Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Photo0286.jpg by callmekristin
Photo0286.jpg, a photo by callmekristin on Flickr.

mobile blogging? without a smart phone? It could happen...!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Overnight Oats & a "Delurk"

I have had the following conversation probably three dozen times.

Me: [Random story/fact about the boys/etc.]

You [or your husband]: "Oh yeah! I [my wife] totally read that on your blog. Is that creepy?"

Me: "Not creepy at all. That's why I write it!"

Ok. This is me calling you out. You are not creepy. You are, however, awkward. Say hello! I am calling for a delurk today. If you've never commented, or you comment on every post, or somewhere in between leave a comment! Either on this post or another one of your liking. It doesn't even have to have anything to do with the post. I just want to get to know YOU. Introduce yourself!

I'll even throw in a "nice to meet you!" picture of the boys.

How can you say no to faces like that?


As for the Overnight Oats. Are you excited? You should be. These have the power to change your life. To start with, I have a love for oats that I didn't know existed until I was pregnant with the boys. I had this master list of things I wanted to make to have on hand so I ate well and could build and keep a good milk supply. It just turns out that oats were in almost every single one. Granola, smoothies, breakfast cookies, etc. Then, we moved to Arizona. And my milk supply was all but gone. I called the NICU to see if I could get it back and the nurse just asked me how often I eat oats.

I had pinned a recipe for overnight oats on pinterest a while ago that I kept meaning to try, but it called for "chia seeds" and I had never seen them anywhere but on Amazon. I didn't want to buy a whole pound just in case I didn't like it. [Now, guess where my swagbucks gift cards are going to go?] I found chia seeds down here at Sprouts in their bulk section and grabbed a scoop for a couple bucks. And I've had overnight oats every day since.

They are magic.

They fill me up all morning. They're full of protein. I get fruit and calcium and fiber in my diet from the get go. They are YUMMY and I'm a night owl, so making myself a balanced breakfast in the morning [even just adding fruit to my bowl of cereal] just doesn't happen. However, making a balanced breakfast the night before? I can, and do, do that.

[Happy to say my milk supply has never been better.]

I've since modified the recipe a bit, because I'm one of the weird ones that doesn't like greek yogurt. Also, eventually [when I'm not living at my in-laws house], I plan to make a big batch of my own yogurt to use, and I don't intend to greek strain it. And the recipe made about half of what I needed to eat for breakfast, so I started by doubling the amount of oats it called for. I make mine in ziploc tupperware containers. They're not a part of the cutesy mason jar trend, but they do the job just fine. And fit a lot more of everything.

So without further ado, here's my favorite breakfast secret!

Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats

  • 1/3 c. milk [I use 1%]

  • 1/2 c. yogurt [I have used vanilla and strawberry so far. Must say, I prefer vanilla.]

  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds <--don't skimp on these. They're my favorite part! [And they soak up the liquid and make it the right consistency.]

  • Fruit or other mix-ins

Put everything but your mix-ins in a container. Stir well. Mix-in your mix-ins. Let it sit in the fridge overnight. Enjoy in the morning!

I've tried applesauce and cinnamon, mango, fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries, a tablespoon of cocoa and half a banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter and half a banana, and strawberry yogurt [instead of vanilla] with half a banana. Must say, the only one I didn't like was the peanut butter combo. And if you make one with banana, be sure to eat it within 2 days. [I generally make 4 of these at a time and let them sit in the fridge. I eat the banana ones first because I have a weird thing about banana...the blueberry one lasted a good 4 days and tasted divine!]

So there you have it. Have you tried these before? Favorite mix ins? I want to hear about it!

Friday, May 18, 2012


We spent the next 24 hours in Flagstaff. It was so nice to see my family for a bit after everything that had happened the week before. My parents are such a safe place for me. I loved seeing them dote on these boys. It's really fun. My dad is a total softie around babies. It's just different than I'm used to. The boys got to meet great grandma Frost as well. Nash was hamming it up and Gray was all sorts of squirmy after being in the car.

Grandpa McGuire with Nash.

Grammy giving the boys some love before bath time.

The kitchen sink is where it's at! I love how my dad looks in this picture. It gave me a sweet glimpse into the tenderness that was around when us kids were little.

Uncle Rick gives the best rub downs. Gray was soaking this up!

Aunt Alyssa getting in on the bath time action.

Nash all warm and dry with Uncle Rick.

It's a tradition in my family to go get your toes done after you have a baby. Cam took the boys the next day so I could go to the mall with my mom for a little pampering. This is what I came home to. Cam was exhausted (obviously) from driving all the way here and putting up with the nightmare of what it took to get here. Gray is happy to sleep anytime, anywhere, so he happily followed suit. And Nash is ready to always. Love my men.


My mom really has gone from "mom" status to best friend status. I love her dearly. She really does know everything. Especially how to help me conquer any fear. Couldn't do this without her.

We left Flagstaff around 5 and drove as fast as we could. Nash was absolutely flipping out though. So done being in the car. And so we pulled off at a "scenic overlook" to take him out of his car seat and calm him down. (True to form, Gray was sleeping...) Turns out those views really are quite pretty! I'm loving the slower pace these boys bring to our life. Really made me stop and think about why we're always in such a hurry.

Next stop, Queen Creek! (finally!)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

2 Months Old

I think this month is going to be one of the first I request to watch over again once I get to heaven. What a crazy whirlwind!

Shortly after the boys turned 1 month old, we decided to move to Arizona. I've figured out that if I don't write down the details, I panic that life is just passing me by. That my boys are growing up too fast. This post is a little late, but if there's ever a reason to be a little forgiving toward yourself, having a baby or two is one of the best I know.

Here are some highlights (mostly taken from my journal):

  1. Nicknames stick with these guys. I'm normally not a nickname person, but Nash is "my little garden gnome, Nash man, Honey Bun, Sweet Boy, Angel Babe & The Nashinator." Gray is "my little Lorax, gummy bear, Gray baby, lumpkin, smokey the bear, & chunkamonk." Both boys are also "lover." Though Cam has expressed some concern to that one.

  2. One night I woke the boys up for their late feeding, fed them, burped them, put them back to sleep. I didn't wake up Cameron because he had work the next morning. When I cuddled up to his back, he said "Hey Gray! Hey Bud!" It totally creeped me out. And I headed back to my side of the bed. lol.

  3. Also, I fed the boys one night around 3. Feedings generally take an hour, so I was back asleep by 4. Around 5:30, Cam sat straight up in bed and shouted "Do you need me to change one? Burp one?" and I said "Shhh! No." lol. He really is super helpful when I need him. I'm sure it was one of those things where you close your eyes for what feels like a second and a couple hours have gone by.

  4. We went on our first "date" if you can call it that. We left the boys with their Aunt Jess and went out to dinner. We ate SO fast and bolted back to the house. It was really weird to be out without the boys. It was like no one knew that we had two beautiful kiddos waiting for us at home. I absolutely love coming home to them though. They're still here! They're still ours!

  5. We watched Titanic (edited version) with my siblings to commemorate the 100th anniversary of it sinking. I'm surprised at how my thoughts have changed. I see a tragedy like that now and my thoughts are immediately "what if that was my baby? what would I do? How would I keep them warm?" It was heartbreaking. It made me just want to hold on tight to all 3 of my boys. So I did. I took a little time to rock Gray to sleep and take in his details and tell him all about this beautiful world we live in. Nash slept like a rock that night, but the next morning I made a point to spend some one-on-one lovin' with him.

  6. Written during a 3am feeding: "Every time I change Nash's diaper "Danger Zone" starts playing in my head."

  7. Cameron held Nash up next to me and announced that he has my eyes. It thrills me.

  8. My definition of a productive day has drastically changed. Naps and pajamas until 4:30pm. Dinner at the park. Sonic slushies and bedtime. Sounds good to me.

  9. Nash makes this sound all the time that sounds like a little chortle. Hilarious.

  10. Both boys will straighten their legs for me when I'm putting their diapers back on. Smart little buggers.

  11. Nash lost his voice. I had a sore throat. I have never felt so helpless. He's never sounded so pathetic. Poor guy. This happened right when we started packing up. Too much going on for these babes.

  12. We took our first family pictures. As a family of four. I am so excited to see them! Every now and again I am hit by yet another bit of my dream life that used to seem so far away. And now I'm smack in the middle of it. I love it.

  13. Nash peed over his head. Didn't get a drop on himself. When I picked him up, there was a huge wet spot on the floor underneath his back too. Not sure how that is possible. Talented kid.

  14. Whenever I hold the boys so they're looking over my shoulder, they will grab fist fulls of my hair and hold on. I love that.

  15. It finally hit me that Cameron and I created these sweet boys. How incredible is that?

  16. Wayne calls Nash and Gray his little energizer batteries. It is so good to see them bring him so much joy. Makes all the stress of moving down here worth it.

  17. The morning the boys turned 2 months old, I was talking to Nash and I said "I can't believe you're 2 months old already! That's just crazy!" I said "crazy " in a really high-pitched voice and Nash just grinned and grinned. He's smiling on purpose! Gray hasn't yet, but he's focusing on faces now so I'm sure we're only a couple days away.

  18. We took the boys for their first swim.

  19. I lost my milk supply from the stress of the move. And now I've got it about 90% back. But that week where it suffered was terrible. It deserves its own post. I'm so grateful for a mom who had time to talk to me and was inspired enough to tell me to call the NICU. And I'm grateful for a really smart nurse there who didn't make me feel bad about anything and made me feel like getting it back was inevitable.

  20. Gray is a scoocher. I will lay him and Nash down next to each other to play (and stare at the ceiling fan. The ceiling fan is a favorite.) and within ten minutes, Gray is facing a completely different angle. We also love tummy time. Though Gray generally sucks his thumb and falls asleep. Nash will just sit there and throw glances my direction while showing off his muscles. The kid is a flirt.

The boys are the sweetest thing in my life. All 3 of them. It's been an adjustment figuring out a good balance down here in Arizona. But I really think we've got a good thing going. And when I sit back and think about it, life couldn't be any better. The three most handsome men in the world are all mine. I can do anything if they're with me.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On The Road

We got on the road around 2:45pm and made one last stop at the storage unit. I hadn't been to the unit yet and was pretty impressed by the packing job. It looked like the room of requirement! We fit everything into a 10x10 unit. Pretty impressive.

I went to pick up lunch while Cam dropped our keys off at the land lord's. We met at a gas station and filled up and then we were on the road.
The truck was pretty packed too. And that stubborn tarp wouldn't cover all the stuff in the back, so while driving it would blow up like a balloon. We pulled off the exit to re pack and tie things down. I had to follow close behind Cam so in case things got sketchy, I could get his attention and have him pull over. I never got the chance to. All of a sudden, Cam went from 75 to 40. Then to 30. Then he stopped. In the fast lane. I dodged him by pulling over onto the shoulder. Cam said there was a semi behind me. I have no idea where the semi went. I assume he got into the other lane in time, but we were passing a semi when the truck stopped, so I can only believe that guardian angels were watching over us. Cam tried everything he could to get the truck off the road. He told me later that he heard a snap and the stick shift started smoking and then the truck just stopped. The back wheels had locked up. We couldn't even push the truck a couple of inches. We were stuck.

Cam called 911 and an officer came to re-direct traffic. I felt much safer. I'm so glad he got there so quickly. One distracted driver and we would have been in a serious accident. For the first time in my life I didn't know whether to run to help my husband or stay and keep my boys safe. My heart, and body, needed to be in two places at once.

They called a tow truck and hauled us back to Nephi.

We spent the next 5 hours in a mechanic yard in Nephi. I walked next door and bought batteries for my breast pump...because we clearly weren't going to be near an outlet before the boys needed to eat again. And so, I pumped at the mechanics. And the phrase "ah, motherhood" kept going through my mind.

Cam talked to the mechanic and he let us know our transmission had blown. The truck was useless. We had just given away the keys to our apartment. Going back to Orem wasn't an option. It was dirty, dusty, and windy so I didn't want to take the boys out of the car. And they started getting restless.

I pulled Gray into the driver's seat with me. Miraculously, Nash was content as could be. (until later...ha.)

He perfected his blue steel face.

And then Cam came back to tell me what was going on. The option we decided on was to tow the truck behind a Uhaul and just get moving. But it was now 6:30 at night. The Uhaul place in Nephi was closed. (Of course.) I felt like we were in some small town from a comedy movie where the same guy runs all the businesses, and is so absolutely unhelpful. So Cam started contacting all the Uhaul places in all the small towns near by. One place only had a 26 foot truck, but had the tow trailer. And another place had a 14 foot truck. But no tow trailer. And both places closed in 30 minutes. And the mechanic said he was going home and wouldn't be around to help us load up the truck onto the Uhaul trailer. Since the truck wouldn't move, we needed his tow truck to pick up our truck and load it. I tracked down another mechanic and we went racing off to the Uhaul place. Cell service was sketchy, so we didn't even know if they would stay open for us. All four of us gave the victory fist when we got to Santaquin and Cam was able to start filling out paperwork. Some wonderful person in Payson drove the tow trailer over to Santaquin to save us some time. I was so happy when I saw this beat up truck drive up with the tow dolly.

We went back to the mechanics to get the truck loaded up. It was quite the sight.It felt so good to actually be moving toward our goal of getting to Arizona. We made it to Beaver at around 11 and got a hotel. The boys were so excited to be out of the car. They just stretched and stretched. (And Nash spit up all over himself as soon as he possibly could. He parties hard.)
The next morning we packed up and headed down to Flagstaff. Cameron and I talked on the phone as much as possible to keep each other awake and entertained. We stopped and stretched our legs and fed the boys a few times and rolled into Flagstaff around dinner time that night. So dang happy to be out of the car for about 24 hours. And to see some very excited aunts, uncles, and grandparents. And eat real food. And have bath time.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Packing Up

I think I can finally emotionally commit to writing about the move. It's kind of a long story. And it was both really hard and really simple at the same time.

I think I've posted before about how Cameron's dad is currently battling melanoma. It was pretty far along before they caught it. Things weren't great, but he was fighting hard. He endured surgery and radiation and had moved onto the third part of his treatment plan, chemotherapy. Chemo was really hard on him, but at least from up in Utah, things seemed to be pretty under control. After the initial diagnosis, Cam and I talked about moving down to Arizona shortly after the boys were born. We just didn't feel right about it at the time and decided to let things be unless things got worse.

Things got worse.

One morning, I got a text update from Cameron's mother. His dad was in the ICU. His oxygen levels had completely dropped. They were in the 60s. [From my experience in the NICU, levels under 84 is reason to freak out the 60s is just crazy to me.] He was delirious. He had pneumonia and potentially meningitis.

I immediately sent a text to Cam and asked if we needed to move to Arizona. From a personal, spiritual standpoint, I already knew we were going to move. [And if I hadn't felt that intense prompting, the next week and a half might have actually killed me. How absolutely grateful I am for my testimony of personal revelation. It brings me such great peace.]

He thought I was over reacting.

I thought he was in denial.

And so, we fought about it for about 3 days. AndCameron finally wrapped his head around the situation and agreed to move once he found a job down here. As a new father, the desire and feeling of responsibility to provide for our little family is more intense than it has ever been. I married a wonderful man. He has his priorities completely straight. I loved that our little family was still at the forefront of his mind considering all that was going on. I still felt unsettled about waiting and knew that if we just went, he would find a job much easier and we would be taken care of. Every job he applied for said "well, come see us when you get here and we'll see if we're still hiring." But he just couldn't make the move without knowing me and the boys would be provided for.

He called his mother and sister.

I called my mother and sister.

His mother and sister kept reassuring him that we didn't need to move.

My mother and sister kept reassuring me that I wasn't crazy, and that Arizona was the right place to be.

It was all pretty frustrating. But the reactions make complete sense. Being a couple steps removed from the situation help to clear up any emotionally charged decisions or reactions.

The next Sunday, Cameron fasted to know what to do. I went to sacrament meeting with the boys and then came home. Cameron stayed for the next two hours. About 10 minutes after he walked in the door, his dad called. His dad said simply that us moving down there would be the very best thing for him and that he knew that if we moved, Cam would find a job and we would be taken care of.

Cam had his answer.

I was grinning.

We were on the same page. And it felt wonderful.

Scary as the upcoming week was going to be. Hard as it would be to leave our home, friends, ward, job, health insurance. We were on the same page. We were a team. And when you're moving forward together, things are a lot less scary. And a lot less hard.

So we made a list together of all the things we wanted/needed to accomplish in order to be on the road by the end of the month. We had a week. We needed to visit family members, mission presidents, friends. We needed to pack up our entire house. We needed a storage unit, because we're moving [again] to Texas at the end of the summer and wouldn't have room for all our stuff in Arizona anyway.

Once we had a plan. We called Cam's parents and told them the news. I called my parents and asked if we could spend the night there on our way to Queen Creek.

And then we held hands.

For Sunday dinner, we went up to Emilee and Adam's house. We are going to miss them terribly. We LOVE going up there. I get to tuck the girls in to bed when we're there. They were the best help at getting us through the nastiness of infertility. Gave us some kiddos to love on. And now that we have babies of our own, their kids love on them right back. I have never seen her kids as excited to see us as when the twins were with us, finally! Elisha waited outside for us to arrive and opened the back door to get a look at Gray before Cam had even turned the car off. Every time we sat down, the twins were passed from arm to arm. Everyone wanted a turn.

One of the hardest things was leaving before Emilee has her baby girl. We've become really close over the past few years. She's really a great friend to me. I never feel out of place when Emilee's around. I feel like she "gets" me. There aren't too many people in the world who do. I cherish that. We're all going to my aunt's cabin in Idaho in July and I will meet their sweet baby girl there. [Hopefully she'll have a name by then...just kidding Em! :)] I'm excited out of my mind for that.

The boys decided to be extra cute on our way out.

And remember how Emilee gets me? Yeah, she just e-mailed me the next picture. Pretty fantastic. There are about 5 things that I love about this picture.

  1. The obvious. It's Cameron.

  2. The other obvious. It's Cameron's bum.

  3. He is packing our sweet babies into the car.

  4. You can see his broken belt loop, so his belt comes up. He loves those shorts. To a fault.

  5. That man, and that bum is married to me. Boy howdy.

Inappropriate to print and put on my desk? Not sure.

After we left Emilee's house, it was go time. We needed to stop dragging our feet and get things packed up.

We packed up everything we could. A good friend works at a storage complex near by and helped us get a trailer on Friday to stop by and pick up all our stuff and drop it off at the unit. I am so grateful for all the help and support we had. Moving with new babies is hard... I felt like I was moving at 25% speed the entire time. Bethany Heldt came over and packed up the nursery, bathroom, and started the kitchen. I didn't touch the kitchen after she left...Danica Rugg swooped in a few days later and packed the whole darn thing up. I would still be there packing if it weren't for these ladies. On Friday, friends showed up to help us get everything into the storage unit.

AND we got that piano out of the house. And it only took 4 people to do it. Brilliant men. It made my whole day.

For the next 3 days, we camped as a family in our living room. Cameron made us a wonderful bed and the boys slept right next to us in their pack and play. Looking around, it really made me reevaluate the importance of "stuff." We were pretty darn happy with nothing at all. [...and Netflix...:)]

Saturday, friends came down from Farmington to say goodbye. We sat in camping chairs and ate mexican food. The simple life is pretty great. Sunday we went to church at our ward for the last time and it turns out we got a new bishop. It was kind of nice to see that our ward "ended" when we left and if we went back it wouldn't be the same anyway. After church, we went up to Emilee and Adam's for dinner again. Speaking of the simple life, it was sure nice to sit on a couch again! Monday, it was go-time.

We met up with a bunch of family, friends and neighbors for breakfast at Kneaders. Jessica works there now and I couldn't leave without tasting one of her creations...and it didn't disappoint. YUM!

Uncle Sam and Aunt Kiara (Cameron's Twin Sister)

Jill (first mentioned here) and her miracle, Emma

We didn't get pictures with the Ruggs or the Crocketts, though they came to see us off too. And we had to track down the Youngs again to get a picture with them... [My mind wasn't working very well at this point. I wish more than anything that we had pictures with them.] It was so fun to get together with everyone one last time. We didn't act any different. It was just like we were hanging out, like we always do. I'm so glad it wasn't mopey or weird.

We went back to our apartment to pack up the cars and finish the last little bit of cleaning. Which turned into a lot a bit of cleaning. What is it about moving that right at the end feels like you haven't even started? so. much. work!

Aunt Jess came over to play with the boys so I could pack and clean.

My little clementine tree all packed up tight!

Cam finished up the cleaning end of things.

Doug completely saved the day. He worked SO HARD to help us get on the road. He vacuumed, cleaned out our fridge, wiped down walls, took care of our turtle, anything we needed he was there to make it easy on us. Major thanks to his wife Melanie for letting us have him for the day. We couldn't have done it without them!

And just like that it was time to go.

Everything hit me at once. We were leaving our friends, our ward, Cameron's job, our health insurance, our house, everything that was familiar, our home. Our home where we built our bed, did projects, covered the couch, learned how to can, stayed up late working together. Our home where we cried when we found out having children was going to be much much harder for us. Where we cried when we didn't know if our babies would ever come. Our home where we fought and made up hundreds of times. Our home where we watched our friends' lives change forever with the birth of Hadley, then Stella, then Bronson. When Harley came home to his family. Our home where it was finally our turn. The joy and excitement in the air when WE KNEW we had a little baby coming to our home and Cameron and I were the only ones who knew. The tears that came from that. The elation that was shared in so many when we found out there were TWO little babes headed our way and then again when we found out they were boys. Our home where our hearts healed as we planned a nursery and worked together to make room for our sons. Our home where we came home from the hospital while our hearts were still in the NICU. Our home where we were finally able to be a family of four.

I cried as we drove away from that little red brick building. I kept telling my boys that we could be happy anywhere because we were together. I think I said it more for me than for them.

Next up: the drive [which was way more exciting than it should have been...]