Monday, December 29, 2008

Grayson's First Christmas!

Me and my favorite little baby!!! So sweet!
Gray and his Dad sporting their great spikey hair do's!
Opening presents with Grandma Jeanne!
"Where's Santa?!"
My gorgeous Lladro that Steve's dad picked out for me! I'm so impressed!! He says it reminded him of me and Grayson! :)
The snowman everyone built at Grandma Oka's house! (Notice Steve's addition of the snow-ball-gun arms!)
Gray, Momma, and my favorite new boot slippers!
I used to think there was no such thing as a bad picture of Grayson, but lo and behold, he proved me wrong! But it's still so darn cute you can't help but smile!!! Am I wrong?! I just hope this "stink-eye" look doesn't continue into adolescense!!!
"OOOO! Look at all my presents!!!!!!!!!!!" (actually, this is the look he always gets whenever he stands up by himself! And he grunts -- uuuoooof!! Such a tough guy!)
For some reason, whenever we're at my mom's house, he HAS to climb through her dining room chairs. And he ALWAYS gets stuck. Then he gets frustrated! But he always has to keep doing it! Such a silly boy!!!
Big smiles!! So happy it's Christmas!!!!!
My mom, sister Sarah, and me in our new Christmas Eve jammies!. And yes, that is me, being fatter than my pregnant sister. Shut up.
Grayson, Uncle JD, and my cousin Katie's boy Keegan (he's a month older than Gray, and look how much bigger Gray is!!) Don't mind JD's evil-look. He makes it his mission in life to always make a face in every picture ever taken of him. :P
Me and my Christmas baby! And my new hat! I love it! I made the flower brooch on the side -- isn't it cute?! I think so, anyway :)
Our cute little family at Christmas breakfast! Gray loves being a 'big boy' and sitting in the high chair at the table!

What a fun time of year! I LOVE Christmas -- it's my favorite! We had a LOT of places to go Christmas/Christmas Eve -- everyone wanted their time with baby Gray, of course! :) But he handled it like a champ, and we had lots of fun! We visited FIVE different places on Christmas Day! But it was so fun to see all the family! :) We got to talk to Steve's brother Jordan -- he's on his mission in Cleveland, Ohio right now! He's been out for almost a year now! It was good to hear from him! Of course, both sets of grandparents totally SPOILED Grayson -- he got so many toys! I think I'm going to stash some of them away and bring them out later! He doesn't need all of them right now! :) Our favorite gifts: Steve got a GPS from his parents, and an awesome watch from me :) I got a gorgeous Lladro figure from Steve's parents, the Wii Fit from Steve, and the cutest watch from my mom, and the cutest, softest boot slippers that I LIVE in now :); Grayson got everything a 10-month-old could ever want! So of course he couldn't pick just one! :) hehe! But MY favorite Grayson present is his Lion Walker toy -- Gray is SO close to walking, and he tries to just GO all the time, so we got him a walker that he pushes in front of him as he walks, and he LOVES IT! He just squeals with laughter every time he walks with it! He got the hang of it SO fast, and now he is all over the place with it! It won't be long til he's walking without it!! Oh, and I'm so excited for the freezer Scott and Jeanne gave us, too! Wow, we got so spoiled!!! It was so fun to watch Grayson with everything going on -- he was so tentative with his presents -- I kept trying to get him to rip the paper, but he'd just pull on it til it tore a little, then stop and look at me like, "Oh, sorry! I'm not supposed to do that!!!" He was so cute! Thanks to everyone for all the Christmas festivities and fun! And for the awesome Monkey Bread, Momma!!!! mmmmmmm! :)

Sweet Ruby Giveaway!

Sweet Ruby is having a giveaway!! Whoo hoo!! My friend April makes these must-have baby items -- I've blogged about them before, I know, but I LOVE them! Gray has the binky clips, a binky blanket, and an adorable onesie! If you have a baby, are expecting a baby, or know someone with a baby, you should go check out her shop and buy something :) And enter the giveaway, too! ;) here's the link: SWEET RUBY (Oh, and P.S. check out baby Gray being the model on her blog page! Oh he's the cutest ever! :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


After lots and lots of thinking/praying/discussing/agonizing/praying again I finally made a decision. I quit my job! WHOA! I'm freaking out a little bit!! I'm still really scared! But I really think this is what's best for my family!! Now that I've made my decision, and actually quit finally -- I feel a lot better, happier! I'm actually getting excited now! So wish me luck!!! :D

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More Conundrums!!!

Ok, so I talked to my manager, and it's not possible right now to cut back to only 4 hours a month like I wanted to. So now it's either 1)quit completely (I can keep my nursing license active by doing continuing education online) OR 2)cut back to 8 hours every other week. I would still have to go to staff meetings and do additional on-call shifts though -- an extra 12 hours a month. This is a little more than I want to do -- it still seems like too much time away from baby Gray! BUT it REALLY scares me to quit completly! Steve keeps saying he knows for sure that we'll be fine financially, so it's not really that -- it's that me havin a job is my safety net!! I feel a lot safer knowing that I have a job, in case something happens and Steve loses his job, or we have some medical emergency/car crisis/other major financial hit -- so if something like that happens, I can pick up extra shifts to pick up the slack. If I quit, there's no quarantee that I could get my job back if I needed to!! Oh dear! I just don't know what to do!!!!! SO I posted another poll for everyone to vote on! Should I follow my logical brain and keep my job? Or should I follow my heart and quit my job, and put my faith in God to make everything right?!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Cutest Snowbaby EVER!

Gray and I went out to play in the snow today! It was his very first experience being in the snow! He had lots of fun! And Steve caught some super-cute pictures!

Trying to eat the snow

I absolutely love this picture!!!! He's so happy, even in the cold! He even stuck his face right down in the snow, and just looked up and smiled!!

He didn't even seem to care that the snow was cold -- he just still wanted to crawl around in it! Such a little explorer!!

Gray and his mini snowman! He was quite impressed :)

This is even the end of our snow-play session -- and he's still so smiley! Even with his cold little red nose and cheeks!!! What a sweet, happy little guy!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Survey

1) Wrapping paper or gift bags? Sam: paper! bags the rest of the year, but ya gotta have wrapped gifts under the tree! Steve: wrapping paper. I like to tear the paper with my teeth. just kidding.
2) Real tree or artificial? Sam: artificial. much much easier. ours is even pre-lit! And then ya get a really good pine-scented candle!!! Steve: artificial. Go hike to see the real trees if you must.
3) When do you put up the tree? Sam: as soon as possible after Thanksgiving. Steve: after you're on break (from school/work) -- then it's officially "the holidays"
4) When do you take the tree down? Sam: New Years Steve: after New Years -- Jan 2nd
5) Do you like eggnog? Sam: YUUUUUUUUM!!!!!!! LOOOOOOOOOVE IT!!!!!! Steve: NO.
6) Favorite gift received as a child? Sam: my American girl doll, Samantha! I remember that's when I REALLY knew that Santa was real, because I didn't think my parents could afford to get her for me. Don't know why I thought that, but I did. It was proof enough for me!! Oh, and the trunk my Grandpa made me to hold all her clothes! Steve: a giant stuffed "Gummi Bear" --from the TV show -- I can't really think of anything special I got.
7) Hardest person to buy for? Sam: my dad. He always just gets himself what he wants whenever he wants it. Steve: Jordan. He never likes what you get him. Always wants something better.
8) Easiest person to buy for? Sam: Grayson. It was way too easy to find too many things for him!! :) And Steve -- I always know lots of things I want to get him, and I usually can't get them all! Steve: Sam. I just buy her a bunch of stuff spontaneously.
9) Do you have a nativity scene? Sam: I have 3 full sets, and I'm working on another one. And I have a nativity in a snow globe. Oh, and Grayson has his own, too. Steve: I have a He-man collection.
10) Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Sam: mail is best. I haven't managed to get mine out yet, though -- whoops! Steve: mail.
11) Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Sam: I can't really think of one!!!! Steve: an empty can of Pringles -- empty because Jordan ate them first.
12) Favorite Christmas movie? Sam: the old claymation ones -- Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, the Little Drummer Boy, etc. Steve: Miracle on 42nd Street
13) When do you start shopping for Christmas? Sam: in November. I had most of my shopping done by Thanksgiving, then just had a few little things left. I'm all done now! Booyah!! Steve: April 14th. (wow! what an organized guy!!)
14) Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Sam: nope. Steve: all the time.
15) Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Sam: MONKEY BREAD!!! mmmmmm I want some right now!! my mom makes the BEST breakfast on Christmas morning!!! Steve: PEZ
16) Lights on the tree? Sam: I like the white ones -- looks much cleaner, and shows off the ornaments better. But I like colored ones on the house best. Steve: white
17) Favorite Christmas song? Sam: Silent Night. and Baby it's Cold Outside. Steve: This one. ("I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day -- but only the version by Casting Crowns)
18) Travel at Christmas or stay home? Sam: Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays! Steve: Travel only to friends' and family's homes -- just to visit. Like to wake up at home on Christmas morning.
19) Can you name all of Santa's Reindeer? Sam: absolutely! Have been able to since I was little! Steve: yes.
20) Angel on the tree top or a star? Sam: star! for sure! We have a big shiny red one! I love it! Steve: star
21) Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? Sam: jammies on Christmas Eve, then the rest on Christmas day! Steve: Christmas Morning.
22) Most annoying thing about Christmastime? Sam: the TRAFFIC! I hate it! You can't find a parking place anywhere. And everyone is grouchy! I do most of my shopping online for these exact reasons!!! Steve: carolers
23) Favorite ornament/theme colors? Sam: I made baby Gray handprint ornaments from salt dough this year! They're adorable!!! Steve: I like white.
24) Favorite for Christmas dinner? Sam: we don't really have a formal dinner. Just kinda snack all day after the wonderful breakfast :) Steve: steak and crab
25) What do you want for Christmas this year? Sam: to watch my baby open his first ever Christmas presents!!!!! Steve: a gyronimatron 3000. and a Snickers bar.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Grayson loves to try to feed himself! But boy, oh, boy is it MESSY!!! But hey, he has fun, and that's all that matters, right?! I especially love the giant glob of mushy cracker/apple sauce stuck on the end of his nose! Haha! I love this little guy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

What a Fun Day!!!

Grayson and I had lots of fun together today!! First we finished putting up the Christmas decorations and tree! Gray helped mainly by getting into everything and pulling things over :)

Getting into things

So proud of himself that he can stand up to get into everything!

Yet again with the getting into things!

Eating an ornament!

Then we decided to do something new and fun -- I stripped Gray down to his diaper and sat him in the kitchen -- then broke out the flour!! He had a great time playing around with it -- good, new texture!!

Look at that sweet little innocent face!!

Hehe -- couldn't resist!

So much fun!!

Fascinated by the flour falling! I was inspired by the fun snow today!! Just wish there had been more of it!! So I made my own, not-as-cold snow inside :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My conundrum!

(completely unrelated picture -- I just thought it was so cute -- Gray likes to play the piano, and he pushes one key at a time, and sometimes picks out simple melodies that actually turn out quite pretty! I think I have a budding Beethoven on my hands!! haha! Thanks, Mom, for giving us the piano!! It is well-loved, and well-used!)

Don't you love that word? Conundrum......... hehe! Anyway, here it is: after much soul-searching, praying, and discussions with my husband, I am doubting my decision to work. When I had Grayson, I cut back on my hours at the hospital, and I currently only work 8 hours a week -- that's nothing right?! But I find myself dreading it -- not because I don't like my job -- I love being a nurse, and I work in the best place ever! I love it! But I loathe and despise having to leave my baby!!! I am very very very fortunate to be able to leave him with Steve every time I work, and they both enjoy their alone time (or so Steve says! :) ). And 8 hours is not that long to be away from him, right?! But it feels like forever when I'm gone! I am just NOT one of those people that has to get away from her kid all the time -- I genuinely LOVE being home with him! Don't get me wrong, it's nice to go out to dinner or a movie every once in a while and have some alone time with my hubby! But whenever I am away from Gray, I have the strongest feeling that I really should NOT be away from him. Like seriously almost to the point of breaking down and crying! It just feels WRONG!! I am a strong believer that babies need their mothers! And it is my job as his mother to take care of him. He is growing so fast, and I hate to miss even one second of it! Steve tells me what Gray does while I'm gone, and I just get so sad that I missed it!! Every time I'm at work helping a new mom breastfeed, or when I'm changing a little tiny newborn diaper, all I can think of is "I need to be taking care of my OWN baby right now!" . My reasons for working are simple and few:'s good to have the extra money, and 2.I want to keep my nursing license active -- way too much hassle to re-license if you let it lapse. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that those are purely selfish reasons. All moms always say "I would do anything for my child" -- and I sincerely feel that way! So can't I learn to live on a tighter budget, and put some effort into doing continuing education credits for my license?? Steve is very supportive of me, and he says whatever I decide, he will support. He, too, feels like it is his job to provide for the family, and it is my job to nurture the family and home! I just don't know what to do! I mean no disrespect to all you mothers out there that miraculously do it all! I just don't know if it works for me and my family. I put a poll on the sidebar of my blog -- everyone weigh in on what you think, please! And feel free to comment, too, if you feel so inclined! Just please be nice -- I feel bad enough as it is! :) Am I being too self-critical, or am I being selfish?? How do I 'let go' of my reasons to work? Or are they too important to let go? I'm seriously rambling, and I apologize for that! But I'm really having a lot of anxiety over this!! Help, please!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My little climber!

Grayson is very into climbing lately. He can't see a chair without climbing through the bottom. He tries to climb up his baby gate. And this is a picture of him climbing through our coffee table! I was actually very impressed that he could do it!! He gets stuck a lot, and then he gets so frustrated!! He's such a funny little guy! He's such a boy!!! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Updates on baby Gray

I keep forgetting to post updates on Grayson -- so here we go! I also posted about Thanksgiving today, so check out those pics, too. Well, Gray is 9 months old now -- wow how time flies when you're having fun with an adorable little tyke! He is 21 1/2 lbs, 30 inches -- big boy! He's so tall now -- lengthening out -- so he doesn't look as chubby anymore -- he looks more like a little boy now!! His eyes are absolutely gorgeous -- click on the picture above to make it bigger and see for yourself!!! He's such a happy little guy -- he smiles and laughs all the time! And he's so very busy all the time -- doesn't ever sit still very long. He crawls very fast now -- one second he's next to you, then turn around, and he's already across the room! Of course, this also means that he is getting into everything, too! He pulls himself up and 'cruises' around the furniture. He can stand up by himself without holding on to anything for a few seconds -- and he thinks he's so tough when he does -- he puffs out his chest and grunts - 'uuoff!!' Such a silly boy! He's also climbing up stairs -- also very fast -- and is currently working on how to get back down the stairs! His hair is still very very blonde, and is getting long now -- I had to trim the sides already! He's eating lots of solid food now, and even some finger foods already! He drinks pretty well from his sippy cup, too. He says 'mama' and 'dada' very clearly now, and babbles all the time. He even 'sings' sometimes -- when someone is singing, when he hears songs on the ipod, when we play the piano or guitar, or sometimes he just starts singing by himself. It's adorable! I don't think I've known any 9 month-olds that sing! He is just the sweetest little guy ever, and he is the light of my life. I just can't believe how much more I love him every single day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

My masterpiece! I made cranberry pie from scratch -- even strained the cranberries! It took me about 3 hours to make it! Whoa! But it was soooo tasty! Kind of like a cranberry version of key lime pie (which is my favorite). It just may be my new Thanksgiving tradition! I think it's too much work to do it more than once a year :)

Riding on Poppa's shoulders (and pulling his hair! How fun!) My dad is such a good sport!

The boys -- don't they all look so happy?!

The mandatory 'olive on the finger' picture! :) He's gonna be just like his momma!

Grayson's first Thanksgiving dinner -- 'sweet potatoes and turkey'! Yum! He loved it!

Our little thankful family! We are so thankful for all of you -- our wonderful family and friends! Oh, and Steve is apparently thankful for hippos....who knows why, but that's what he wrote on his 'I'm thankful for' paper! Good to know, I guess!! :) hehehe

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Goodbye to all my "Princesses"

After 3 years, I have been released as the Young Women's president in my ward. I'm very much going to miss all my girls!! My new calling is Sunday school teacher -- I'm teaching the 16-17 year olds with Steve!! So I will still get to teach my laurels!! It's been so fun to be in the YW -- the girls in my ward are amazing, and my testimony has been strengthened by hearing theirs. I love you, girls! (this picture was at our 'princess party' -- hence the tiaras!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

7 Things Tag

Ok, first I had to show you this picture! Silly baby Gray climbed up on the bottom shelf of his changing table (all hunched up, as you can see), and proceeded to unravel a whole skein of yarn I had down there! Guess I will be moving things off that bottom shelf! Rookie mistake! :) What a stinker! Ok, now onto the tag -- thanks, Jess!

7 Things I Can Do:
1. type one-handed while holding/breastfeeding my child (pretty talented, huh!)
2. always make my baby smile
3. make to-die-for brownies!
4. play the piano (it didn't say 'things i can do really well'!)
5. go 48 hrs without sleep (I have proven this on quite a few occasions! though you wouldn't want to be around me when I do....)
6. sing (or I used to be able to.....)
7. awesome scrapbook pages.
(wow. I need to get some new talents)
7 Things I Can't Do:
1. not pick my baby up when he's crying. I just can't do it!
2. write in a straight line on a blank page. it has to have lines on it for me to write straight.
3. play video games -- I'm really really bad at them!
4. keep my house clean -- I try, but it's a losing battle
5. stay mad at Grayson, Ollie or Steve for more than a few seconds. they're just too darn cute!
6. not eat chocolate if it's in front of me
7. fly

7 Things I Always Say:
1. No, no, no, no, Grayson!
2. Oh my goodness, you're the cutest baby ever!
3. Don't put that in your mouth!
4. Momma's exhausted, Gray! Please go to sleep!
5. I love you soooo much! (to Grayson and Steve)
6. What a big boy!
7. Holy crap
(can you tell who I spend most of my time with?!)

7 Things I Always Eat :
1. choclate anything
2. peanuts
3. cereal
4. oreos!!
5. milk (does that count?)
6. pretzels/crackers/anything salty
7. granola bars

7 People I tag: Sarah, Bex, Hannah, Harmony, Kasey, Katie, Cassi, and my momma!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Halloween! (a little late! hehe)

Every year my mom dresses up as a witch! And she's awesome at it! She is know as the "witch on 27th street" and is quite famous in the neighborhood!! :) We had to bring Grayson over to meet the witch for the first time! And isn't he so cute in his giraffe costume?

Gotta love this picture! Love you, Momma!

Gray trying to eat the witch's nose! Hehe! Silly boy!

I thought Gray would cry when he saw my mom -- he's getting quite the stranger anxiety lately! But he knew who she was and went right to her!

Daddy and Gray in his glow-in-the-dark ghost shirt!

Momma and Gray in his "Baby's First Halloween" bib!