Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I have been exclusively pumping breast milk for my son since he was about 3 months old, and I exclusively breastfed him up till that time. For some reason he went on a nursing strike at about 2 ½ months and never started nursing again no matter what I tried. I had the help of a lactation specialist. I read every blog and article I could find about breastfeeding and nursing strikes. They all told me to just be patient and usually after a week or so my baby should go back to nursing normally. Well I waited, and was as patient with him as I could be, and after 3 weeks of every nursing session ending with both of us in tears, I gave up! I realized that he was never going to nurse happily again. We both were miserable, my husband and daughter were unhappy because my son and I were always stressed and crying. It just wasn’t going to work anymore.

I was really upset about it for a while. I had wanted it to work out so bad. I felt like I had failed him and myself. I cried almost every day for a week. I missed my time with him. That was the one thing that only I could give him. When everything was going good, it was my favorite time of the day. I did not want to give it up, but I also didn’t want to keep stressing about it.

 I was only able to nurse my daughter for 6 weeks before I had to give it up with her. I was so determined that I would make it work no matter what. But that apparently was not the plan.

I thought long and hard about what I was going to do now. I knew we couldn’t really afford formula, and I just didn’t want him to have it. I didn’t have any problems producing milk at all! I had way more than he needed.
I had read an article about a woman who was pumping exclusively for her baby. At that point she had been doing it well over a year! So after reading up on it some more, I decided that I would give it a try. If it became too much or too stressful, I told myself I would stop.

Then I became determined to make this work. I had failed at being able to nurse my son for his first year, so I had to make this work! I was a stay at home mom now, I didn’t need to deal with pumping at work. I could totally do it, right?!

Well it definitely wasn’t easy, but I am proud to say that I did it! On June 4th my baby boy will be turning a year old and I am still pumping!

In the beginning, when I was pumping every 2 hours, I felt like it was taking over my life. I had to plan everything around when I could pump. Then I would remind myself that I would have to do the same even if I was still nursing, so what’s the big deal!

I couldn’t think about how much longer I had to this for or I would get so discouraged. I took it day by day, and learned new tricks as I went. I am very proud of myself for sticking with it and not giving up! But I can honestly say I won’t miss it at all!

I hate pumping. There is really nothing to like about it. The only good thing is that my son is getting my milk, that is made for him, instead of formula and it has saved us a ton of money! But that is about it. And as the last pumping day nears, I can’t help thinking about all of the things I will get to do and enjoy again without the burden of pumping numerous times a day.

  • I get to wear a normal bra. The word hate does not accurately describe how I feel about nursing bras! They are so expensive and yet they are still so uncomfortable and as unflattering as a cheap sports bra. And you even have to wear a “sleep bra” at night! The first thing I am going to do is go buy me a couple new, comfortable bras and throw away my nursing bra. Because if for some reason I decide I want to have another child in a few years, I can guarantee I won’t be able to fit into that one again!

  • No more leaking. I can’t wait until I no longer have to wear those dumb nursing pads. No more waking up in the morning with a big wet circle on my shirt because I forgot to put the pads back in the terrible sleep bra.

  • I won’t have to plan my entire day around when I have to pump. My days will be mine again! The only thing I’ll be scheduling around will be my son’s nap times. If I want to be gone all day long, I can be.

  • I can go to bed earlier and sleep later. I always have to pump before I go to bed. And now that I am only pumping three times a day, I have to pump for 35-45 minutes or even longer sometimes. Now I’ll be able to go to bed an hour earlier, and sleep in as long as the kids let me.

  • I can take any medication I want. No more having to worry about whether it’s bad for my son. I can take all the decongestants, pain pills, and cough syrups I want.

  • I’ll have more time to exercise. Unfortunately, for me, it has not been easy losing weight. The milk making has not been enough for me to keep the weight off. But all of my free time has been dedicated to pumping. Now I won’t have an excuse not to exercise.

  • I’ll never have to look at my pump stuff again! I think the day I can put all of my pumping stuff away and not have to look at it every day will be cause for a celebration!

If you’re a pumping momma and need some tips, you can read my post about how to make pumping work for you here. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Bucket List

Everyone has one. Even if you've never actually written it down, you most likely have a list of things you want to try or do and places you would like to visit. 

So, today I have finally decided to put mine down on paper and hopefully one day be able to cross them off! I am going to share with you all my top 5 on my bucket list.

1.    Visit Ireland- I have always been fascinated with the beautiful, mystical castles in Ireland. Ever since I found out that most of my name comes from the Irish, I have wanted to take a trip there. The beautiful colors, and waters. It seems it would be such a magical place to visit. 


photo from google images

2.     Alaskan Cruise- I have always wanted to go on a cruise and I want to visit Alaska, so why not kill two birds with one stone! I love the beauty of Alaska. It’s, for the most part, untouched by humans. And it is also pretty isolated, which suits me well since I’m not a big fan of crowds. And I mostly just want to go on a cruise to say that I have!

photo-google images

3.    The Northern Lights- Okay, really, who doesn’t want to see the Northern Lights? This has been my dream since I first heard about it when I was a kid. I don’t think I need to explain much why this is on my top 5!

photo-google images

4.     Whale Migration- Seeing the Humpback Whale Migration in Hawaii would be amazing. There is nothing more awe-inspiring than watching nature at its finest. It would be so awesome to be able to witness that first hand!

photo-google images

5.    Yellowstone- In case you couldn’t tell, I love nature! Being able to see the Earth like this and see the animals in their real habitat would be so great! I know that many people have visited Yellowstone many times, but this would be a huge deal if my family could go here!

photo-google images

Well, there you have it! My top 5 on my bucket list. This is the first time I have ever put it in writing and it has definitely made me want to make sure that someday I can say I have seen all of them! 

What are some of the things on your bucket lists? Anyone have the same as mine?

I would love to hear everyone else’s lists, and maybe any you have been able to cross off! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Family Craft Day-DIY Sharpie Mugs

Our family has started a new tradition where all of the women get together and do something crafty once a month. We each take turns hosting and coming up with a craft to do. It has been a lot of fun and we have done many different crafts!

Well March was my month to host a craft, and after searching for something cheap and easy to do, my friend and fellow blogger Daniela at Put a Bird On It posted about an awesome DIY sharpie mug! I loved this idea and thought it would be perfect for my craft day! It's super cheap and so easy even my four year old could do it!!!

I told everyone to bring a mug and I provided some sharpies in many colors. I also made sure to have some paper available for everyone to practice what they wanted to draw first. 

It was super easy and everyone had a lot of fun personalizing their own mugs. It only cost me about $10 for two packs of sharpies and some alcohol wipes. (The alcohol wipes worked great for cleaning before hand since there were quite a few of us, and for erasing mistakes or smudges!) 

After everyone drew on their mugs we put them all together and took some pictures. Then I told them all the instructions for baking their mugs at home. (It would have taken a little too long for them to stay and do it at my house.)

I love the way they all turned out! We have some very talented women in our family! I am so glad that I found this craft idea at Put a Bird On It!

My daughter had a lot of fun doing this craft! I bet you can't pick out which one belongs to her!

 For the full tutorial on how to make your own sharpie mug visit Daniela's post here!

Monday, March 31, 2014

My Life Changing Decision!

It's been a little while since I have posted anything. For the last month I have been focusing primarily and me and my family. We have had a lot going on and I felt that my mind and attention needed to be with them. Although the changes are not quite over yet!

The biggest, and probably the best, thing that has happened is that I got baptized in the LDS Church! This was a big step for me. I have always had a more agnostic view when it came to religion. My parents allowed me believe whatever I chose to. But I never really seriously thought about it much. 

My family is a mix a religious and non-religious people but have been supportive in my decision. My husband's family are mostly all active members, but have never pressured me. Although they have offered to bring me along to church if I ever decided to go. 

One day my Sister-in-law gave our info to the missionaries after having them over for dinner one evening. She told me she thought, after giving them our info, she would just leave it at that and whatever happens, happens. So, of course they showed up at our house one afternoon, and told us some members in the Magna ward sent them.So we immediately knew who that was! At this point my husband was considered "inactive" because it had been awhile since he had gone to church. They asked if they could set a time to come back and just talk and get to know us. Jake reluctantly agreed, since we were, at first, a little irritated. We knew now that they knew where we lived there would be no way they would leave us alone again! 

We had a couple meetings and I agreed to continue and at least listen to their teachings. I figured the best way to really decide for myself was to learn and make an educated decision. So we continued meeting with the Sister Missionaries once a week, and every time they would bring over someone from the ward for us to meet. 

I think it was after the third meeting that they came and told me they wanted to set a goal date to work towards me getting baptized. I was kind of shocked that they were talking about me getting baptized already! I had only been to church once and I was a little uncertain. And the date they picked was only about 6 weeks away! But I agreed to set the day as a goal, and if I didn't feel okay with it when that day came I could always push it back or just say no. 

However, as it came closer to that day, I had decided that I was okay with it. I had finally decided that this was what I needed. I finally felt like I belonged somewhere and that I had a purpose. I have always felt like I didn't belong and recently I had been feeling like I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing with my life. Like I was just kind of coasting along. But after going to church a few times and meeting the wonderful people in our ward, I finally felt that I was in the right place.

So I was baptized on Saturday, March 15th, 2014 by my wonderful and supportive Husband! Almost the whole ward showed up, as well as a few of my family and friends that I invited. It was a wonderful experience, and I am so happy that I was able to share it with my Husband. 

We have been to church every Sunday since, and I can definitely tell the difference in my family. I feel that we are all happier and my Husband and I have become closer. I am so thankful for all of the support and encouragement I have received from all of my family and friends. And I am so thankful for all of my new friends and my ward family!  

Friday, February 28, 2014

Peanut Butter Lover's Day

Peanut Butter Lovers Day is  Saturday, March 1st!
This is definitely a day to celebrate! I love peanut butter! Reese’s peanut butter cups are my absolute favorite candy!

So I’m going to share my favorite ways to eat peanut butter. First is my favorite dessert centered around the delicious staple.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Trifle

I think the name says it all. This is the most delectable dessert dish I have ever made. It combines peanut butter, brownies, whipped cream and pudding. You really can’t get any better than that. But, boy is it rich. Just a small serving and you feel like you've eaten a whole carton of ice cream or something.
The first time I made this for a family function everyone went crazy for it! I made it for our July 4th party and have been asked to make it every year since. There is rarely anything left by the end of the night.
I am going to share with you all, this delicious, heavenly recipe!

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Trifle
1 Fudge Brownie mix (13x9 pan size)
1 pkg. (10 oz.) Peanut Butter Chips
2 pkgs (13 oz. each) Miniature peanut butter cups

4 cups cold 2% milk
2 pkgs (5.1 oz. each) instant vanilla pudding
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tsp vanilla extract
3 cartons (8 oz. each) frozen whipped topping, thawed.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare brownie batter according to package directions; stir in peanut butter chips. Bake in greased 13x9 baking pan 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out with moist crumbs (do not over bake). Cool on wire rack; cut into ¾ inch pieces.
Cut peanut butter cups in half; set aside 1/3 cup for garnish. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes (mixture will be thick). Add peanut butter and vanilla, mix well. Fold in 1-1/2 cartons of whipped topping.
Place 1/3 of brownies on bottom of a 5qt glass trifle dish, top with 1/3 remaining peanut butter cups. Spoon 1/3 pudding mixture over the top. Repeat layers twice. Cover with remaining whipped topping and; garnish with reserved peanut butter cups. Refrigerate until chilled.

Next up are my top 5 snack ideas using Peanut Butter.
         *Warning: Many of these would not be considered “healthy” snacks, but more of a treat to be eaten occasionally!

1              Peanut butter/chocolate chip dip: Just take a spoonful (or two) of peanut butter and put it in a bowl with a handful of chocolate chips. Then heat in the microwave until the peanut butter is melted but the chips are still semi solid (30-40 sec.). This can be eaten with just about anything, Apples (I like the green apples for a sweet and sour effect), Graham Crackers, Strawberries, etc. My daughter loves it when she sees me mixing this up.

2              Celery and Peanut Butter. This is an all-time favorite. My daughter and husband love these. Super easy to just spread some peanut butter on the celery and snack away. Great for a kids after school snack or I like to serve them when I make chicken salad sandwiches since I usually have some celery left over.

3              Peanut Butter and Honey sandwiches. My husband made fun of me the first time I made these. He had never heard of anyone making a sandwich out of just those two ingredients. But guess what? Now he is hooked! And since my daughter doesn’t like any jelly or jam, she requests this instead of PB&J. Peanut butter and honey make an awesome combination. You could even throw in bananas to make it a bit healthier!

4              Peanut butter on waffles/pancakes! Peanut butter tastes so good on pancakes and waffles. Especially if you make chocolate chip pancakes! This is our favorite breakfast!

5              Just a plain old spoonful of peanut butter! Who seriously has not done this? I have eaten just plain peanut butter off a spoon since I was a kid, and my daughter loves it, too. She often asks for a spoonful of peanut butter to snack on.

Well those are my favorite peanut butter recipes and snacks. They may not all be super healthy, but it’s nice to have a treat every once in a while. We are definitely going to have at least one of these to celebrate this awesome day!
What are your favorite recipes/snacks using peanut butter, healthy or indulgent?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

5 Goals Update

So it has been one month since I posted about my “5 Goals to a Happier Life in 2014”, and I wanted to give an update on my progress with those.
Some things I have done pretty well on and others, not so much. But it’s only been one month and I think any progress is good!

So I posted that I wanted to lose 30lbs by the end of June and I had set a goal to lose about 5 pounds a month. Well I FAILED! In January I didn’t lose a single pound. I was lazy and didn’t even really try. So to give myself a little more motivation I decided to try a reward and penalty. For every month that I meet my goal, I get to reward myself with a new outfit. And every time I don’t reach my goal I then have to divide my remaining weight for the month to the remaining months. So since I didn’t lose any weight last month, I now have to lose either 10 pounds this month or more realistically 6 pounds a month for the next 5 months. I have also changed my mindset of why I want to lose weight. I’m not just doing this for me. I’m also doing this for my wonderful husband, because he deserves to have a beautiful, healthy, happy and confident wife. Not that he doesn’t tell me I’m still beautiful, but I definitely don’t feel it!

Now, I have done much better when comes to my goal of paying our bills on time and sticking to a budget. I have gotten on a schedule of paying the next month’s bills ahead of time to avoid them being late. Since we literally live payday to payday (more like payday to 5 days before payday!) it has been difficult to get all of our bills paid on time. But anytime we have some extra money I make sure to pay some bills ahead of time. That way we aren’t so short on money at other times.

I had set a goal to work on my relationship with my husband, and this has definitely not been easy! Mainly due to the fact that we live on completely opposite schedules. You see, he works the graveyard shift. So he goes in to work @ 9 pm and doesn’t usually get home until after 8 am and he works 5-6 days a week. So that leaves a 1-2 days a week where we get to be together after the kids go to bed. And usually by that time we are both so tired we don’t have to energy to even stay up and watch a movie! We ended up not having our monthly date night in January, but we are going to try to have at least two this month. We had a spontaneous date last Saturday. We were deciding what to have for dinner and decided to ask my MIL to babysit for a couple hours. We went to Costa Vida for the first time and loved it!! It was so nice to have some adult alone time!! Hopefully we will be able to go on another date next payday.

For my cleaning goal, I started a weekly schedule. I’m not super great at following it every day, but it has definitely helped me keep the cleaning manageable. I have one main cleaning chore that I do each day, then I make sure to do the dishes and de-clutter the front room every night. I have gotten better at making the Princess pick up her toys every night to help. I also made sure to leave the weekends free of specific chores and one day during the week to use as a sort of “make-up” day so that if for some reason I didn’t get one or more of the chores done I have time to get them done before the weekend. But I can also use that day as a “day off” if I need it, too. It has also helped with my motivation that the missionaries come over every Saturday. So I have to at least clean on Saturday if not any other day.

I have been able to spend more one on one time with my daughter. We have played her games like, Hungry Hippos, Candy Land, and Cupcake Party. As well as computer games on I have some folder games that she loves to play and we started going to the library. The games have turned into a lesson for both of us about patience. She has very little of it if she has any difficulty at all, and it drives me insane when she just gives up the first time she gets something wrong.

So all in all, I think I have done pretty well at keeping up with my goals. There is still plenty of room for improvement and I plan to continue working hard on it! I think my main focus for February is going to have to be my weight loss. I really don’t want to have to add on more pounds to the next few months again!!!

I will continue to give monthly updates about my progress. Hopefully this will help keep me motivated so I can have something good to report!!!

Did you make any goals for yourself or even your family?

How did your first month go?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ice Castles-Midway, Utah

Last Saturday our family took a trip up to Midway to see the Ice Castles! We all bundled up in our hats, scarves and gloves, and coats, then headed out. I brought a snow suit for our baby and he stayed nice and warm!

I cannot believe the amount of work it must have taken to make that! It was really pretty! They had lights placed in some of the ice structures to make it glow, and they had carved out little mazes and tunnels. I guess there was one tunnel that ended in a slide, but we didn't go in it because the line was pretty long. But my daughter found a little mini tunnel for the kids and she had fun sliding through it.

When we arrived my daughter went to see the Princesses that we there. I guess they were singing a song from “Frozen”. And inside the Castle they had made “Olaf” the snowman. The slot canyons were pretty fun to walk through. But it was pretty crowded so it tended to get a little jammed up. There was also a piano in the middle that was covered in ice and looked really pretty.

My daughter had a lot of fun and my son was even intrigued by it all. He didn't fuss at all the whole time we were there. He just kept looking all around while being cuddled into Daddy’s chest. Unfortunately strollers don’t really fit due to the small spaces and the mushy and slippery ground, so we had to just carry him. I don’t think he minded and my husband definitely didn't mind. He said he was kept pretty warm by holding him!

When we left, the Princesses were gone but there were fire dancers out front. The parking was not super great. You had to just find a spot on the street on one of the neighborhood streets around it. So be prepared for a little bit of a walk to and from it!

All in all it was a really fun family outing and could be fun to start doing as maybe a yearly tradition.
Here are some of the pictures I took…..

Princess with her Auntie Annie

Slot Canyon

Slot Canyon

She found a little cave

Grandma & Grandpa with the Princess

Here is the piano

This is a one of my favorite pics

The kiddie tunnel

Grandma's phone flash was super bright!

Fire Dancers