Monday, August 11, 2014


So, I know I haven't posted in forever and a day, but I wanted to write some fun things down somewhere.

Yes, we have a new little baby in our home!
Jaylee Rae Rowley is now one month old. She is pretty much the cutest thing ever. She likes to have her hands by her face, and likes to be held. She's definitely a fan of being outside! But the poor thing has really struggled feeling well in her stomach, so much of her awake time is struggling not to throw up. But she is ALWAYS moving and very alert and strong--lifting her head up from the very beginning. When she's feeling ok, she gives the cutest smiles. We love her to pieces!
My mom and two sisters have come to stay at my house at various times to help me with the whole adjustment to two kids. It has been a HUGE help. But one of the great perks of having a photographer of kids for a sister is that I get great newborn shots :)

Tyson is getting used to the big brother idea. He likes to hold her hand, push her swing, and reassure her whenever he feels she might need it. A total boy, he also wants to try experiments on her, often asking me things like "Can I poke her eye with this hanger?" or "I want to jump over her", etc. This picture makes me smile. Whenever we do tummy with the little one, I put him in front of her because she seems to want to look up at him more than me :) He cheers her on, yelling "Good job Jaylee!" or "Use your arms!"
Here's our fun day at the splash park with Daddy
And the reptile man came at the library!


Lately he is talking like crazy. Here are some of the funny things he is saying:

To his crying sister, "Just a minute Jaylee, I'm trying to make you happy!"

During harvest I told him to make sure and give Daddy or Grandpa a kiss when we visited for lunch because they are under a lot of stress. He answered "Yeah, everybody needs a kiss sometimes."

His favorite treat is Popsicles. I can't blame him for being addicted because I am too. But he calls them Kosiples. And if he asks me and I say no, he asks nice and slow "Ko-si-ple!"

He likes jumping off everything lately. When he's trying a new jump he asks, "Wanna see something scary?"

He likes to make up songs, mostly with nonsense words. But he will ask "How bout a ___ song" (insert word of something he can see around the room). Then he will sing lots of crazy things and insert that word periodically, and his song always ends on a loud high note with his face straining to make it emphatic. Cracks me up every time.

We have pretty fun kids, I think. If only we could get some sleep though!

Sunday, May 4, 2014


I had an interesting conversation the other day that I seem to keep thinking about.  With Mother's Day approaching it came back on my mind a bit. So I was checking out at Walmart, just making casual conversation with the cashier. She thought my son was cute, and asked if I worked or stayed home with him. She went on to tell me how she had been home with her kids after they were born, but almost went insane with boredom, so she got a job. She just doesn't "know how women can do it, staying home all day". It was interesting that she chose to say these things to me, since I am one of those women, but we won't talk about tact right now.
To tell you the truth, there is some substance to what she says. Being a stay-at-home mom in the early years is not for the faint of heart. And yet those who don't do it really have no idea why. It may seem like we get to just sit around and play with kids all day--like a permanent vacation, or extremely boring. But it's so far from that. As an ambitious over-achiever in my pre-Mom life, I often worked toward deadlines and benchmarks, receiving plenty of praises on hard work and jobs well done. Now, I admit that I wonder at the beginning of each day how I am going to fill the hours. These are hours with my little boy that I wouldn't trade for anything, but there are a lot of them.  And nobody is giving me a to-do list. But I have to fill those hours with something productive. That is the challenge. It's not just a day off. It's a day to teach my child to use his time learning. Which means I not only have to keep our house running--cleaning, shopping, organization, making phone calls, paying bills, mowing lawns, planting flowers, etc. But I also need to find activities on his level that teach obedience, numbers, letters, sharing with others, politeness, love, fun, and all of the other millions of things that you want your child to know when they leave for kindergarten. And I somehow need to accomplish the first list while not boring my son, and the second list while not letting myself go insane either. No, I may not be training hundreds of employees, but I am teaching and training a little mind that often doesn't understand the need for learning what I am telling him. I am teaching someone who has a mind of his own, but no reason to listen to me other than that I am bigger than he is. It's a crazy different dynamic that has challenged me in ways I don't think I would ever be challenged otherwise.
So yes I do sit and wonder when my husband will finally get home, and the minutes between 5pm and 7pm just don't tick fast enough. But at the same time I am overwhelmed with how much I have to do and how little I seem to be able to get done when my time is dependent on a toddler.  Kids don't really want mommy to spend her time on the computer or phone. And I understand. So I try to spend some good fun time instead of attacking my ever-growing list of adult things that I need to do.  I've read somewhere that the career most similar to motherhood (and probably even more so the older my kids get) is that of air traffic controller--there are so many things that are going on and need to be prioritized at once. And each task is extremely crucial! The burnout rate on that career is one of the highest overall--people can't handle the stress. But you cant burn out of being a mom. You just have to be creative to find another way to look at the situation and rejuvenate yourself.  The great thing about motherhood is that along with that stress and craziness, and boredom, and exhaustion, comes joy. It comes with moments where your toddler runs up to give you a hug, or spontaneously says "I love you." And those moments are what gets you through to the point of parenthood where your kids on not quite so dependent.
The more I learn about being a mom, the more I am thankful for my own mother. She was so close to the Spirit. Only now do I realize how crucial that is. But all those teaching moments I remember with my mom could have easily been missed by someone of less spiritual attentiveness. Most are running ragged and just trying to get by--I know I am. Too often we are too busy to notice the moments that could really shape our child's future. I just hope that things stick in on the few times I do take a stand on things, or try and stop to help my child apply principles in his life.  My Mom used to have something up in our house that said "Motherhood is not for wimps." Aint that the truth! But I'm lucky to have had such an awesome example for a mother. Someone whose greatness I might just be beginning to understand.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Look Who's 2!

This little man is growing up too fast. I finally finished his scrapbook for his first year, and it's crazy how fast the time went by. He's a little boy now!  But here are some things about him now that make us smile...

He'll make deals to get what he wants. To get him to go to bed, you will often hear, "OK, ONE more book, but then we have to lay down in bed. Deal?" and he will say "DEAL!" and hold out his hand to shake on it. But he is figuring out that he shouldn't make deals when he doesn't like the options. That makes it harder.

This pic is one of his favorite games. We go around the house with our guns (he prefers the ball pump) and some hat on so we can hunt for wild animals. We make the animal sound and then start shooting and eventually run to the fort under the ping pong table. Great stuff.
He definitely knows all his shapes and colors, says prayers, and recognizes most letters. He associates most with a name, like "T" for Tyson. So it's good that he has a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins so that we can find one for almost all the letters :) His counting is more comical. For some reason he doesn't like 5. He generally skips it, and then I remind him. So now, he consistently counts "1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 5, ..." Not sure why but 12 is pronounced "twee-ol-wee-ol-wee-olve". And it stops at fourteen. Not fifteen--because, again, he doesn't like 5's. So he may not be a math wiz for a while, but he's got the idea.

He is very determined to learn words that he hears. I try to help him by having him look at my mouth, or saying it slowly when needed. But bless his heart, he just can't quite wrap his tongue around "asparagus". He says it over and over, and listens to me say it, but "asupugus" is just how it always comes out for him...which I don't mind. It makes me smile every time we pass the "asupugus" field.

Somehow he ended up as a slight germaphobe/clean freak. I take him to see baby lambs or baby cows and unlike all the other kids he doesn't want to pet them because they are "all dirty". He makes me clean his hands halfway through a meal if they get "too sticky" or "too salty!"  It's kinda ridiculous.

He likes to play imaginary games like saying "Bibbity boppity boo--COW" and then you are obviously turned into a cow so you have to "MOO". If he says "Abracadabra" that means you are dead. But don't worry, he will promptly kiss you and yell "Hooray! You're ALIVE!"

He found this hat and kept it on for the next few hours.
Loves it. Pillsbury doughboy? Or is it just me?
He's becoming a little bossy, I won't lie. You will often hear "Moon it!" which means to MOVE it. Or he will shake his finger at you and say "Don't do that!" (He is actually getting much better to say "Please don't".) My favorite saying lately is from Frozen. I busted up in the theater when the big old Scandinavian man says "woohoo! Big summer blowout." So we joke around saying it at our house a lot, and say "Woohoo" in that voice to get each other's attention. Recently I have heard him calling from his room when he has woken up in the morning "Woohoo. Big nunner blowout." Ha, it kills me. He also often calls "Come heeeere", or if he wants your attention while you are holding him and talking to someone else, he turns your face and says "look at me". Last of all he loves his slides and horsies. He rocks so far it often falls over and yells "Go horsie, Go! Yeehaw!"

Monday, April 7, 2014


When my parents went on vacation, they asked me if I could stop by their house and feed the bird. Quick and easy, I figured. I figured wrong. You might think they would have told me that they were setting their house alarm. They haven't done it in a long time, so it was not expected. When I entered the house, the beeping started. I knew instantly that I had seconds to put in the code or someone would come over the speaker to warn me that the cops were coming.(They actually did come when my sister had a similar experience previously).  But thinking this was a quick in and out, I had left my phone in the car. I raced out to get it to dial my Dad's number. You have to be inside with all the sirens to fix anything though, the sirens which were even louder now that I had missed my window to enter the code. It's so easy to dial and focus under those circumstances! Luckily Dad answered just as the lady came over the speaker asking who I was. I told them my situation and she asked for a password. Dad told me over the phone just in time and any major catastrophe was averted. But really, who expects their parents to booby trap the house for you before inviting you over?! I almost peed my pants, ha.

I might have to avoid Winco for a while...

This is why I dread grocery shopping. And why you shouldn't judge those moms in the store who do anything they can think of to keep their kids passive and riding in the cart...
As with any trip to town, Ty and I had a million errands to run. Groceries of course come last so that the ice cream can make it home without melting. The poor little guy, by that time, was so sick of hours in carts and carseats that I let him run alongside the cart as long as he didn't try to take things off the shelves. And he was doing great. It was evident that he needed to expend some energy though, because he sprinted off down each aisle and came back just long enough for me to point him in a new direction. But he wasn't darting in front of other carts, so I figured it didn't hurt anything. Most people give smiles and knowing looks, but some just don't seem to understand a 2-year-old's need to move sometimes. I got some interesting looks, especially from one woman. Finally I put him in the cart until I got to an aisle that was empty. Bad decision, because as soon as I let him down he picked up a bottle of teriyaki sauce and broke it, saying "uh oh Mommy" as it trickled its contents on the floor. That same disapproving lady of course came into the aisle at about that point and gave me another look. I told him that was why we needed to stay in the cart and he agreed at this point, ha.

After looking for what seemed like FOREVER for an employee, we moved to the next aisle. I reached up to grab a bag of noodles. Apparently there was a huge slash in the bag, because as I swung it down to my cart, noodles went flying--EVERYWHERE. The two people in the aisle with me kinda laughed, one saying "They must have cut it when they shelved them," and the other "yeah, that was totally not your fault."   "Right?!" I said. But of course it wasn't until then, when all you might notice is an aisle covered in noodles and the same ridiculous girl and toddler in the middle of it, that the disapproving lady enters the scene. Just in time to let me know that she noticed. So helpful.

We finally made it to the checkout counter. Ty flirted with the checker and made a fast friend. So she just laughed as he kicked off his shoes and yelled "Mommy, I'm done! I'm done, Mama" the whole time I had to bag my groceries. The funny thing is, I wasn't really rattled by the experience this time. Usually I would have been at the end of my rope by then, but this time I just laughed and tried to finish quickly. I can't blame the poor kid. I was done too.

Monday, January 20, 2014

November get together

So, we have lost our camera. Again. We actually have two, and have no idea where either one is. So the only pictures I have are from other people (below) or from my phone. I was looking through pictures of the time my family was able to get together in November. I think they just say so much about our family.
The whole group

I was retaliating to something, I'm sure. Generally Michael deserves the pestering. But this is why I love getting together. I am laughing most of the time.

Uncle Landon loves tickling and wrestling fights

Dog Pile!

Making cars for the drive-in movie. And I'm just being me...

Making pies for the store. Always love the hairnets. T thinks it's a hat, so he will wear it.

Teaching the little guy how to shoot

Awesome hair in this family, right?! Somehow we have the only straight-haired boy.

Family bottle rockets. We had an Astro Blaster and a Green Phantom (Landon and Angie's), and lots of other legit names for awesome rockets. Tami stocked us up with some awesome decorative duct tape so that they were pretty sweet looking.

We played fly-up with the rockets and tried to catch them after their launch. This was the ready position. Chris is not one for needless movement...he would get his hands out when they were in the air :)

I just want you to notice Michael's hair. This is what happens when he's either nervous, or has too much sitting time...

Feeding the crazy ducks. They swarm, and are ruthless. You have to watch out. Before she realized, Landon kept throwing bread at Tami's feet so they would surround her. It was hilarious.

Grandpa's drums are always a hit with the toddlers.

Like Music to the Ears

It's sad that I have only written recently so that I can document somewhere the funny things my son is doing. I will try and do an update on the whole family soon, but this one is about the little guy. He's the most entertaining anyways, right?!

Lately he is all about singing. This might mean sitting at a piano and playing a few notes while yelling at the top of his lungs, or walking around singing in a rosy voice. But my favorite--he has to be holding a piece of paper to be his "music" (Usually it's my junk mail, but whatever). And then he has to be standing amidst a pile of laundry. While I fold, he will go stand there and start belting random notes. After a few, he stops and says "Song. Song mama." and then goes on singing. This repeats for almost 20 minutes. It cracks me up.

He has an obsession with tall things, or being tall himself. He almost never builds things. He's more of a destroyer. But he will put together legos so that they are "Tall!" Or he stands on the island in the kitchen and insists that Mama and Daddy have to stand up there too so we can all be "Tall!" It brings him a lot of joy, so I can't help but play along.

He does sit-ups and push-ups with Daddy. Since it happened before showers the first time, he now thinks that they are necessary before any shower. But his sit-ups consist of laying on the ground and lifting the legs to a 90 degree angle and back down. His push-ups are great. He gets on hands and feet, and then pushes his little bum up and down, with slightly bent legs. Not bad, I must admit. But also so cute.

Hats are becoming more exciting. I often turn around to find him with his cowboy hat, riding his horsie, or going down his slide with a Viking hat on. Nothing's cuter than a 20-month-old Viking.

He also LOVES his "horsy". It moves its' mouth when it sings and he likes to stick his hand in it and say "ouch" like it's biting him, ha.

His vocabulary has been growing exponentially, it's crazy. I love it when he says "cheese" for the camera, and then that makes him hungry, ha. He mumbles a lot, which I now realize are full sentences that I just couldn't make out before.


We think it's probably a good sign that he is obsessed with babies lately. Over Christmas, he just loved following his two younger cousins around because he can't get enough of the babies. Now he has to settle for a doll he found at Grandma's until his little sibling comes along, but it is definitely one of his favorite toys.

Lately he will try and read his books to himself out loud. Go Dogs Go! gets especially loud and vibrant. Daddy had not yet experienced this when he decided to give it to him during sacrament meeting to keep his attention...

I'm pretty sure he has mastered all of the animal sounds we can think of. We made sure to teach him a cougar--which he does surprisingly well. He also knows actions for fish and bunnies, since they don't say much, and of course there is the turtle that says "Righteous!"

He is at such a fun age, it's always entertaining!