Monday, January 1

Ringing in Twenty-Eighteen!

Happy New Year! As is common after coming off the holiday sugar highs, I have some lofty goals and new habits I want to make happen in my life. Unfortunately, I’m not good very good at incorporating big changes. My New Years Resolutions usually don't last past January 3rd.

Several years back, a friend shared that she sets a theme each year to help keep her overall goal in mind. I want to try setting a theme for my year and have my specific resolutions help me achieve that theme into my life. Confession time: more and more over the past couple years, I have felt tired, overwhelmed, worn out, and frequently just plain bummed out. I need to make some changes to get my mind and body strong and healthy again, so my theme for 2018 will be “Healthy.”

Although I struggle with incorporating big changes, I still like to set goals and try my best to become better. Accountability is key, so I'm putting these out there so I have to stick with them!
  1. Cut out all soda from my diet. For those who know me, my bubbly drink is truly part of my identity and I almost always have one with me. Keep me accountable! If you catch me with one in 2018, I owe you $5.
  2. Drink 80 oz of water each day. That's right, my Hydroflask will become my new accessory and identity instead of the soda!
  3. Take my vitamins more consistently. Yay for nutrients my body needs and probably misses.
  4. Exercise 5 days/week. Ugh, I hate working out so this one is gonna be hard!
  5. Track my meals and snacks in an app, and no more snacking after 9 pm.
  6. Limit my screen time to 90 minutes or less each day. This includes scrolling social media on my phone, watching Netflix, etc.
  7. Write at least 3 things I'm grateful for each day. I want to do this on Instagram, but it might be more realistically be pictureless and written sloppily in my bedside journal right before falling asleep.
  8. Do something nice for my family every day. On purpose.
There we have it – my 8 new goals plus a theme. I truly believe twenty-eighteen is gonna be a great year!

Wednesday, September 27

Preschool Interviews

These two cute kids started preschool this week! They go to the same class but alternate days; it's been so fun to hear them talk to each other about activities they enjoy, how they love their teacher, and the fun things in the classroom.

To document this stage of their lives, here's are their answers to some questions:


Interview with A

He is so intelligent and his answers to questions like these are so precise and consistent. Weighing in at 39 lbs and standing 44 inches tall, here are his answers:

What is your name?
Aiden Shaughnessy

How old are you? 
4

When is your birthday? 
December 29

What is your favorite color? 
Teal

What is your favorite food? 
Mac mac and pizza

What is your favorite movie or show? 
Paw Patrol

What is your favorite book? 
My body book and my space book

What is your favorite sport? 
Riding my bike

What is your favorite animal? 
Giraffes

What is your favorite activity? 
Wrestling with dad and playing magnet game

What is your favorite subject at school? 
Painting and math

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
An astronaut who goes to space

Who is your preschool teacher? 
Miss Harper

What is your school called? 
Little Tigers!



Interview with E

Her responses are always so enthusiastic and she is so talkative! Weighing in at 39 lbs full of personality and standing at 39½ inches tall, here is what she had to say:

What is your name?
Ellie Krisy Shaughnessy

How old are you? 
3!!

When is your birthday? 
Ummm I don't remember. (Hint: Juh...) Oh yeah! July 10!!

What is your favorite color? 
It was purple but now I think it's pink.

What is your favorite food? 
Cereal!

What is your favorite movie or show? 
Princess shows, like "Jasmind"

What is your favorite book? 
I always like princess ones.

What is your favorite sport? 
Riding my bike and running fast.

What is your favorite animal? 
Elephants!

What is your favorite activity? 
Playing mermaid, and playing with my kitchen and princess castle.

What is your favorite subject at school? 
Painting and doing pictures.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
A princess!

Who is your preschool teacher? 
Miss Emily! Oops, I mean Miss Harper!!

What is your school called? 
Little Tigers!

Tuesday, August 29

Family Photos

We had family photos done when my friend Callie came to visit! She's incredible and I love how they all turned out!!



















Saturday, November 26

Kid Interviews

Some friends have recently mentioned asking their kids some questions and writing down their unprompted answers. I thought it sounded like fun so we gave it a shot!


Interview with A

With each question I asked A, he answered precisely and in a matter-of-fact tone. I love how logical he is. Here are his answers:

What is your name? 
Aiden Shaughnessy

How old are you? 
3

When is your birthday? 
December 29. Is it my birthday today?!

How old is Mom?
31... wait, 32!

How old is Dad? 
He's just 31

What is your favorite color? 
Tan today. Yesterday it was green, tomorrow it's gonna be pink.

What is your favorite food? 
Mac mac and chicken nuggets

Who is your best friend? 
Ellie and Giraffey (his stuffed animal)

What is your favorite movie or show? 
Rescue Bots (Transformers)

What is your favorite song? 
Follow the Prophet

What is your favorite animal? 
Giraffe

What are you scared of? 
Monsters

Where is your favorite place to go? 
The park

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
An astronaut


Interview with E

Meanwhile, every question I asked E was answered with enthusiasm and included gestures and dancing. Her reactions made me laugh. Here's what she had to say:

What is your name? 
Ellie Shaughnessy

How old are you? 
I 2!! *holds up two fingers and begins dancing around*

When is your birthday? 
July 10! My birthday! My BIRTHDAY!!

How old is Mom?
31 (pronounced firdy-one)

How old is Dad? 
31, like mommy's 31!

What is your favorite color? 
Purple my favorite color!

What is your favorite food?
Grapes. And banas! (banana) I want a bana!!

Who is your best friend? 
Aiden. Actually mommy!

What is your favorite movie or show? 
Einsteins! And George Monkey!

What is your favorite song? 
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down!!

What is your favorite animal?
Cushion dog

What are you scared of? 
Silly things and *looking at the clock on the wall* ummmm some clocks...

Where is your favorite place to go? 
Costco! And Target!! And M-store!

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
Anna! *begins singing* Let it go, let it goooo!!!!

I love their personalities! They are both so different and fun in their own way. I especially love watching their little friendship and realizing they both contribute so much to each other because of their differences. I love being their mom!

Wednesday, June 29

A at 3½

3½ is looking pretty handsome today!


His stats are:
  • Weight: 34.2 lbs.
  • Height: 40 inches
  • Diaper Size:100% Potty Trained!
  • Clothing Size: Almost too tall for a lot of 3T but too skinny to wear 4T.
  • Likes: Repeating letters to spell words, counting to 20, playing all sorts of silly games with E.
  • Dislikes: Being tired, being hungry, when things aren't his idea.
This little guy is a whirlwind of energy, fun, and naughtiness all rolled into one! In the past few months, he has become more daring and loves to climb on everything, jump off anything, and run around everywhere. He loves going to the park, the beach, and taking walks along the trail by our house.

As much as I'm amazed by his excessive amounts of energy, I'm even more impressed by his cleverness! He can write his name and recently enjoys practicing writing his letters. He also knows the phonetic sounds of most letters and tries to sound out words he sees. He also wants to spell basic words, but still needs a bit of guidance to piece the whole word together.

He also loves numbers! He can count over 100 and quizzes us constantly with basic addition and subtraction. Although most equations we do deal with numbers under ten, I've been surprised at how easily his brain grasps the concept of math.

His memory is also really impressive. We can briefly show him a picture of multiple items and he remembers most of them once we take it away, but also still remembers it hours later! He talks about books or conversations we've had months ago. Unfortunately, his wittiness and his memory contribute to helping him be surprisingly good at lying, especially to avoid getting out of trouble!

Another thing that has been a challenge with his intelligence is keeping him engaged. He loved reading when he was little but has recently seemed bored with it. A couple months ago, I invested in some science-topic books geared for 5-8 year olds, and it's been great to see his interest in reading spark back up. His favorite is what he calls "the brain book" because it talks about all the different parts of the body and their functions, and his favorite of all is the page about the brain.

His love of science jumped another notch when he discovered "The Magic School Bus" on Netflix. I remember watching that show as a kid, several years older than him! It's so cute to watch him loving something I liked as a kid, and it's fun having 3-year-old conversations about how white blood cells fight bacteria or what happens to your food after you eat it.

Speaking of eating, he is constantly hungry! He needs to eat a decent amount of food every two hours or else he gets "hangry" and throws some threenager tantrums! Luckily, he's a good eater and gets less picky as he gets older.

He is a sweet big brother and tells everyone E is his best friend. When they play at the park, he will refuse to play with other kids and only want to play with her. He loves to boss her around and has had some struggles recently as she is becoming more independent. He is also very competitive and doesn't like if she does anything first or faster than him. But she absolutely adores him and they play together all day long.

He has a very tender, kind side to his personality. Although he has recently become energetic and naughtier than usual, I am continually impressed with his awareness and sensitivity. When I have a rough day, he gives the sweetest hugs and tells me cute little things that always help me smile.

When we moved to Michigan this summer, I was very curious how well he would adapt to the change and living in an almost-empty apartment. He has done really well and has made the transition better and more fun for E too. He loves sunbeams here and hasn't been nervous at all about having an entirely new class {although it probably helps that his class is a big group of all boys!} He also loves to shout "hello" to any of the neighbors we pass in the apartment complex and says hi to strangers in the store. It's been fun to watch him blossom socially.

He is such an amazing little guy and I'm so grateful to be his mom. I love watching all the ways he's developing and progressing into a wonderful little person.

Monday, May 9

Summer Internship in Kalamazoo

Ever since selling our home and livin' the grad school dream (aka tight budget and itty bitty living space!), our life has felt much more like an adventure. And this summer, we're embarking on the biggest adventure we've experienced yet.

M was offered a fantastic internship with Eaton and they are sending us to Kalamazoo, Michigan for the summer. Because it's short term, we are renting a small apartment and only taking what we can fit in our car to take with us (loaded as full as we can pack it in!) This means we'll be sleeping on air mattresses and eating meals at a folding table. It's a 23-ish hour drive. We're calling it our "Summer Adventure" and the kids are ecstatic! Please keep those fingers crossed and wish us luck!




Sunday, January 17

Sunbeam Boy and Nursery Girl

I don't know why they decided to pull faces when I got the camera out... but these two cuties had an exciting Sunday!


We've had at least one sickie the past two Sundays, so today was A's first chance to go to his new Sunbeams church class!! He was so excited and did great! His old Nursery teachers got "upgraded" to stay with the class, so he seemed perfectly comfortable with the transition!

And in other big news, E is now officially a Nursery girl! It was her first day of class today and she did really well!! I was nervous for her because she's never been away from at least one of us for that long—she always has A with her when she's been babysat. I think it was strange for her to be all on her own, but she was really proud of herself when I came to pick her up.

Oh and I actually got to listen to the lessons in my classes! It's been a fantastic day for all of us!

Tuesday, December 29

Happy 3rd Birthday A!!

I am constantly amazed at how grown up this boy has gotten! He is incredibly witty and fun, and I'm so grateful to have him as part of our family!


We kept his birthday pretty simple this year because almost all of his little friends are ones we've met here through M's MBA program... and a lot of families went out of town for the school's Christmas break. But he always says that E is his very best friend, so I think he was perfectly fine just celebrating with family.




We also had a little party in Idaho with my family and another little party here with M's family. Three parties for a 3-year-old seems like a pretty perfect deal. All in all, I think he had a fantastic time!

A at 3 Years

I love this handsome little guy so much and can't believe he's already THREE!!


His 3-year-old stats are:
  • Weight: 31.5 lbs.
  • Height: 39 inches
  • Diaper Size: 97% Potty Trained!
  • Clothing Size: Tall for his 2T clothes but his 3T stuff is a bit baggy.
  • Likes: Repeating letters to spell words, counting to 20, playing all sorts of silly games with E.
  • Dislikes: Being tired, being told what to do.
He is such a clever boy! I love watching him work on things and see his eyes light up as he solves his projects. He still enjoys doing puzzles and lately has been doing amazing well at large 24-piece jigsaw puzzles lately!

He has also found a love of building with blocks, particularly with his Legos. He has always loved organizing, playing by sorting his toys into lines and patterns, so it's been fun to watch his methodical habits transform into creating well-planned, symmetrical towers and buildings. I've started to wonder if he'll grow up to be an architect!


Recently, he has also started showing more interest in art projects. It's been fun for me to spend time drawing or coloring together. He especially loves painting and is fascinated in what colors are made by mixing together other colors. He doesn't draw particular things, such as people or toys, but his artwork is always a specific arrangement/lines/patterns of colors in a systematic version of creativity.


For Christmas, Santa brought our family two new iPad Minis. I am amazed at his ability to navigate the apps as well as his skill level with any of the preschool apps!

Speaking of preschool, we decided to get A involved in a little co-op group with our MBA friends. It is music based and the moms take turns teaching simple topics such as the seasons, shapes and colors, etc. It has been really fun to help A socialize and get involved with other kids, but one of his favorite parts is that E gets to come and sit right next to him each week! It's so cute to watch them make new friends together.



He loves to spell small words, he knows how to spell the names of our family as well as a few other short ones such as "no," "go," and "stop." He constantly wants to know how to spell more words but doesn't fully understand how to figure it out phonetically, so he will ask us how to spell more difficult words and then repeats the letters proudly.


Our MBA friends also organized a kid's soccer league, so A played on a soccer team this fall that M helped co-coach with another dad. It was so much fun to watch. He loved practice and I think it was because it was fun for each kid to have their own ball, running around and kicking it together. But as soon as the actual game started, A didn't like having to compete with everyone to get the one ball on the field. Most games, he would come sit with E and I on the sidelines and refuse to play. A couple times, he willingly gave it a try but came out crying within the first few minutes because someone pushed or kicked him. Yet by the time the team treats came out at the end of each game, he was suddenly happy to be on the team again.




As E has continually become more and more fun, he continues to develop into such a fantastic big brother. He loves to tease her but is also very protective of her when anyone else is around. He also loves to make up silly games and includes her in everything, to the point that sometimes he causes problems by demanding she play his games constantly.





This has been a really busy time for our family with M going back to school, and selling our home and moving to a small apartment. I was worried about all the changes, particularly how A would handle them,  but he has done really well adjusting to the move to Provo. He and E now share a room and they LOVE it. Each night, it takes at least an hour for them to fall asleep because they're busy giggling and playing together. I feel like it has really helped their friendship blossom in ways it never would have before.

The world fascinates him! Although sometimes it makes me crazy that he asks a million questions each day, it's fun to see the world through his eyes. He is my little shadow and also enjoys being involved around the house. He takes great pride in being a helper!


He has been so excited for his birthday! He really loves numbers and counting, so it's become a big deal to him that he'll be three because he's starting to realize that bigger numbers means growing bigger too. He's so cute and I love seeing how logically he grasps concepts.

I love being his mom and he is growing up to be such a sweet, smart and helpful little boy! We are so lucky to have him in our family.

Friday, December 25

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas season has been so much fun! A & E both loved seeing the Christmas lights everywhere and their excitement made the holiday seem magical.



When we went to see Santa, they were both nervous. A tried really hard to be brave and sat on Santa's lap like a big kid; E, on the otherhand, couldn't conquer her fear and was terrified when we tried to give her to Santa!


A comprehends the basics of things like the story of Baby Jesus as well as Santa Claus, but I'm grateful he is still sweet and unselfish in what gifts he wants—all he wanted was "the Hippo Game." And I especially loved how he was thrilled and grateful when Santa brought it for him!


This year, we decided to follow an idea where the kids ask for four items: something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. I love the simplicity of this idea and allowed us to talk more about gifts to get for other people rather than constantly thinking of more and more toys they want for themselves. It turned out that the majority of their gifts were from each other and it was fun to teach them about the joy of giving instead of receiving. As we mommas do, I worried it would seem like a sparce Christmas morning but the kids seemed to think it was great and didn't seem as overwhelmed by all the new stuff like they have in the past.








We still managed to fit in our annual trip to Temple Square, although this year we did it on Christmas Day instead of Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, it was below freezing and soooo cold!! But it still helped us remember the real meaning of Christmas.


I'm so grateful to have this cute little family to share the holiday season with!