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Showing posts from 2014

My Special Christmas

Ahh, Christmas. Here and gone again already, but I already have a fond place in my heart for this particular Christmas. Natalie is finally old enough to actually enjoy opening presents/the whole Christmas Experience: the Grinch, Christmas lights, staying up late on Christmas Eve, Christmas trees, love. It was so fun to share the traditions of the holiday with her and especially to teach her about the Nativity. She easily recognizes Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus, and loved watching videos about the first Christmas. We watched one on biblevideos.org where the angel visits Mary, and Natalie was absolutely glued - it was pretty magical to watch her soak it up. I'm so grateful we can mix the fun festivities of this time of year with the extra spirit that teaching about Jesus Christ brings.

At first I wasn't looking forward to this Christmas quite as much since none of the Plumb family were really going to be together - Mom in Utah, Dad/Annie in California, Max in Austria, Sam …

Rainy Days and Mondays

It happened to be both rainy AND a Monday today, but it wasn't as bad as the Carpenters say. We had to go to the store in the morning and then we kind of hibernated. We had lots of cozies with blankies and hot chocolate and Monsters University (Stockton's favorite) and Grinch (Natalie's favorite). 


Isn't it sweet that they wanted to sit together? I promise I didn't even pose them there. They gravitated towards each other and got all settled. Love : )

 Stockton had bonked his head and wanted loves so I was already cozy with him, but Natalie saw us and decided she needed in on the action. We stuffed ourselves into the chair and snuggled for a few lovely minutes. Warm, cozy, calm children are the best.

I was tired of the unruly rat tail on Natalie's neck, so one day I decided to just go for it and one snip later, VOILA! A drastic difference from just one cut! I was so proud of myself! It looks like she got a whole hair cut, but it was only those few tendrils that…

Friendsmasgiving 2014

We like having people over for dinner and do it pretty often, but this season we wanted to raise the bar. Last month I read a random newspaper article about "Friendsgiving," basically Thanksgiving with friends. I thought it was such a fun idea and wanted to host one, minus the turkey. (I feel like you have to be married for ten+ years before even considering making your own turkey. No thanks.) Thanksgiving came and went and then we were into Christmasland, so we decided to combine both holidays into... 
FRIENDSMASGIVING 2014 
The table was set with effort and care (Look, do you see the cloth napkins there?) A single candle was lit and shon bright Lighting our friends and food, that night  Willy and Natsby, excited to eat Wiggling their forks and kicking their feet There too were Renetta, Dan, Mabel Lou And Ross, Aly, Spencer, and Colt...woohoo!
 The spread was delicious; the comp'ny divine We ate and we ate til we felt like land mines [Austin's rhyme] Then we whipped…

December Days

We have had random nice weather recently and the kids are glorying in it - Stockton is CONSTANTLY trying to escape out the door. When I took stuff to a friend's car earlier after the shower, Stockton was standing outside holding onto the railing in only a onesie, looking so thrilled with himself, ha. I wish I had a picture.

friends are fun. also, she still begs for a dress every morning. i use it as a potential reward/punishment now. ("was that a good choice? i guess you don't get to wear a dress anymore.")
 Stockton naps for at least thirty minutes longer than Natalie, (although lately it's been more like an extra hour,) and I love that one-on-one time with my Natsby. She usually wants to be cozy for a little while and then do something fun, like wrapping "presents" or making cookies. I love that we are pals. (I also love the 2+ hour naps she's been taking, and Stockton's 3+ hour marathon naps. Some days I feel like waking them up because I w…

Swimming, wrapping, unwrapping

My high school mascot was the Monarchs (as in KINGS, not butterflies, thank you very much) and my little sister is on their swim team now. I took my Natsby to go watch her race last night and in the car on the way there I was teaching her how to cheer, etc. "Go Monarchs!" turned into "Go Monies!!" for some reason, but she was really good at saying "Go Annie!" with her arm raised in triumph. She also inserted a few "to infinity, and beyond!"s for good measure. My sister is an amazing swimmer and it is so fun to watch her race - Natalie liked all the splashing and said "so fast! so fast!" It was a fun little outing, especially since Mimi was there too!

Also about "monies," I'm not sure why I'm focused on spending money on my children for Christmas...a) you could give them a box of kleenex and they'd be thrilled and b) they don't have any other Christmases to look back on and pull a Dudley...
'Thirty-six,'…

Our Favorite Excuse To Get Together (aka a baby shower!)

I feel like this joint shower for good friends (one expecting a boy and one expecting a girl) should really have been called a FREE FOR ALL TODDLERS Shower, ha. It was awesome! We did it during lunch time so all the non-school age kids came and it was cuh-razy, but so fun. It was a GIANT play date and the kids were alllllll over the place. I think in total we had 25 children and 14 adults, and some children even stayed home with daddies so we weren't even all represented. Nuts! We had pizza and cookies and salad (well, at least the adults had salad) and presents and diapers and balloons and fun. Congratulations, friends! It's always a happy occasion to celebrate new babies with our ward family : )


p.s. with all the kid craziness etc the puppy chow went mostly unnoticed and i'm secretly glad muahahahaha, more for me! but i'm eating it with a spoon so that i don't get the computer all powdery...i think i'm making more of a mess dropping sugar off the spoon from t…

Pregnancy PSA's

I have two Public Service Announcements regarding getting pregnant, and yes, they resulted in a Mr. Stockton and a Baby #3, so I speak from experience. 
PSA #1: you can (and, if you're me, will) get pregnant even if you're breastfeeding. So much for "natural birth control" for this mama.
PSA #2: you can (and, again for me, will) get pregnant even if you are on your period. Surprise! (tmi?)
We figured it's been what, almost a year since we had a baby? Probably time to boost our numbers. Ha actually no, we feel very much like Heavenly Father is in control...and also happen to get pregnant very easily (see above). It's kind of weird/exciting/new to think that with this third baby we could be close to being done having children. Or maybe not! I'll have 3 babes before I'm 25 - what?! I feel like this is both a blessing and a curse: blessing to be such a young, healthy, energetic mom, but "curse" because at this rate we'll be the next Duggar …

Symphonic

Last month we had a self-imposed Symphony Night at the Holland Center with the Omaha Symphony, and it was GLORIOUS. They did Mahler's "Resurrection" and of course it was stunning, but it was also so nice just to be in such a beautiful venue with other people who are all there experiencing the same musical joy and wonder that you are. I am so glad that classical music is alive and well! Live performances of incredible pieces from the composer giants are always ALWAYS worth it. There's nothing like feeling the music in your bones when it is loud and in your soul when it's quiet. (Thanks for babysitting so we could go, Poulsens! : ) )

Beds and Bruises

My mom scored a racecar bed from a friend and we put it in Stockton's room for "later," but didn't realize how huge it was. It's just a twin box spring and mattress, but the racecar "shell" makes it so much bigger! The kids loved having it in there to play on for a couple weeks, but I was annoyed by how much space it took up, and Natalie had had a streak of difficult nights in the crib recently so I thought I'd move the mattress into her room so she could get used to the idea of a bed. Apparently, there was no "getting used to" necessary: she ran in, saw the bed, climbed in with blankie and kitty and asked me to close the door. I was like alllllllrighty then, let's see how this goes!

And guess what?

She did SO WELL! She didn't climb out once (except on the second night, and then she just stood by the door crack and asked me to come tuck her in (yes, sweet princess girl in cozy jammies with rosy cheeks, I will always tuck you in!). …

He is the Gift

The LDS Church released a new Christmas program to help us rediscover the true meaning of CHRISTmas and how we can focus more on Christ and become closer to Him during this joyful season and all others, called "He is the Gift." I love it. I love that it reminds me that Jesus was born to earthly parents and lived and breathed just like us (and still does). I love that after watching the video and studying more about Him I feel my money spending temptations slipping away. I love that it brings the spirit into my home and continues to reinforce the knowledge of the Gospel to my children, and my husband and I. I love that I feel loved and my self-worth grows as I ponder on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and I love that my missionary brothers and sister-in-law (and 80,000+ other missionaries) are spreading this good message around the world.

He Is the Gift - watch, even if you've already seen it

The brief video is just the beginning - click on the links below the vide…

Stockton Luke

I've found myself using his first and middle name together more often recently for some reason. Stockton Luke. Has a nice ring to it.

Can you get enough of those warm blue eyes and cheeks of perfection? Stockton continues to bring a very sweet presence in our lives. He's starting to get even more animated and has been very affectionate lately. Whereas silence when Natalie is involved is very suspicious, I never worry if I haven't heard from Stockty in a while. He's always just playing quietly with some toys in a corner. He loves exploring but at the same time is much more cautious than his sister. His walking record is six steps and it might be the cutest thing I've ever seen. Everything came so fast and easy with Natalie - Stockton takes things more slowly and in his own deliberate way. He'll walk when he decides he feels like it, or when he figures out that it is faster than crawling.

He loves climbing up slides with his socks off and then sliding down on his…

A Collage of Life

My life is a collage. The same themes (babes with toys, babes in carseats, babes at Target, babes being generally adorable...babes period) are spread around every day but in new and fun or still old but fun ways. We stick to the same types of things - playing, errands, friends, movies - but every day, every hour I laugh at something different, whether it's Natalie streaking by yelling "RUN KEVIN!" from Home Alone or Stockty chewing gleefully on the doll's hand. I'm glad I am not missing a single second of their sillies. I'm glad they want to share their excitement and joy with me, and that they come to me for comfort and love. Being a mom is overwhelming in its emotional depth, especially when you think about all the other millions, billions? of moms who feel the same way about their own but different children. Mwah, babes. I love you.



Some extra fun activities we've been up to lately:

 We spent a lot of time with my brother Sam before he left on his miss…

A Collage of Natsby

November 2014 WE LOVE THIS GIRL! And, obviously, taking pictures of her. I want to capture every wonderful bit of Natalie essence.

Ode to Target

To celebrate Internet Independence Day (aka WE FINALLY GOT INTERNET) I decided to write an ode.

From an excerpt on the "ode" wikipedia page: An elaborately structured poem praising or glorifying an event or individual.

First subject that came to mind was a dear, old friend.

Ode to Target
My heartbeat picks up and my breathing gets heavy My brain jumps around like a leaking levee My excitement I simply cannot keep contained When a big bullseye Target store comes into range
The signature red makes me feel warm and fuzzy The lack of the gloom like at Wal-Mart (so scuzzy) The rotating entrance ceiling displays It all gives me joy for days upon days
Each trip is a gift that just keeps on giving There's no end to browsing - it's the height of living The snacks and the office supplies, home decor The seasonal aisle and so much more
Dear Target, Oh Target, you're so good to me You entertain my children mostly for free We've spent countless hours walking front to back …

IN RECENT NEWS

Guys, I need to get internet. This whole no-blogging thing is no bueno. I feel like I’m not capturing important moments that I want to remember! (And I'm at the library currently and the internet is the WORST and I can't upload any pictures. UGHHHHH. At least I'm posting something. Pretend there are pictures and I will add them later.)
WHAT NATALIE HAS BEEN UP TO LATELY: +loving dresses +the movie Hairspray +reading everything – I love when she asks to read more books, probably the only bedtime procrastination technique that we will gladly allow +pretending to catch the snitch like Harry Potter (her mouth never quite remembers how to say it: switch, squish, snish, smitch are all frequent substitutes) +playing in her kitchen – she loves using my real kitchen tools to flip “pancakes,” make “soup,” put “eggs” in the pan, and fill up her cup with “water.” I LOVE that she plays pretend already. anyone have any tips to continue encouraging her in this kind of play? +she preten…

Destruction, Doom, and Ruin

So a volcano erupted in Lincoln last night (in my dream), sending the city into turmoil and destruction.  With hot magma spraying hundreds of feet into the sky in a mushroom cloud formation and splashing ever closer to our home, all we had time for was to grab our children and the 72-hour kits in the basement and race away in our car to safety. It all felt very Dante’s Peak (look it up).
The dream wasn’t super scary because I knew it was a dream, and we noticed the volcano early enough that even though we had to hurry we were able to escape. The scary part was, when I hurtled downstairs to grab our food storage supplies, WE DIDN’T HAVE ANY, and that part is true in real life. It was the most helpless, doomed feeling. I woke up and rolled over and told Austin at 4:35 in the morning that we needed to make 72-hour kits and work on our food storage. He groggily asked why and I told him a volcano erupted. But he was already asleep.
So, I’m starting slow, but I’m taking steps to be prepa…

StocktONE!

Our little buddy turned one (two months ago) and we had a happy celebration! He seems so much less one than Natalie did, somehow. Part of it is that he isn’t walking yet (especially on his actual birthday, now he is a lot closer), but I think the biggest reason is that with Natalie we were always looking forward to the next big milestone, and turning one was HUGE for us as first-time parents. With Stockton, we’ve been more content to enjoy each stage as it comes and goes, so our birthday radar wasn’t flashing as brightly.

We had cake, family time, a trip to the zoo, playing outside, and more of our little boy’s favorite things. It’s nice to take out the “almost” when someone asks us how old he is – now he is a whole, full, entire ONE and we love him so much!


Run, Poulsens, Run!

Once upon a time, I thought it would be a great idea to run a half marathon. We signed up for it three and a half months prior and started training. Then we stopped. Then the date of the race came and we had clocked maaaaybe 12 miles each. In one-two mile increments.

BUT! We showed up bright and early and did our determined, albeit wimpy, best, and finished!

Our goals:

1) finish.
2) bonus if we finish in under the mandatory 6 hours.

And we succeeded! I think our time was like 3 hours 20 minutes or something hilariously bad like that (16 minute miles, y'all) and we were dead, but we were so proud of ourselves! Actually Austin was mostly just super ticked haha, he was sore and charlie-horsing and so done that he was just scowling for the next hour, ha! It was extra funny because he's normally so mild-mannered. The rest of us (Austin's mom, my dad, and our friends the Birdsalls) were feeling accomplished and satisfied but Austin was uncharacteristically crabby. Love you babe!

September DID Happen, I Promise

September flew by (I feel like I say that every post, with a different month. But it's true!)

I've really enjoyed walking group with the other friends in our ward - we go every Monday/Thursday in the mornings and walk to the park. I always feel boosted and enjoy spending time with everyone. The kids love it too, and get nice and tired for their naps!

A note about naps: aren't they sacred? I guard the two hours of actual nap time and the hour before/after like my life depends on it. Sometimes, it does. You can't be in the car too close to nap time because then they fall asleep en route, potentially earning you a shorter nap. You can't plan anything too close to wake up time because waking up a sleeping child is an international infraction, plus the children (at least mine) need some nap recovery time. You can't have anyone over during nap time - you need that for YOU time, and you definitely can't schedule any appointments or activities during nap time. Some…