Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Holidays

I love this time of year. I love Thanksgiving because it is not too commercialized and you get to spend time with family and eat good food. I love December and the Christmas season. We get to celebrate the Savior. I especially love the sites and smells of Christmas. The smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree, oranges, wassail, and cinnamon make my house feel oh so festive. I love nativities and ornaments and any other beautiful decorations. And especially, I love snow. Flagstaff has been having 60 degree weather for over a week. It is nice, but I really really want some snow so it feels like Christmas!!

We went to Farmington, NM to my Uncle Greg's house for Thanksgiving this year. I wanted to cry because we left our camera at home. We had a great time eating good food and spending time with cousins. We stayed at my grandparent's old house (they died a few years ago) so it was fun to be there and reminisce about visiting them growing up. Here are a couple of pictures from Thanksgiving there last year.

I was so excited because we got a Christmas tree this year. Last year we left so early in December that it wasn't worth getting one. It is amazing how much a tree helps me get in the Christmas spirit. It smells so good! Unfortunately it is not drinking well and is dying really fast, but we have enjoyed it for a little while. Anna is so much fun this year because she understands so much more about Christmas than she did last year. She loves to look at the ornaments on the tree and the nativity and talk about Jesus. She is so smart and picks up on everything. She tells me that Jesus is coming again with the angels.

My friend in our ward is starting a photography business and wanted some practice so she took our family pictures last week. Here are some of my favorites. I love the ones of Anna and Caleb the most. I'm a little biased, but they sure are cuties!

On a less positive note, I am finally feeling better after being sick since Thanksgiving. I had an acute sinus infection last week and was not feeling too hot, but things have been better this week. I am realizing more than ever though how important a routine is. I haven't really had one lately and I have no motivation to clean or do dishes (or really anything!) But when I have a routine then I am a lot more organized and spend my time a lot more wisely. I am trying really hard to follow the counsel from Elder Christofferson's conference talk on a consecrated life. It was such a good talk and helped me remember that there are a lot of good things I do, but I really need to focus on the most important ones that will help me consecrate my life to God. He knows what is best for me and my family and what is most important for me to be spending my time on.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Six Months

So Caleb turned 6 months old on the 6th. I can't believe how fast those months went by. He is growing up so fast! He is now 26.5 inches and weighs over 17 lbs. He sits up really well and loves to play with anything he can get his hands on. He also really loves his jump up and will be happy in there for quite a while. So nice when I'm trying to make dinner! Caleb has also started scooting around on his tummy and is really good at doing 360's! He is a lot more motivated to be mobile than Anna was so I think he will crawl sooner. I'm pretty nervous for that day. I think he is going to get into EVERYTHING!! We were pretty lucky with Anna. She really only got into the dog food and water but was pretty good at staying out of other things.

Caleb has the cutest sense of humor. He loves to watch Anna play and laughs a lot when she throws toys around. He thinks Anna is hilarious! He laughs at the most random things too. I was putting bath toys away and squeezing water out of them and he just laughed and laughed. He is also very ticklish! He is a really happy baby and is always smiling at people. I love to go to the store with my kids and see just how many old people come talk to them! Anna introduces herself to everyone and Caleb flashes his most charming smiles! They crack me up!

Anna is 2 1/2 and very much a 2 year old! She wants to do everything herself and gets really upset if I pick something up off the floor for her. She throws it back on the ground and picks it up herself. She is a really good helper with Caleb though and likes to give him his pacifier or a toy when he's unhappy. She also still really likes to be held and cuddled, which I am glad of because she would never cuddle as a baby. Her favorite phrase: "I want mommy to hold you." She says some pretty funny things and gets words confused quite often. She uses her "brush teeth" before bed and likes to drink "nog egg"! The other day I was brushing her hair and she had tangles so she was crying. I asked her why she was crying and she said "because my hair hurts." Then I asked why her hair hurt and she said "because I need a drink!" Silly!

I love my two blue-eyed kiddos and feel so lucky to be their mother. I wouldn't trade this job for anything. They are both so sweet and teach me a lot. I know the Lord knows what he's doing!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I haven't been doing well at writing but it just seems like my life is so crazy lately! Yet at the same time I try to think about what I've been doing and I can't think of much. Caleb still hasn't been sleeping really well so I just feel like I'm in a fog a lot of the time. I feel like I'm behind on everything and really have to prioritize my time based around things I HAVE to get done. I have many sewing projects that are half done waiting on my sewing table and thinking about reading a book for pleasure seems laughable right now. I'm in the Primary presidency in my ward here and have been pretty busy with that lately.

One thing I have been thinking a lot about and reading sometimes is stuff on Motherhood. I know I have mentioned this a lot lately, but in the last few months I have really been trying to change my attitude about being a mother. When Anna was a baby I was always really frustrated because she didn't do things on MY schedule or MY way of thinking. As I've been reading the Dear Jane blog and other books and blogs I have realized that I have been a really selfish mother. I have had tears in my eyes many times as I have read the way other mothers teach their children always with love. Too often when things happen with my children I take things so personally and become angry and then I pull away. I'm trying to be better about understanding things from my children's' perspective instead of assuming that they think like I do.

I really have felt a lot more love for my children as I have tried to show more love and be more understanding. This way of mothering makes so much sense to me and really reflects the way I think our Savior would teach. I've read parenting books about natural consequences and other methods and they always seemed so formal and stiff to me. I love the way Jane talks about teaching and loving and helping children to learn to follow their own conscience rather than doing things because they fear the consequence. She also talks about how our world today is trying to make children grow up and be independent so early and they really don't need to. Is it really going to matter in the long scheme of things whether your baby learned to sleep on his own at 5 months or your toddler was potty trained before she was 2? I am learning that I don't need to rush my children into things and that I can just follow their lead.

The most important thing I am learning though is that there is no parenting method that will fit every child and the only parenting method that will always work is following the Spirit. The Lord know us and our children so well and if I will always seek him in prayer I know he will guide me in the best ways to teach and nurture my children. I am so thankful that I have the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I cannot imagine trying to raise my children in this world without the knowledge of Heavenly Father's plan. I know families are eternal and that is why it is so important to love them! I love my family!

These three are my life!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Anyone have sleep for sale?

So much for trying to blog every kids have been sick the past couple of weeks and life has been crazy. Anna gets whiney when she's sick but is otherwise a pretty happy camper, but Caleb has been a nightmare!! He has wanted to be held at all times, would barely eat, and would not stay asleep in his own bed. We seriously would get him to sleep like 3 times in a row only to hear him crying or playing in his bed 5 minutes later several times in the middle of the night. Finally we would just bring him to bed with us and he would finally sleep and we would still not.

Last Sunday I went to church on about 2 hours of sleep, which was rough, but then the horrible nights continued for about 5 more nights and it just got worse. I was definitely in survival mode most of last week, going through the motions of the day and sleeping (sort of) when the kids did. Finally on Friday I had a meltdown. I got Caleb to sleep and was lying by Anna for her nap. She will only take a nap if I lie down by her in bed and tell her to close her eyes and lie still until she falls asleep. Anna just kept wiggling and being silly and I just got more and more frustrated because I wanted to go to sleep too. I finally took her stuffed bear away because she kept playing with it and she started crying. Loudly. Which woke Caleb up. Which meant no nap for me. I lost it. I started crying, laid Caleb next to Anna, and went to my room and cried in my own bed for about 20 mins. Barrett came home and rescued us all a little while later, but I still didn't get a nap because the kids were awake and I can't sleep when they are awake.

Lets just say I wasn't proud of that moment. I have a hard time staying happy when I don't get enough sleep. My mom used to tell me to go take a nap when I was a teenager because I would get really grumpy because I was tired. I thought I had improved since then, but not getting enough sleep for several days in a row pushed the limit. I thought I was tired after having a baby, but it was nothing like this week. I was bone tired. I still haven't quite gotten caught up, but Caleb is finally sleeping at night and I'm starting to feel better. My house is like a tornado right now because I haven't had the energy to clean it, but hopefully this week will be much better!

Anyway, this post is mostly me venting I guess. Writing is truly therapeutic. I really do love my life and my role as a mother, but I never realized how difficult it can be. It truly is the most unselfish job there is and yet is so rewarding in little ways. When your baby lies in your arms and looks up with love and adoration, when your toddler says "I want Mommy to hold you" just because she wants to be loved and be with you, when your husband says "thanks for taking care of me" all the long nights and crazy days are worth it. I wouldn't trade my job as a mother for anything because I know that family is what matters most. I know that God has a plan for me and that plan involves being a mother and teaching my children about Him. As I write this I feel the Spirit confirming to me that this role is so important and is exactly what I should be doing right now. I definitely have many improvements to make in my nurturing, but I am trying hard to be the best mother I can be by following the teachings of the gospel.

Who couldn't love these faces?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lessons learned from Grandpa Robinson

Barrett's grandpa Wallace Clark Robinson passed away September 6th and we were fortunate to travel to Rexburg for the funeral. His grandpa lived in Newdale, Idaho most of his life and Barrett spent a lot of time up there growing up and then working on the farm when he was older. It was really touching for me to see how much he loved his grandpa. I have only known him a few years but I learned so much about him at his funeral.

Wally truly was an amazing man and did many incredible things in his life (such as start many businesses including the Wackee Six game) but there were several things talked about at his funeral that really hit home for me. Almost everyone that spoke at the funeral talked about how he never raised his voice, was very patient, and had an amazing ability to deal with whatever came his way. He made and lost several fortunes in his lifetime, but each time his attitude was that whatever comes we'll just deal with it.

I've really been thinking a lot lately about my role as a mother and how I can improve and learning about grandpa Robinson helped me realize some things I can change.

#1 don't worry so much! Grandpa had so much faith and always knew that if he was doing the best he could things would always work out. I need to have more faith like his.

#2 don't be in such a hurry. Grandpa was a hard worker and got things done, but when it came to working with people he was so patient. He was a good listener and let people figure things out on their own. I really need to improve in this area! I'm always telling Anna to hurry or not listening well to her because I'm trying to rush and do something.

#3 love your family and let them know it! Grandpa wasn't a man of a lot of words, but his family always knew he loved them. They were everything to him. He served in WWII and went AWOL for a few days after he married his wife because he couldn't bear to leave her.

I have never been a very affectionate person and I really hate that I'm not. I just read this amazing blog written by a friend of mine's aunt. She talks about bonding with babies and children and how important it is just to love them and give them affection. You can read it here. It almost made me cry to think that I have been following trends of the world that say babies need to learn to be independent and shouldn't be held and cuddled so much. I wish I would have read this when Anna was a baby!

I am really trying hard to be a better mother and follow the example of Barrett's grandpa. I also want to be more affectionate and just enjoy my children more. I worry too much about getting things done and even when I'm spending time with them I'm always thinking about other things I need to be doing. This is something I have struggled with for a long time. If anyone has any ideas of how to spend quality time with family and not worry so much about other things I am very open to suggestions!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blog Thoughts

I've been really inspired by many blogs that I've been reading lately. The written word has always been so powerful to me. I feel like my blog is nowhere near inspiring or probably even interesting for most people and I want to change that. I have been an avid journal writer for many years so most of my thoughts go in there instead of in my blog, but so many of my friends' blogs have influenced me that I feel like maybe if I am better at writing I can influence someone else for good as well. I feel like my blog needs to be more than sporadic updates of activities my family has done. I want it to be something that helps me think about things and express myself more freely. Maybe as I try to do this it will become easier and maybe I can inspire someone else along the way. That is one of the main reasons I do things on the internet. I want to uplift and help others just as I have been uplifted. Thank you to those faithful bloggers who put so much thought into what you write. Your words have helped me see things in different ways and have helped me want to be a better person (and a better blogger!)

Monday, August 30, 2010


We’ve had a pretty busy summer. Barrett had two months off after Caleb was born, which was really nice! It was so good to have him home while we adjusted to a new baby. He got pretty bored being home with us all the time, but he was such a good help and didn’t complain. He worked for a guy doing yard work for a few days and that helped him feel a little more useful. He made enough money to pay for our gas and stuff up to Idaho.

My loves!

At some Indian ruins

We went to Idaho for about 3 weeks in June. The kids were great on the drive up and did really well on our whole trip. We had a family reunion at Bear Lake with my mom’s family (Kemptons) and had a great time. There were lots of people that I hadn’t seen in a long time or had never met. We had a fun weekend of visiting, wading in the lake, and lots of laughing! We also had a reunion with Barrett’s immediate family and had a fun time with them. Barrett’s oldest sister Bethany and her husband weren’t able to come because her sister in law was in a bad car accident. We blessed Caleb while we were up there since our families were there. He was blessed June 27 in the Rexburg West Main ward by his daddy. Barrett’s brothers John and Jason were in the circle as well as my dad and brother Greg. It was a good trip and fun to be home in Rexburg and spend time with family. Barrett’s birthday was July 1 so we spent the day with family and left for home the next day.

Hanging out at Bear Lake

My family on Caleb's blessing day

Caleb in his blessing outfit

All of Barrett's family (except Bethany and TJ) after Caleb's blessing

On our way up to Idaho and the way back down we stayed at my grandparents’ house in Orem, UT. They are always so hospitable and kind to let us crash there. They also loved seeing Anna and Caleb and of course those two love their great grandparents. Family is wonderful and it hit me really hard on that trip how truly important it is to be close to family. I haven’t done really well at staying in touch with family members and am trying to be better about it. We are so blessed to have amazing technology to communicate with and I need to take advantage of it more often. It also hit me hard that I have been blessed with a wonderful heritage as I learned more about my mom’s parents and grandparents and spent time with my dad’s parents. I am so blessed and have amazing ancestors!

When we came back from Idaho we had a couple more weeks together as a family before Barrett started his summer internship at The Peaks skilled nursing center in Flagstaff. We didn’t do anything really big, but went on little hikes and things and just enjoyed being together. Barrett started his internship July 12 and did that for 5 weeks. It was a learning experience, but he didn’t really enjoy it. His clinical instructor was not very good to work with and made things difficult for him, but he survived. The schedule there was nice though. He usually had to be there at 7 am but was usually home in the afternoon before 4 so it was nice to spend time with him in the afternoons. He finished his time there and then had 2 weeks off before he started school today. Once again we just enjoyed spending time together and going on walks or hikes. We also went to the Snowflake temple, which was really nice. It was our 4th anniversary August 25 and our friends came over and watched the kids so we could go out to dinner. It was nice and so good to reflect on our relationship. Barrett is so good to me!

At Lake Mary in Flagstaff

My brother Greg left on his mission July 14 and is going to the Philippines Bacolod mission. He is still in the MTC but leaves in about 2 weeks. He is doing really well and will be a great missionary! We have had the elders assigned to our ward over to eat a couple of times and have had lessons on missionary work so Anna understands what Uncle Greg is doing. She is such a smarty. If we ask her now what missionaries do she says “Dey teach people da gospel!” She loves to point out the missionaries at church.

Just before Caleb was born I got called to be the 1st counselor in the Primary presidency in my ward. It was a really overwhelming call for me since I haven’t worked with children. I was really nervous about teaching sharing time and stuff and was scared of the kids! But the Lord truly helps those he has called and things are going well. I taught sharing time the whole month of July and really enjoyed it. I have really learned to love the children and am learning a lot from this calling. Barrett has been wonderful to help me with anything and watch the kids when I have meetings etc. I also planned the activity day this month. We played pioneer games at a park and had a fun time.

Anna and Caleb are both growing up so much! Anna’s big thing this summer was getting potty trained. I really lucked out because she picked it up really fast. We did a sticker chart and she filled in up in about 2 weeks and did really great. We are still working on the number 2 a little bit, but we found out that marshmallows are really motivating for her so that has helped. It’s so nice to not have 2 kids in diapers! My favorite comment from Anna: I asked what she had been doing when she was playing in her room and she said “I was dust pooping myself.” Lovely.

Anna loves to hike!

Caleb is growing like a weed! He is almost 4 months old now! He is such a smiley baby and loves to smile at anyone who will give him attention. He also laughs quite a bit and it is really cute. He can roll over from his front to back and can sit up for a few seconds on his own. Caleb is very strong and loves to stand straight up. He has the most beautiful blue eyes and is just a handsome little guy. He is a big momma’s boy though and cries almost nonstop when I leave him with Barrett. Poor guy!

Sorry this is such a long update. I’ll try not to wait so long in the future!

Friday, May 14, 2010

He's Here!

Our sweet baby Caleb Craig Gibson arrived May 6, 2010 at 4:02 am! I was scheduled for an induction at 5:00 am, but he didn't want to wait for that! He weighed 7 lbs 12 oz and was 21 inches long. He is tall and skinny like his daddy! He has lots of dark hair and has big hands and feet with long fingers and toes. I'll put a few pictures in this post, but there are lots on Facebook.

So here's the story: Wednesday morning Barrett finished his last final and we all sighed a big sigh of relief that he got to finish before the baby came. I had an appointment that afternoon at 2:30 and the Dr said I was dilated 3 to 3 1/2 cm. He swept my membranes and we scheduled an induction for the next morning. We wanted one because Barrett had seminars all of this past week that he could not miss, but the Dr didn't really tell us why he wanted to induce me. We are just assuming he was afraid the baby would be too big since Anna weighed 8 lbs 4 oz and was 9 days early! Oh well, we don't have to worry about it since I didn't have to be induced anyway.

I started getting contractions not long after my appointment, but I had been having them for over a week already so I didn't think much of it. Around dinner time I realized that they were coming pretty regularly so decided I was probably in labor. It was so weird to me though because they were so different than the contractions I had with Anna. I was in labor for 23 hours total with Anna and it was difficult almost the whole time. This time I had regular contractions and I knew I was in labor, but they weren't hard enough for me to have to breathe through them or stop what I was doing. It was a beautiful evening so we went for a walk in the woods for a while. I was able to walk around without pausing for contractions or anything. It felt so good to be out and walking!

Originally we had planned for a ward member to come over early in the morning and wait for Anna to wake up while we went to the hospital for the induction, but since I was already having contractions we took Anna to their house to spend the night instead. A few hours later I was very very grateful that we were inspired to do that. Barrett and I went to bed pretty late, don't ask me why, but I was able to doze for a couple of hours while I was still having regular but not too painful contractions. I woke up around 2:15 am because my contractions were getting harder. I lay in bed and breathed through them for about 20 minutes and tried to decide if I needed to wake Barrett up or not. Just as I decided I probably should wake him up I started to get really shaky and shivery. I woke Barrett and told him I thought we better hurry up and get to the hospital as I was uncontrollably shaking in bed. He threw on his clothes and dressed me and we hurried to the car (as fast as I could while in labor!).

I was getting really worried that we weren't going to make it to the hospital, even though it is only about half a mile from our house! We made it just fine and they already had a room ready for me since I was supposed to be there for my induction 2 hours later. The nurse got me hooked up to the monitors and asked if I was wanting an epidural. I looked at her and thought to myself, "do you really think there is even time for that" as I told her no. Then she checked me and I was already dilated to an 8! The doctor was quickly called and Caleb was born almost exactly an hour after we arrived at the hospital. I couldn't believe how fast everything happened. I only had hard contractions for about 2 hours before he was born! Talk about a night and day experience from delivering Anna. It was also very different because I delivered with a midwife with Anna and was able to be in a different position that allowed gravity to help me push her out. It was really hard delivering on my back like the doctors always make people. But it still only took me about 3 pushes and 5 minutes before he was out. I was so happy to have him here!

I just kept looking at Caleb and smiling because he was so beautiful and perfect. He is such a good baby! He is so alert and loves to look around at everything. He hardly cries and is just such a cutie. My mom and two of my sisters came down the next day and were waiting at my apartment when I got home from the hospital. It was so good to be home. I missed Anna and Barrett while I was in the hospital! It was so fun to have my family here for a week and so wonderful to have their help. I cried when they left this morning! My house seemed so lonely today. My mom is the best!

My Grandma and Grandpa Andersen stopped by on their way through Flagstaff

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Anna's 2nd Birthday!

This post is mostly dedicated to Anna since she turned 2 on the 19th. We didn't do anything really exciting for her birthday, mostly just had cake and presents. Barrett was at school all day, but my sister Rachel was here visiting. We had just moved to a new apartment in our complex that is bigger so we just enjoyed the day instead of worrying about cleaning and organizing. Anna got to play outside for a little while and then spent most of the afternoon in her room because she wouldn't take a nap forever! I was so frustrated with her because I wanted her to have a fun day and she ended up spending hours in her bedroom! She finally went to sleep when I lay down on her floor next to her bed. Anna really is the sweetest little girl, she is just such a sleep fighter.

Playing outside on her birthday

She loves collecting rocks and pine cones in her bucket

When Barrett came home we let Anna open her presents. She got spoiled as she got presents from both grandparents and Aunt Miriam as well as us. I think she actually got tired of opening them! She played for a while and then we ate dinner and had cake. She was so cute when we sang to her and sang along. It was so good to see her so happy! She got one candle blown out on her own, but needed a little help with the second one. Then we enjoyed some yummy bunny cake!


Cute girl!

I just want to list some things about Anna for my own record. This is in no way supposed to be a brag list! I just want to list some of her funny quirks and abilities and interests as a 2 year old. I haven't taken her to the doctor yet, but she weighs about 26 lbs and is about 34 inches tall (I think). I can't believe how much she has grown in the last few months. She's growing out of all her clothes!
  • Anna LOVES books and looks through them all day long. She loves to be read to, but she is very content just to flip through the pages on her own. She has no interest in board books anymore because she can't flip the pages. She loves the Friend magazine.
  • Anna also loves singing and knows so many songs. I can't believe how quickly she picks up songs. Barrett and I performed at his sister Bethany's wedding reception and Anna knew almost all the words to the songs we sang. She also listens to primary songs when she goes to sleep and we often hear her singing along when she's supposed to be sleeping! Some of her favorite songs are I am a Child of God, Horsey Horsey, How Much is That Doggie, and the Little House in the Woods.
  • Anna really likes to count things. She can count to 10 on her own and is constantly counting her toys and things in books. She is also learning her colors and likes to point them out. She also asks me a lot, "What color is this, Mommy?"
  • Anna is such a good talker and I take it for granted often how well she expresses herself. We've really been working on getting her to ask for things nicely instead of whining or crying. It is so cute when she's been crying to hear her say "Please, Mommy. Can I have some milk?" through her tears. Her latest thing that she does many many times a day is walk up to me and say "Hi Mommy! Whatcha doing?" often over and over again. It's pretty cute.
  • Anna's hair is getting so long and pretty. I love how it has natural curl at the bottom. She is so good about letting me do her hair and holding still. Sometimes we sing songs or I let her look at books, but she does really well for the most part. I think she likes getting her hair done because it bothers her when it gets in her face. She keeps getting new little bangs growing in, so I have to use lots of little rubber bands to keep it back.
  • Anna has become quite the little helper lately. She loves to help me stir things in the kitchen and loves to stand on a chair and "help" me do the dishes aka fill up cups and dump the water out. Sometimes if I am cooking she comes in and says "Mommy, I need to do the dishes." Whenever she wants something it's always "I need" this or that. Pretty funny.
  • Anna really likes to be outside and asks me constantly to put her shoes on so she can go out. It is so nice that we have a balcony outside the dining room in our new apartment because I can just let her play on that while I am doing other things and she still feels like she's outside. She loves to go for walks and collect rocks and pine cones.

The little helper! She loves to help me sweep, cook, and do dishes. If it would only last!