All posts by Tayler Morrell

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Evelyn | Six Months

Evelyn Morgan is six months old: sitting up, trying to crawl, eating solids, best friends with her brother, and loves playing in the water.

Dear Evelyn Morgan,

How in the world are you half a year old already? I just barely gave birth to you, and blink, you are six months old. You are growing up way to fast for me! Please slow down. I want my baby girl for a while longer, please.

Although this past month hasn’t been the best for me, you have blossomed the past four weeks. You are trying to hit all the milestones right now–again, slow down! Everyone loves you and calls you “princess” or “baby doll”, to which Rhys responds, “Not princess, Evie!” He’s becoming fiercely protective of you and absolutely loves you. You also went swimming for the first time with us and the not-warm water didn’t phase you at all. You loved it and tried to splash the whole time. We have also transitioned you to the big tub with your brother–you use his old booster seat as a bath chair until you are better at sitting up. Again, you absolutely love being in the water and spend the whole time splashing.

Evelyn Morgan is six months old: sitting up, trying to crawl, eating solids, best friends with her brother, and loves playing in the water.

Weight: (unkown until Monday…but I think about 14 pounds?)

Height: (unkown until Monday…but I think taller than the 25 inches you last month?)

Eat | You drink 5 bottles during the day of 4-6 oz. Typically you have 6 oz in the morning and for lunch. Then 7-8 oz when you go to bed. You wake up sometime after midnight to have another 6-7 oz bottle. You also have solids for breakfast and dinner, and some solids for an afternoon snack after naptime. You love your solids and always look forward to them.

Evelyn Morgan is six months old: sitting up, trying to crawl, eating solids, best friends with her brother, and loves playing in the water.

Sleep | Daytime: Sadly, you typically wake up between 6:00-6:30 AM. You have about a 45 minute nap around 8:30-9:00 AM. Then you have a 2.5-3 hour nap after lunch. I’m so glad you still have this long nap. It’s also the only nap you take in your swing. You have given up your evening nap this month. But, you typically wake up around 3:30 and then go to bed at 7, so I’m not upset.

Nightime: We put you to bed at 7 PM. We feed you, rock you, have your sound machine going. Typically you wake up around 8, crying. Then, we rock you for 5 minutes and put you back down. Then you’d wake up between 10-11. Same deal. Then, you’d wake up anywhere between 1-4 to feed and never fully settle back down until 6 AM. The past week, it got almost unbearable with you refusing to eat but waking up every hour! We finally took the advice of Grandma Christiansen and squeezed your pack-n-play into a corner in Rhys’s tiny room. (You will be sharing a room with him when we move to a bigger apartment in August anyway). The first night, you cried for about an hour and Rhys did his best to try to console you. Then, you woke up at 1 to feed and Rhys woke up upset. Neither of you settled back down until 3. But, the next day was much better. You only fussed for 30 minutes and woke up at 4 to feed. You fell right back asleep until 6:30. Hurray! Now, once you get used to it, we’ll try to figure out night-weaning you.

Evelyn Morgan is six months old: sitting up, trying to crawl, eating solids, best friends with her brother, and loves playing in the water.

Milestones | Movement: You are a pro at scooting all over the place. You try to crawl, but you haven’t quite figured it out yet. Sometimes you still do get frustrated when you can’t get somewhere fast enough. When you play on my bed, you love to scoot, then roll over, then scoot, and roll over.

Communication: Smiling is one of your absolute favorite things to do. You squeal at everyone, but especially at Rhys. While in the car, you’ll scream for fun, then Rhys will copy you. You’ll laugh and scream again and Rhys will copy you again. It’s cute, but it hurts my ears. Rhys is your absolute favorite person–you love talking to him and playing with him. Thankfully, he’s been more and more interested in you–he loves to give you kisses and hugs and will smile and coo at you. When Daddy comes home, you immediately smile and sometimes will even reach for him. You always have to make sure he still has a beard–you love grabbing and petting it.

Evelyn Morgan is six months old: sitting up, trying to crawl, eating solids, best friends with her brother, and loves playing in the water.

Playing: You love playing with whatever you can get your hands on. We have had to start moving certain things out of your reach that we don’t want you touching. You love things that make noise when you shake them. You also like trying to go towards cords, so we’ve had to start covering them up. You can entertain yourself for quite some time.

Sitting and Standing: You can sit up quite well, but eventually, you’ll fall back down. Just this week, you have been able to sit up all by yourself from a crawling position. You are now able to climb over objects like pillows and my legs. You are also trying to climb up on me.

You can sit up quite well, but eventually, you'll fall back down. Just this week, you have been able to sit up all by yourself from a crawling position. You are now able to climb over objects like pillows and my legs. You are also trying to climb up on me.

This picture reminds us so much of Rhys when he was a baby. He was always so serious, whereas you are always so smily. But, this is definitely a Rhys face. When you two are together, we’ve been able to see how similar you two look. We love you both.

Personality | Evelyn, you are absolutely the happiest baby ever. You are curious, but you can also be quite stoic at times. Sometimes you are so silent in the car that Daddy says he forgets you are in with us. You love to cuddle and you love playing with your family. But, you have started to have some seperation anxiety and sometimes you won’t be quelled until its Momma that is holding you. We think that has been part of your nighttime sleep issues lately. But now that you share a room with Rhys, his presence soothes you.

Likes:

  • splashing in any water
  • playing with toys
  • eating solids
  • Rhys
  • being thrown in the air or held up in the air

Evelyn Morgan is six months old: sitting up, trying to crawl, eating solids, best friends with her brother, and loves playing in the water.

Dislikes:

  • nighttime
  • when we leave your sight
  • being tired and hungry

Evelyn Morgan is six months old: sitting up, trying to crawl, eating solids, best friends with her brother, and loves playing in the water.

Evelyn, you are the bright spot in our lives. You are friendly to everyone. We all have so much fun with you. I know you have to grow up. But, please promise me that you will stay our smiley little princess.

Love,

Momma and Daddy

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

To My Husband On (his 3rd) Father’s Day

To my husband on his 3rd Father's Day

Dear Justin,

Thank you so much for being the father of my children. I couldn’t have asked for a better man.

To my husband on his 3rd Father's Day

Sometimes, it’s still hard to imagine that we are parents of two children! But, you have handled it with grace–especially during the first few months of each child’s birth when I was an emotional wreck.

From the very first time I saw you interact with your nieces and nephews, I knew you’d be a good father and you haven’t let me down yet. I am so grateful that for the vast majority, we are on the same page with parenting. You are very supportive in how I want to raise the kids. You are a rock when I’m having a hard time.

I am so grateful for the Saturdays that you give me–watching the kids all day so I can spend hours on end at Starbucks or the library trying to play catch up with the blog and freelancing. I am so grateful for the mornings you give me on weekends, taking Evelyn and Rhys and letting me sleep in more, even though you still get up before me on weekdays. I know I take advantage of you at night sometimes when Evelyn wakes up demanding a bottle. But, you get up and feed her anyway.

I am very lucky that you were with me for both Rhys’s and Evelyn’s births. You don’t know how much that meant to me. Especially when I was getting an epidural since I know you don’t like needles, especially in the spinal area. You were a comfort and a motivator. You gave me the courage and confidence to go through with labor.

You are so gentle with both of our kids. When you cuddle with them, my heart melts. I know you say you could just lay down cuddling your kids all day, and I’d love to give you that opportunity (if only our kids would acquiesce). I am so happy that you want to share your passions and childhood with our children. I love seeing how excited you and Rhys get about Pokemon and Mario. I love that you want to share with him your favorite Disney movies. And that time we played with the paper airplanes? I had so much fun just watching you and Rhys. And when you play with Evelyn, it is just so adorable. I know she already has you wrapped around her little finger and can’t wait to see what ends you’ll go to to make her happy the older she gets.

Do you realize just how much your kids adore you? When asked “Who’s the best?”, Rhys will still say “Daddy.” He wants to include you in everything he does. “Rhys and Daddy play Wii-U.” “Rhys and Daddy go swimming.” “Rhys and Daddy pow-pow bad guys.” “Rhys and Daddy make waffles.” There are many times during the day that he’ll ask me, “Where Daddy go?” And when I say, “At work, he’ll be back for dinner,” he first responds “oh..” sadly, then “ok!” excited for dinner time. His face just lights up whenever he plays with you.

I can’t wait for you to teach him more–play sports with him, help him with his math homework, show him how to respect his priesthood, guide him through scouts, encourage him to go on a mission, teach him how to treat women. You will do a great job raising a respectful young man.

Even at six months old, Evelyn absolutely loves you. You are her hero. She smiles whenever she sees you. She wants to be constantly touching you, especially your beard. When you come home, she recognizes that and just absolutely gushes. I am so happy you get to have bonding time with her feeding her and putting her to bed. I know sometimes now she prefers me to do so, but she will definitely become a Daddy’s girl soon–I can feel it.

I can’t wait for you to teach her more–play sports with her, help her with her math homework, do tea parties, rescue the princess, go on daddy-daughter dates with her, interrogate her boyfriends, teach her a strong work ethic, encourage her to do STEM (if she wants), give her away (hopefully not for at least 20 years!!). You will do a great job raising a smart young woman.

I am so lucky to have you as my husband and as the father of my kids.

Happy 3rd Father’s Day, Justin!

 

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Currently | June 2017

currently june 2017

Well, this has been a month. And not in a good way. There have been so many fails this month. Sigh. But, that’s ok. I’m allowed a crappy month every once in a while. Because at least I have these two adorable goofballs to raise my spirits every day. So, here is what we are currently up to.

Currently…

Planning | Spring cleaning. I’m still in the midst of deep scrubbing and going through everything to see if we should keep, donate, sell, or trash. I’m also planning to start teaching English to kids in China online. I’m also planning our move to another apartment complex in mid-August.

Wishing | We could visit Utah more often (but it costs so much). That the kids were older so we could do more exciting things with them (like go on the big roller coasters at Six Flags as a family) or have Rhys babysit Evelyn while Justin and I went on a date…eventually. Someone would come and do spring cleaning for me. Evelyn would sleep through the night. Rhys would stop pooing in his underwear.

Learning | how smart my children are. Seriously, it amazes me to see how fast they learn and grow every day. Learning I can be biblically and spiritually uplifted at other churches and not just mine.

Browsing | Online stores–just window shopping. The library shelves…putting more and more books on my “to read eventually” list.

Going | Nowhere. Justin will be going to Seattle for a work conference in a few weeks. Maybe I’ll take the kids to a few splash pads and parks.

Justin is currently…

Getting a lot of projects done at work…it’s starting to be their busy season. He’s also using his work gym to start working out again. Honestly, it’s kind of humdrum for Justin this past month: wake up, go to work, possibly work out, come home, eat dinner, play with kids, watch TV with me, go to bed.

currently june 2017

I am currently…

Suffering another bought of depression…but it’s also affecting me physically this time. Not only have I been lacking in interest and motivation in many things, but lacking in energy and strength. I’ve taken quite a few naps multiple days this month. I’m also getting worn with finances and potty-training Rhys, and just being home all day with two kids under three. I’m really wishing for a kid-free vacation.

currently june 2017

Rhys is currently…

Almost fully potty-trained. If he doesn’t have underwear on, he can tell when he’s about to go, and will pee or poo on the potty all by himself. However, if he has underwear and pants on, then we have to remind him to pee and he’ll most likely poo in his pants. So, most of the time, when we are just at home, he only wears a shirt. We typically only put underwear on him when we go out. He is also speaking more…still struggling with pronunciation, but he’s definitely talking more nad more every day. Rhys is also starting to pay more and more attention to Evelyn. He cares deeply about her and is fiercely protective of her. For instance, if someone calls her anything other than her name (like little princess or precious one) Rhys will say, “No, that’s Gigi” (Gigi is how he pronounces “Evie.”). However, he also gets annoed with her a lot and doesn’t necessarily like it when she touches him or his stuff.

currently june 2017

Evelyn is currently…

On the move! She’s officially rolling over both ways as well as scooting. And that means she’s starting to get into things she shouldn’t. She loves to reach for everything in her grasp. She also loves to eat her solids and will totally flip out if she sees you preparing it, but it isn’t already in her mouth. Evelyn absolutely adores Rhys and always wants to be touching him. She also loves everyone and smiles at total strangers. We are still working on getting her to sleep through the night. Her thighs are really chunky up! Holy cow! Evelyn will also talk your ear off if she’s in the right mood. We think that crawling isn’t too far away from happening.

currently june 2017

Sariah Rose’s Newborn Photo Shoot

I was given the opportunity to do a newborn photo shoot for the third child of a single mom in our church. I had so much fun taking pictures and editing them!

Favorite Things Party

I also hosted a favorite things party. Only four people came, but it was still a really fun party. We all had good conversations and enjoyed learning more about each other with our favorite things. I also made a delicious Eggo Waffle Ice Cream Taco Bar.

Flooded Apartment

One Saturday this month, as I was about to put Evelyn down to bed, I heard some water dripping. For a second I thought it was just the pipes in the walls signalling that our upstairs neighbor was probably in the shower. But, it got more consistant and apparent. So, Justin and I stepped into the bathroom to see if we could figure out where the water noise was coming from. We opened the cupboard above our toilet to see water dripping through it. Then, water started dripping through the vent in the ceiling. Then, our light fixture in our room. Then, the light fixture in the mud room. And more and more kept coming through…including through the walls. There was a ton of water on our floor now.

Long story short: our upstairs nieghbor’s toilet had been overflowing for hours and he was out of the house. We had to stay the night at a hotel while maitenance fixed the leak, vaccuumed up the water, ripped up the carpet to dry it out, and assess damages. On Monday, they came to replace our bathroom ceiling, fix up the holes and cracks in our bedroom ceiling, and re-lay carpet in our bedroom.

Thankfully, nothing was damaged….we just had a lot of dirty towel laundry to do.

Kubota Tractor Corporation Headquarters Family Open House

Kubota transferred its headquarters from LA to Grapevine, Texas…only 10 minutes from where we live. So, rather than going down 50 minutes to the Texas branch (which Justin had to do when we first moved here), he has a 10-minute commute to a brand new building. And, since winter conferences are now over, they hosted an open house to the family and friends of the employees.

I’m sad I didn’t get a picture of the actual building, but you can view it here and here. It really is a beautiful building. It’s very open and bright and clean with a lot of natural light. During the open house, they had a balloon artists, blow up slides, a petting zoo, and numerous company tractors and machines for the kids to play on. Rhys had an absolute blast.

IMG_6995

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Discover June Goals

Discover June Goals. What are your goals this month?

May got away from me. After a major plateau, and even a little hill in weight loss gain, a bad bout of depression and anxiety spurred by a new birth control, a daughter who is struggling to sleep through the night, and a son who is potty trained completely only when he isn’t wearing underwear, I struggled. Bad. Exercising fell off the radar, as did any motivation and most of my participation in Church. Most days were spent on the couch, letting the Wii-U and TV reign supreme, ordering out for lunch, struggling to somewhat clean the house before Justin came home, falling behind in blogging and freelancing, and wth a frown on my face.

I’m embarrassed to say that I really didn’t get any of goals from May done. I fell into such a funk and I let the funk rule over me. After Memorial Day weekend, I was determined to start fresh–clean house, clean mind, on top of things, positive and healthy. That last all of Memorial Day. Then, I decided to start fresh on June 1st. Lasted only a day. I want to start fresh today, but the house isn’t clean, dishes aren’t done, none of my blog posts or freelancing is done for this week–I always seem to play catch up and never can stay ahead.

Discover June Goals. What are your goals this month? Continue Reading

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Tuna Casserole

Easy, bright, fluffy, and super flavorful tuna casserole recipe!

I grew up loving tuna sandwiches. I don’t know what it is about it…I just did. I could even smell it from quite far away …. but then again, it’s fish, so anyone could. My dad was the only other person in my family who enjoyed tuna. When I went to college, a roommate of mine boiled some egg noodles, poured tuna, sour cream, and peas in the pot and mixed it all up. I was intrigued. I had never had anything like it and I loved it! She told me it was a simplified version of tuna casserole. So, I came to love tuna casserole!

Easy and super flavorful tuna casserole recipe! Continue Reading

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.