The Turn

Well it is 11:00 P.M. and I just put the baby to bed. So far no screaming. I have honestly been thinking all day about what I am going to do if this doesn't work out tonight- I think I will have to get someone else to watch Danielle during the day next week because I can't stay up all night and day anymore.

Last week Mark became fully nocturnal. he was up all night from midnight to seven (OK he probably slept for 1.5 hours split up). The first time we stayed up and thought it was a bad night. The second time it was harder. By yesterday I was thinking of just letting him scream. I learned that he can scream for longer than I can stand it, even if I am literally deliriously tired.
Danielle has been watching a lot of cartoons. On Thursday I broke. Mark stayed up almost all night and then Danielle woke up at five. I had turned all the heat down in our house to save money and I forgot to turn Danielle's heat back up. It was about 55 degrees in her room. How sad! She didn't feel good and I helped her. At 8:00 I started crying. I let Mark sleep until 4:00 P.M.
My problem is that I'm not really comfortable forcing a schedule on a child. I think a lot of people who pretend their schedule is so important are trying to give themselves a false sense of control. They hold on to a schedule that might not be good for the child and pretend it is the best way to parent. Generally these people are uptight and judgmental. I don't like the schedulers. I also try to feed him on command- when he is hungry I feed him and when he is sleepy I put him in his crib for him to naturally fall asleep.
I kept holding on to this natural rhythm and gave myself excuses in the night. He really hadn't eaten all day because he was asleep all day. So I would get him and tell myself I was just going to feed him. Sometimes he wouldn't eat and this week he never went back to bed. I can't take the crying- it breaks my heart and then I start to panic about him getting dehydrated in the night or being covered in throw up or poop or choking. The only other time we thought about letting him cry he had a plastic clothing tag in his diaper. The time we let Danielle do it she we finally checked on her and she was covered in throw up.

Today I woke my baby up. He has eaten eight times today. I scheduled his eating.
I have heard the theory that sleep begets sleep and I believe it. But I woke him up to eat and left him in the front room where Danielle was. We carried him and talked to him while he looked groggy and stared into space.
He has never eaten so peacefully. A sleeping baby fusses much less when they are eating. I just did his bedtime. He is still awake but isn't screaming. I know he has eaten enough to sleep. It seems like he REALLY thrives with more scheduled feeding. He is so laid back that it seems like he doesn't think of crying until he is SUPER hungry. Then he chokes and throws up and cries. I probably should have thought of this before today.

I don't know how to turn someone's schedule around. I really hope this will work. More than I can express.
Babies and children push you to the breaking point and then keep pushing. They make you realize how little sleep you really need.

In other news Mark rolled over last night. So exciting. He likes it. It was funny to see how excited he was with his new skill.


Minted Valentine Card giveaway I found

THIS GIVEAWAY is from Petit Elefant

go there to enter

minted valentine cards giveaway $50.

Do you remember how cute my holiday cards were this year? I loved them more than I've ever loved Christmas cards, and guess what? Minted, the company that made them, is offering a giveaway for one of you. $50 worth of Valentine Cards for you to hand out as you please to the ones you love.

I'm having a hard time deciding which ones are my favorite, what do you think? Are you stuck on the *I Like You* one? I am. Giveaway details below.

Giveaway Details:

  1. To enter the Minted Valentine Card Giveaway leave a comment on this post.
  2. Leave ONE comment on this post between today and Friday February 5th Midnight, MST.
  3. Link to this post on your own blog (include the url in your comment) and receive an extra entry.
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Good Morning

When did Sleep become the greatest gift anyone could give me? Danielle is currently inviting me to come sit with her and watch a show. I hate her shows. They make me want to poke my eyes out. Did you know that kid shows are unbearable? If she ever goes into another room I turn the shows off. I wish I could turn on the television and have her watch it in the morning while I sleep. But she does lots of other non-approved things- like finding the hidden scissors and cutting things up, or opening the pantry and feeding all the cereal she can find to the dog, or unlocking the deadbolt and letting herself outside to play. As someone who has photo evidence that I woke up early and covered myself and lots of other surfaces with Sharpie marker I know how excited she must be about these activities.
Why is it that yesterday when I said I couldn't find the scissors Danielle said "wait wait wait- just a sec" and produced them in under two minutes? Also after you build a fort and leave it that fort will deteriorate into a HUGE MESS. I knew it would happen and it did.
When we lived closer to family sometimes people would watch Danielle. Like anyone who had a young baby we would tell them we were going on a date, drive back to our apartment and sleep the entire time they were watching her. I don't live close to family anymore but I keep trying to figure out how I could invite someone over to watch the kids then go upstairs and sleep. I could feed Mark when he wakes up and then go right back to bed because they would hold him/play with him. Maybe they would swiffer my kitchen floor, or disassemble the living room fort.
John watched the baby a lot of the night last night while I sat in bed thinking I must have some kind of infection. No- just a cold and exhaustion. I realized yesterday that I must be easier to wake up than John. He watched Danielle and Mark while I took a nap and when I woke up he told me how hard it was to keep Danielle from waking me up. Some mornings I try to get Danielle to wake up John and she always refuses. "Daddy sleeping- he real tired." is what I get if she actually goes upstairs at all. I try almost every weekend. I don't enjoy waking him up- the man is GROUCHY when he wakes up. (although the grouchy he is now is much smaller than when we first got married). I guess the refusal to wake people up doesn't extend to mommy.
Anyway I love sleep. I made it a love poster.
now maybe I will get some sleep before John leaves for school.



Well, Danielle was officially better at growing hair on the top of her head and Mark is officially better at biting his hands. The last few days have been really rough. Mark decided to become completely nocturnal- after staying up until 7:00 one morning I wondered why I had deleted all my recorded programs the night before and why I didn't just let him cry it out. He slept all day though. I think they are working in shifts to make sure one of them always knows what is going on. I always thought Danielle was more active than Mark and I think I was right- she rolled around at his age and could hold herself up a little. Mark holds his head up pretty reliably though and sometimes half rolls over. He is just a little more laid back.
So far Danielle has fed Austin lots of food this week- every time I feed the baby or go to the bathroom she heads straight for the pantry. Being completely exhausted has helped me be more relaxed. I am too tired to get anything done so today we built a fort out of all the furniture I could put together in the living room. We have storage ottomans and if you take the lids off they make great tunnel building pieces.
I think we are nearing crisis mode with the sleep. Too bad when Mark is awake crying everyone wakes up.
In other news I started being more active on Twitter which I think is great fun, and I'm finally getting pictures on the wall. At least the pictures that didn't fall on my foot today and shatter all over the fireplace. Those ones not so much. Rule of life: don't hang photos very high when you are exhausted. Also do eat lots of cookies.

I like my kids.


Bringin Sexy Back-Faire Frou Frou $100 Gift Cert. Giveaway!

Bringin Sexy Back-Faire Frou Frou $100 Gift Cert. Giveaway!

I found a giveaway for cute underwear. You should enter it.


Saturday List

The potty charts are up but we haven't made much progress. I have to be a little more calm than normal or poor Danielle will be scarred for life. This morning she woke up at 6 after Mark went to bed at 4. So like any good parent I gave her a bowl full of Trix. She wanted her picture taken but has apparently entered that phony smile phase of life. My life isn't really interesting enough to blog about. So here is my list of things for the weekend
1. clean my bathrooms
2. take a nap
3. vacuum downstairs
4. clean kitchen floor
5. package etsy items and put them in the basement
6. run three miles
7. return shelves to HomeDepot
8. Hang pictures in my bedroom
9. make bed in the guest room. Maybe I should take a nap in that bed- it is super comfy
10. print wholesale shop order from
11. call Mounifa and Jen
12. Do 2 loads of Laundry
13. Clean Danielle's room
14. Make 2 blankets
15. Hang up Drapes in Guest room
16. Paint laundry closet
17. Vacuum upstairs
18. take pictures of my kids
19. buy tickets to utah in March
20. go through Mark's clothes and put away the ones that don't fit him anymore.
21. Help Danielle go potty.

I just didn't want to leave a pity party at the top of my blog for too long.


Dear Friend, Please give me presents and/or pity.

Hello All: Today I am having a pity party. You are all invited. I accept gifts just like a birthday party.
Here are some reasons I feel sorry for myself.
1. There is pink sanding sugar all over my living room floor. Why? Because Danielle put it there blah blah blah child proof your own darn house. I don't know if I am more sad about the pink sanding sugar or the white carpet. Or the fact that I am not sure where I put the vacuum- I should check the garage but I got distracted by feeling sorry for myself and feeding the baby.
2. Since having this baby my back has hurt- my doctor says it could be illio-sacral blah blah hurts like hell but I don't remember the name of it. The cure? Lots of work and stretching.
3. My throat hurts- is that from a virus? Maybe. Or maybe the goiter I have. Seriously that's what my doctor said. Talk about having a heart attack- any enlargement of your thyroid is a goiter. That's what John is learning is medical school. I feel like giggling but I don't know how to spell goiter. Got my blood tested today for that sore throat.
4. I was complaining about not selling on etsy and my friend told me it doesn't help that it is stuff anyone can make. sigh. Pity me because it is probably true. I guess half halfheartedly selling things anyone can make hasn't been my golden ticket.
5. To get money you usually have to work. Why isn't Survivor trying to recruit me?
6. No one is trying to recruit me- except apparently Obama wants me to go back to work. Or school or something.
7. The earliest Mark has gone to bed this week? 3:30 a.m. I feel so guilty that John isn't getting any sleep.
8. I still don't like my haircut. Yes I should have listened to those of you who told me I shouldn't get bangs. You were right and I was wrong.
9. The shelves I bought fell off the wall. Huge holes in wall and a huge dent in the piano. They won't stay on the really helpful metal attachment piece. Did I mention I put them up myself? Also they fell on my trendy lamp and broke it.
10. Really I have nothing to complain about. Even more pity-worthy? The few who read my blog are pretty positive so they don't need to hear about it. It's hard to be frustrated and know you are lame because you are frustrated.
11. The more I run the more I am convinced it is not for me.

Maybe I'll go make dinner now like a fantastic wife would. Feel free to leave obnoxious positive comments about changing my attitude. I think I'm going to take a nap.


Mark is four months old

We took pictures today. Mark was a happy little boy in his Gap outfit. he has learned to kick his new toy to make noise. OK I saw the toy that Matt and Carlie got their baby and wanted one. So I found something like it. Mark is a cute boy- he is four months old! (on the 18th) He is 26.5 inches long (90th percentile) , weighs 15.8 lbs (60th percentile) and has a 17in head (75th percentile).

having two children kicks my butt around the block. I don't ever always have clean bathrooms or put my laundry away. If I go grocery shopping I feel like I deserve a medal. Today I took both children to the gym and mark watched me run- I was working so hard it made him tired. He fell asleep in sympathy. His fat little chin is ticklish. He has stinky farts. He is teething. He likes his feet.

Danielle and her pet opted out of this photo op.


My Project Collection: Kitchen

We are still wildly working on the kitchen- the painting is almost done. I really like this hardware from Anthropologie and we ordered drawer pulls from the hardware store- THRILLING! Knobs are a harder decision because John doesn't like the glass knobs that I like. Also some of them are really expensive. I love looking at them- I look online a lot. I am glad we went with a light paint color because our kitchen looks cleaner and brighter. It makes me realize that our non-functioning oven hood doesn't match our oven. Jen noticed it right away when she visited and now it bothers me. It already bothered me that the hood didn't work. I decided I wanted the freak out and call mom print somewhere in my kitchen. That happens to me so frequently in the kitchen after all...

The current countertop in all it's worn out glory. My least favorite part of the kitchen is the floor- it's original linoleum. Someone told me you used to have to refinish linoleum and that might be why the finish is so strange. I covered it up with a rug so I don't have to think of it until we get the time to put tile in. My uncle was going to come help us do the floor but my house was too messy so we backed out. As soon as that happened a little piece of my heart died. So I had to go and buy the stacking kit for the washer and dryer (in the kitchen) and three shelves. Our microwave is going to live in the closet with the washer and dryer. When I got the idea I emptied out the current shelf and took down the rod. Then I realized we had to repair the wall. Is it wrong to wait on putting things together because I want to paint the closet. Then I thought maybe I should wait until we do the floor tile. Sigh- luckily I found new homes for all of the cleaners.

Our Kitchen adventure continues. If you ever want your life to be torn up for a few days just decide to paint your kitchen. It's like being naked- everything in your cupboards is on display. Danielle kept stealing my nutella. Maybe I shouldn't have food that I hide my kids- if I have to hide it I shouldn't eat it. Of course this morning I hid in the bathroom and ate my nutella toast and banana, grateful that the cabinet door was on. I don't know exactly what we will do with the back splash- I want to do a Tiffany blue porcelain subway tile but I'm not sure if it will be universally appealing since we probably won't live here forever.
To paint the cabinets we
cleaned them-
filled the holes with wood putty (if you want to level the surface just use a wet rag rather than sanding it flat- it works great)
sanded them
cleaned them again
painted primer 3-4 coats
paint 3-4 coats (sand between coats)
I used really light coats with the detail roller which I liked- for the corners I used a paintbrush for thicker coverage.
I had touch ups after the doors were hung.

My advice if you are painting cabinets-
Get the little detail rollers- I really liked using them and felt like the painting went faster.
Primer is wonderful.
It took us like a billion coats and you need lots of space to paint that- if I could do it again I would follow the advice I read to just get a line in your garage and paint them all rather than putting them all over in the kitchen- so I would paint when it is warmer. That being said I have kids so I can't just disappear in the garage all the time.
It takes a lot longer than you think- I read some thing that said you could do it in a weekend. umm OK maybe if that is your job- I think at least a week is necessary.
Off white is not white. No white porcelain sink for me.
John doesn't like Chrome- who doesn't like Chrome. that's not related. I love projects.



It took me a while to develop New Years Resolutions. I think I have some good ones.
1. Be able to park one car in our garage. I remember growing up my parents had dog bones in our garage. In our last place we had a one car garage and you couldn't park in it and get a car seat in and out of the car. I have never actually lived in a place where you can park any cars in the garage. As soon as the cement for our fence leaves the garage I have big plans for it.
2. Be done with our kitchen redo. I will be posting more about this later. I don't like redoing our kitchen. It makes me realize why people have outdoor kitchens and dining rooms. If you are going to paint your cabinets do it in the spring.
3. Be completely unpacked and have an organized basement. I gave myself permission to avoid the basement since it is freezing cold right now. But it is a goal so I will do it.
4. Run a half marathon in May. I have already wanted to quit and I've only been running for two weeks. This is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
5. Cook one new meal a week. Well as soon as I'm done painting the kitchen.
6. Have all the pictures up.
7. Teach myself more about photography- get a book or something.
8. Figure out how to use my screen printer. Maybe I will make shirts for the family vacation this year.
9. Have a fenced yard and work in the yard at least three hours a week. I like gardening and Danielle does too. Right now it is too cold but soon we will be out there again. I just got one of my favorite garden tools and I am excited to try it out.
10. Paint the front door and re-do the entry. I guess there is a quarry nearby where they give extra pieces away- so I might get some pretty reasonably priced rock for a new pathway. Now I just have to learn how to pour concrete.

When Jen visited she seemed concerned that our house would burn down. So I made shorter drapes for the office. I actually got cafe window drapes from Target and added fabric to them- total cost of about $22.00 which is pretty good for a window treatment. Claire you will notice the beautiful orange magazine holders which I love. Thank you. And my covered books. This week's projects make me smile.



Workout Plan
I have always liked to work out and suddenly find myself a little wobblier and floppier than before. I guess having a child does that to some of us. So I made a goal.
It involves something I am terrible at- running. Claire signed up for the Provo Half Marathon. Who does that? She blogged about it. I have always wanted to be a runner. I feel like if I even look at a treadmill my heart rate shoots up to 180 bpm. My throat closes- my feet go numb- my mind screams- how much longer. I proudly step on and after a warm up bump the speed to a whopping 5.5mph. I go as long as I think is humanly possible- almost an eternity.
It is twenty seconds. I almost never go more than twenty seconds without checking the time. Has anyone in the world ever made it through an entire ipod song without checking to see how far they have gone. In theory I know I can't run three miles during one Linkin Park song but that doesn't mean I'm not surprised when it doesn't happen.
I have always wanted to be a runner. My obvious lack of talent leaves me with girl crushes on runners. Once I had a friend who asked me if I wanted to go on a 50 mile run with him. I wasn't sure if I should just die in shame or question his intelligence. I want to be a runner- I want to fake it. One of my most vivid London memories is going running in Hyde Park with Nancy. After a few moments Nancy said- "boy, you really are slow," and ran without me. Not the first time it has happened.
But one of my life goals is to run a marathon. I made it in High School so I know it is important. I signed up for a run on May 1st here in PA. (It is only a half marathon) Claire pointed out that it doesn't matter if I am bad at it. She claims she is not a good runner. I know she is lying but it made me feel good. If I really want to do this I will have to practice. I am doing a training program. It is going horribly and I hate every minute of it. But I am confident that I will hate it no less in five years.


Once Their Was A Snowman

Danielle's snow spider ate some snow. She let me put all her snow gear on. I guess she doesn't really have snow boots but she does have really cute gloves that look like spiders.

So we pretty much live in a frozen wasteland and we get lots of snow. I think we currently have about six inches on our lawn. Saturday Danielle and I went out to make a snowman. The beautiful snow was too powdery to stick together. The next day it was coated with Ice. Despite our troubles Danielle loves the snow. We shoveled our walk and the neighbors walk. I used the car scraper and Danielle needed the shovel to make circles in the driveways. Mark learned to play with his ball and loves his fuzzy boots for inside. He is so funny and loves to sleep in his crib now. I haven't really had a baby that gets overwhelmed by too much excitement before. He likes things to be quiet and peaceful and yesterday he got overwhelmed when we had some friends over. As soon as we put him in his safe crib he stopped crying and fell asleep. Gone are the days when the best way to calm our baby is to take them to a movie or play loud R&B. Is it just me or was Danielle rather unusual?

Danielle loves snow- She plays outside until her hands are frozen then comes inside then wants to go back out again. When we visited NJ Sara blogged about Danielle in the snow and got some great pictures:
From her blog-

Building Snow Castles

This is when without uttering a word, Danielle and Ed just decided to randomly take off and head down the road.

Danielle was very attentive to "snow babies" as she called them right up to the point when she decided they needed to be hurled at me while I was trying to take a picture of her. A mother's rage I guess.


Dear Toys

Dear Toys,
Once someone told us we spoiled Danielle. How? too many toys. In addition to being stored in my file of rude things people have told me this comment was completely ignored. Think my daughter has too many toys? Don't buy her any. I happen to think she needs more little ponies.
Anyway you toys live on my floor often. I buy you bins. I make you labels. With Sara's laminating machine. I wanted to buy my own machine to help organize you. I relive my childhood with you.
The first great toy purge is beginning. I remember the first time my parents made us throw away all of our stuffed animals except two. On a whim I let them throw away my beloved large stuffed dog for a smaller one with leather ears. Two weeks later the eyes fell off and it was discarded. ONE stuffed animal. Like any decent scarred new parent I am going through Danielle's toys in the middle of the night without telling her. Maybe she won't notice.
She will never know about the purge. How does one perform one of these? Obviously the ponies will last, and the McDonalds toys will be gone.
I will miss you toys.


Five Years

John and I celebrated our anniversary December 21. We have been married five years. It blows my mind that we are married. Every now and then I ask him if he can believe we are married. He says yes. I guess I am just a little slow on the uptake. Our anniversary was great because it was really relaxed and nice. Like John.
I went through and found some of my favorite photos from our wedding day. I really like the picture of us by the temple doors because we look good but not 10 years old like we look in all the other pictures. I was 23 when I got married but John was only 21. People still think he is in his teens. I loved the picture of my grandma and grandpa Berg because grandpa was so healthy. John sang me a song at our wedding and it was beautiful. We got married on winter solstice and I think it is funny to joke around about it being the darkest day of the year. There was a blizzard the day of our wedding. It was freezing. 21 other couples got married in the Salt Lake Temple that day.
My only regret? I didn't get my stuff together in time to have beautiful wedding favors at our wedding. It's like me and Christmas cards now.

marriage stats:
Boaz (gone with the great pregnancy parrot purge) African Grey 14 years old
Taylor (allergic to pennsylvania- went crazy with allergy problems)
Mayli (see great parrot purge) African Grey 2 years old
Bedford (died at 14 weeks old- heartworm)
Simon- (I am allergic to cats) the best orange tabby ever to live
Maya- (died of autoimmune disorder) a sad sickly black cat I fell in love with. She hated me.
we also fostered Jackson and Jax and Lexi. Jax tried to kill our parrots.
We clearly don't have great luck with pets.
Children - one boy and one girl. we have better luck with children than pets.
Weddings we've seen- 6
College degrees- 3 (2 undergraduate 1 masters)
I learned to quilt
I have my first car ever.

Here are five things I like that John does. He only gets five this year.
5. John sometimes acts like he has a British accent. His accent is TERRIBLE. But it is really funny because he knows it is terrible and sometimes it morphs into an old man accent which he is much better at.
4. John is an optimist. I think he believes in people being good, which is increasingly rare.
3. John is a hard worker. I didn't really think about how this would become what I consider the most important characteristic to look for in a spouse. I love that I feel like we work equally hard.
2. John knows how to have fun. He reminds me that sometimes we need to go to the movies or hang out and do nothing.
1. John is good at change. He adjusts quickly which is a good thing since a lot has changed in our five years of marriage.

John is proving to be a worthy opponent. I like it.


Last Year.

every now and then Danielle asks me to take pictures of her and says cheese. Mark never initiates pictures.

Top 10 of 2009

1. Baby Mark Sept 18,2009 Also new Nephews Elijah and Lincoln. All born within a month of each other. Now they just have to meet each other.
2. Our beautiful office built ins. and the finished Nursery. Except I still need to make a twin sized quilt.
3. John getting into medical school. Did I just put IKEA built ins above this? Oh well- I didn't get in to medical school. In 8-10 short years John will be done with school. It's like the light at the end of a tunnel. A very long tunnel.
4. My Christmas was awesome this year. Danielle loved her house. I loved my screenprinter.
5. Mark started sleeping through the night.
6. John is now "Master John" since he completed his masters degree
7. We bought a house.
8. People visited us in our new house. Mike and Diane, Mark and Sara, Jen, Rachelle and Janet.
9. I sent out Christmas cards and discovered how you could enter your addresses in to tiny prints and they would send them out for you. Thrilling! If you didn't get a card send me your address- although their turnaround time is WAY faster than mine.
10. John finished one term already- only 11 more to go. I think I will make it.

also I won an ipod touch from a blog that I found from Sara. I can't believe I won. Also we went to disneyworld. CRAZY FUN.

Bottom 10
1. my second child has somehow ravaged my muscles- it will take lots of work to get them back again. I miss having hips and abs that worked.
2. Danielle changing her own diapers.
3. We didn't send out graduation announcements for John. I was too bitter about his own dad not sending him a graduation present from undergrad. Or a card.
4. Trees fell on our house.
5. The ground froze before our fence was up. Rude!
6. Diaper blow outs at church.
7. Danielle dropped her nap.
8. White carpet + toddler
9. Our mysterious and undefined car problem. No one can figure out what it is but the lights keep coming on. Also I don't know if perpetual dirt is a car problem, but our cars are perpetually full of childhood toys and food remnants. Maybe this is a personal problem.
10. I have no idea how to organize my bedroom closet. Or what to do to the ugly yellow bathroom. So I just never go in those rooms.