 
expect from a little mommy. They are thinking she will be under 7 pounds at 40 weeks. Just 
the right size if you ask me.

This is the 3rd ultrasound so far. And we got a clear 3D shot of her face. It looks just like a real
picture because it is so crystal clear and she is just adorable! Can't wait to kiss those little cheeks.

Doc wants to induce at 39 weeks because of the complications I had last time which means
only 4 1/2 weeks to go! Believe it or not, that still sounds like an eternity. My body just feels
ready to have this baby... aching back, heartburn, restless nights. Not to mention my huge belly...

Maybe it doesn't look very big to some of you mommas out there, but to me it feels
enormous! It seems impossible for it to get any larger, but it is going to do just that.

It's been really difficult to see all the weight gain. I know it's part of the package,
and I would do it again in a heartbeat for baby girl, but it is not easy to watch the
scale go up and up and to know it's going to be a long road out.

Crew is understanding things better the closer we get. He even answered correctly
the other day when we asked him what the baby's name was going to be. We've
been talking about her all the time and trying our best to prep him so I'm really
curious to see how he responds. I'm sure we will have some jealousy and adjustment
but I'm also hoping that he is the sweet little boy I know and will just want to
love on her all the time and be my big helper. We'll see!

And as kind of a funny side note, here I am with just my t-shirt on. 
I've always been pretty curvy, and pregnancy is no exception.

swimming lessons

After we returned from St. George, Crew started swimming lessons with his Uncle Keaton every day for 2 weeks. It's called fast track and it's a great way to get a jump start on swimming skills at the beginning of the summer. Kenna and Avie had their lessons just after Crew's so every morning, bright and early, the 5 of us packed up and drove to Midvale.

Cute kiddos did such a great job in their lessons! Kenna is even working on strokes.

All ready for his last lesson!

I can't say Crew loves swimming lessons, but it's been really fun to see him progress 
and gain confidence in the water. We will continue to give him a lesson once a week
for the rest of the summer. By the end of the summer he should be a swimming pro!

Monday, July 16

Crew turns 2!

In such a short little while, it seems, our tiny baby has become a little boy...

Happy birthday to our Crew guy who turned two on June 21st!

I am so completely smitten with this little boy. He is an absolute joy to have around and keeps us
laughing every single day at his crazy antics. Life is so rich and full with him as a part of our family.

Some of his cute little sayings I don't want to forget:

"I wuv you so much, mommy!"
"Should we get some fries?" (Mother of the year award, right here. Let's
just say that I've had major cravings for burgers and fries this pregnancy)
Randomly adding tomorrow and though to the end of sentences,
"Gotta go play with my toys, though."  -or-
"I'm going to eat my breakfast, tomorrow."
"Just one and that's all, ok?"

We've been feeling really spoiled with him lately because as he's gotten older he
has become so obedient and "easy" while still being a complete joy to be around.
We still have the occasional tantrum but overall, it's been a breeze to mother
him in the last few months. I'm hoping this is here to stay :)

I just lack the ability to put into words what a joy he is to have around
and I fall more madly in love with him every single day. Sometimes I feel like
no mother has ever had as close a relationship as I have with him (which I 
realize is a silly thought). 

We just love our Crew guy to pieces and feel so blessed to have him in our lives!