28 November 2014

A Day in the Pieper Life

6:15am- I'm woken up by Ellie shrieking happily in bed. She is instantly forgiven when I see her smiling face in the dark. While I feed her I say my morning prayers and notice the light coming through the window. I grab my camera and decide to photograph our day.
6:40am- Change Ellie's diaper and get her dressed. Take down diapers that were hung to dry and fold and put away. I hear J make noises in his room but he must be staying put until his alarm beeps.
6:55am- J's alarm beeps and I go into his room to say good morning and open his window. "The sun is waking up!" Then it is time for breakfast. J gets out a bowl and spoon and asks for cereal. I start water boiling on the stove for my (and J's eventual) oatmeal. I unload the dishwasher while I wait for the oatmeal. Joseph leaves unusually early for work to drive to a client site.

7:15am- Oatmeal is finished and J wants some too (moms always know). His goes in the freezer to cool off. He puts his dishes away in his cupboard while he waits. After eating I load the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher.
7:35am- Ellie goes down for a nap. J helps me make the bed. He plays Legos while I get ready for the day.

7:50am- I join J playing Legos. We build a train and a huge tower.
8:30am- Ellie wakes up and joins us in J's room to play. We listen and sing along to primary songs. We clean up the Legos and play cars instead.

9:00am- I feed Ellie and discuss the day with J.

9:30am- We decide that it is too cold to play outside so he settles for fingerpainting. We check on his pet snail and caterpillar.
9:45am- Trucks! (I love how he lines them up because they are all friends.)
10:00am- Ellie goes down for her second nap.

10:05am- Bananas for snack time. I clean the kitchen while J goes to play. I'm called in for an emergency intervention between McQueen and the ambulance. Someone was pushing and would not say sorry. We talked through things and all parties were satisfied with the results.

10:45am- I finished cleaning and join J to play. He asks for the marching song. We march around his room to "The Saints Go Marching In" on repeat about 100 times. Workout for the day, check! J gets tired out too and asks to wrestle(rest) and read in bed. We read Mercy Watson to the Rescue.

11:45am- Ellie wakes up and I feed her.

12:30pm- Lunchtime. J makes his own peanut butter sandwich, and even put the jars back in the fridge when he was done. And I only saw him lick the knife once!
12:45pm- We take our lunch and a blanket outside and have a picnic in the backyard.

1:00pm- I load the lunch dishes in the dishwasher while J hangs upside down on a chair. (He's eating second lunch inside. This boy is always hungry). I vacuum the living room while the kids sit at the table. Over the hum of the vacuum, I hear screaming and look over. Sure enough, they are just seeing who is louder.
1:20pm- Ellie goes down for her afternoon nap.

1:30pm- Start nap time routine. We clean up toys. Read 2 books on the couch. J picks 1 scripture story. J asks to say a prayer. "Thank you for Mercy Watson..." (the pig from his book).

2:00pm- J is finally in bed.

2:01pm- Both kids are sleeping and the countdown begins. I run to my room and start scripture study. Today I'm listening to and studying Elder Holland's talk, "Are We Not All Beggars?"

3:00pm- I start to outline my paper for my Marriage and Family class.

3:15pm- Ellie wakes up. I feed her while checking my email and doing Pinecone surveys. I make $6 answering survey questions about coffee. I open Lightroom and work on editing pictures.

4:00pm- J wakes up. We get suited up and in the stroller for a quick walk to the library.

5:00pm- We get home from the library. I kick J's cup of Cheerios from the stroller ride all over the living room I just vacuumed earlier. I laugh and help J clean them up. I try to put Ellie down for a nap but she is not interested. 

She goes in the high chair to watch J and I make dinner. Tonight it is scrambled eggs and hash browns (quick and easy because Joseph is still at work). J helps  by opening up the egg carton and mixing the raw eggs with the few that were hard boiled and set aside. I play egg roulette to make scrambled eggs. We eat and I clean up dinner and start the dishwasher.
6:00pm- I feed Ellie and read J from the stack of new library books. 

6:45pm- Joseph gets home. Ellie is over-tired and so I go to her room to sing and cuddle her to sleep. The boys play with the train set and then chase each other around the house. Ellie is so tired, she falls right to sleep amid the loud fun.

7:00pm- Bedtime routine for J.

7:30pm- J is asleep in bed.


26 November 2014

Miss Ellie: Month Five

Oh Miss Ellie girl!

What happened this month? 

Besides the disappearance of your hair? Not much. Let's just take a minute to silently mourn and compose ourselves before we move on.
You still love that binky and you think it is adorable that you can pull it out and chew on it and then stick it back in all by yourself. 
You have come alive this month! We once thought we had a quiet and contemplative girl but we have been corrected (and love you still the same). 

You love to wake up at 6:30am and shriek loudly (think "Yay! I'm on a rollercoaster" scream, not crying angry screams), until you get J awake and shrieking in his room too. Good morning at the Pieper household.

You also go CRAZY over bath time. Girl you kick and splash and scream like you are going somewhere important, and it is adorable.

You go berserk watching J and Dad run around the house and play. You scream and kick and laugh and giggle just like you are part of the fun. 
Even though you have the hair-do of a balding man, people are gravitated towards you whenever we go out. Hair or no, you still have a charming personality and a smile that melts my heart. 

And those blue eyes just keep getting more blue!
I love this picture! 

This is exactly how I want to remember your naptimes. Snuggled up with your doll, binky, and hands crossed over your eyes. I see this several times a day and it is still so. darn. cute.
See your brother there? You guys are crazy for each other. 

Even though he isn't always as gentle with you as he should be, he usually has your best interest at heart. He fetches burp clothes, puts dirty cloth diapers in the pail, and sings you the sweetest songs. He can make you laugh and giggle like no one else can. 

This next month you will fly on your first airplane (get pumped!), visit family in Idaho for the first time, and celebrate your first Christmas! 

13 November 2014

In the Morning Light

I love these quiet, cold mornings. The kids stay in their pajamas until noon. We cuddle on the couch with a stack of library books and read the day away. 

I read once that the trick to a great photograph is to look for the LIGHT first and then find your subject. A beautiful subject, whatever it is, will be lifeless and forgettable in dull lighting.

So when I noticed the stunning light streaming through the kitchen windows, I quickly grabbed my Ellie girl and my camera.

These are the moments I can't stand to forget!

10 November 2014

My Backyard

When looking for a place to live in Sacramento, one of the things we really wanted for our family was a grassy, fenced yard. After living the last year in Las Vegas, we realized J did not understand grass when he assumed everything green was a cactus.

"A little boy needs a yard." We repeated over and over again.

And boy were we right! Oh the adventures and the fun we've had in this yard. Lucky for me, he lets me share and photograph what he affectionately calls, "my backyard."
 Best part of the new yard? J made friends with the boys next door and has adorable conversations that I have the joy of listening to.

27 October 2014

The Baby Made Me Do It

Sometimes, I get distracted from my homework by blog reading or Facebook. And sometimes all it takes is a napping baby and this macro technique.

18 October 2014

Miss Ellie: Month Four

Four months old! You rock girl!

Two nights ago I mentioned to your Dad that J had rolled from his back to his tummy by now. Since then you have been nonstop trying to roll over, and you've finally got it! It shows that you will NOT be outdone by anyone.

You love to sing (or what you think is singing). Last night I went to your room to tuck you in and tell you goodnight. I sang you "twinkle twinkle little star" as you began to doze off. As soon as I was finished, you spit your pacifier out with a smile and started shrieking high notes and then lower notes. Your Dad came in with a smile, "I thought you were putting her to bed!" 

Oh my girl you have our hearts. There is not a single day that goes by that we don't repeatedly gush over you, "You must be the most adorable and beautiful baby, ever!"

Even J, "I love her really much!" Don't we all.

You live to smile and giggle. If I am holding you while talking to someone, you cannot help but steal the show and smile and coo until you have all the attention. You bat your long eyelashes and pretend you are shy and then come right back again with more dimpled grins. 

This week in church we almost had to take you out, not because you were crying, but because your giggles and shrieks were getting quite loud as you talked to the whole congregation.

And your favorite person in the house? A cute little girl who lives in the mirror. You two have SO much in common and love to make each other laugh.

Obviously your smile is contagious.

15 September 2014

Miss Ellie: Months Two & Three

Hello Sweetheart,

These past two months have been an absolute joy with you! You have stolen all our hearts, especially your brother's. 

When you cry out he has to check on you. When you are playing on the floor he has to be near you, stroking your hair or talking really close to your face. He leans in close and whispers in your ear. 

He always wants you near him, watching him do big boy things. He pulls the boppy pillow into his room by his Legos for you to watch him play. And I won't even mention how often you have to be there when he goes to the bathroom...

You continue to love snuggles and being held. Sometimes when I hold you to my shoulder and rock you to sleep, you lift your head and give me the sweetest smile. We are loving that you are now more aware of your surroundings and our faces. It is so fun to see your excited face and kicking legs when we pick you up from your bed. 

You have us all convinced that you are just about the happiest and most perfect baby there ever was. (And we can believe that our completely biased hearts will tell us the truth every time.) Even when we had long long hours in the car driving between Las Vegas and Sacramento, you were giggling and sleeping most of the way. 

You have what I call a perma-smile! Eating, sleeping, observing, and just about everything you do, you do it with a dimpled smile on your face. In our new home in Sacramento, you are absolutely in LOVE with the ceiling fans in every room. You coo, smile, and sometimes even excitedly scream at the fan.

Did I mention that you are adorable? J loves to cuddle up to you and say, "Look mom! We are best friends! Take a picture of us!"

And I do every time!

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