Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Nov '17

Cub Scouts

In October Wes’s cub scout den had “Cub-opolis” where scouts and siblings could bring a cardboard car and “race.”

The girls were really into making their kitty-mobiles, especially Elizabeth. She likes to run.

Wes’s car was a shark. (I think he’s holding it upside down.)

He made it about two laps before he gave up.

Elizabeth was in it to the end.

Wes also got some awards, including his Bear rank. He’s now a Webelos.

Nov '14

2nd Birthday









Oct '14

Peanut Butter

I’m letting Elizabeth eat peanut butter. When Carissa was 1 and I started giving her peanut butter I noticed red blotches (hives) around her mouth. I took her to the allergist and found she’s allergic to some nuts and egg whites. So I have purposely avoided nuts with Elizabeth, too.

Wes slipped her a peanut butter cup once and she didn’t seem to react. After that I’ve cautiously given her little bits of peanut butter stuff here and there, or maybe almond milk in a smoothie. I don’t think she’s having reactions. I have noticed red bumpy things around her mouth but they look like acne and not big blotches like hives, and so I’m not sure they’re related to the nuts.

In any case, she is a happy camper with her peanut butter. I hope she’s not allergic.




Mar '14

Oh, That Elizabeth

Elizabeth is 16 months old. When she was a new baby we called her “so sweet.” Now we say, “What a little scoundrel!”


Her personality is emerging more every day, along with her vocabulary and propensity for trouble-making. Some of the words she says:

No! (her first word, I think)
Shoe (her second)
Yeah (“Yes”)
Mom! (obvious)
Da! (“Dad”)
Ni-Ni (“Night-Night,” meaning bedtime)

And today John her her say “Up” when she wanted to be picked up.

Those are her only clearly distinguishable words but she is talking all the time. Gibberish, but obviously it means something to her. If you try to translate it into something like, “Oh, you want to go outside?”, she’ll nod her head and say, “Yeah.” So we communicate.



She likes ice cream cones.


Sometimes we stick her on the potty to practice.


Elizabeth loves a good time and is playful and mischievous. This is where the “little scoundrel” part comes in. One of her favorite pastimes is running up behind Carissa, grabbing fistfuls of her hair and pulling for all she’s worth. Poor, poor Carissa. All I can do is tell Carissa to run away and climb to higher ground to save herself (except now Elizabeth has mastered climbing onto sofas and beds, too).

She has also figured out that if she’s getting into something she knows she shouldn’t, she should find a nice dark corner, or an empty room, in which to do her badness so we’re less likely to find her. If I don’t know where she’s gone it’s usually bad news.

She has learned how to unscrew lids, and she knows where to find everything with a lid that we don’t want her to open. Namely:

– mascara
– concealer
– deodorant
– toothpaste
– Chapstick
– really, absolutely ANYTHING that she can open

She also knows what items I don’t want her to have, but this seems to attract her to them all the more. Like my toothbrush. I can’t tell you how many times a day I find her with my toothbrush in her mouth, happily gnawing away.

If I remove her from something I don’t want her to be into (such as my earbuds, which are usually in my bedroom on the second floor), and I take her all the way downstairs and to the far opposite side of the house, the very moment her feet hit the floor she pivots and like lightning runs straight back to the problem situation.

(P.S. She ate my earbuds, so I had to buy new ones.)


She LOVES to wear her shoes and is always bringing them to me to help her put on. She feels like one shoe is sufficient for going outside. She loves to be outdoors. Her favorite things in the backyard are the sandbox, slide, and water table.



She chases after Wes and Carissa with tremendous joy. She loves being in the action and part of the gang. She enjoys wrestling with Wes (who is not as gentle as I would like).

Her hair is long enough that it usually hangs in her eyes. I tried a million hairclips, but they last only a millisecond before she pulls them out. So I finally found these tiny, rubbery elastic bands that she actually lets stay in.

Her hair is lighter than Carissa’s but straighter (on a sad note, after a recent haircut Carissa’s curls mostly disappeared; apparently they were just baby curls. I’m still crying about it). But Elizabeth’s hair curls right after a bath, so that gives me a little joy.

When she learned to nod her head. We were proud parents.

Elizabeth loves blankets and snuggling in them. I always forget that I can’t try to fold a blanket while she’s in the room because she ambushes it every time. She runs straight into it and rolls around on the floor, a giggling mass of blanket and baby. Her favorite blankets to sleep with are crocheted ones, like the one from Grandma.


She goes to bed around 6:30 pm and wakes up around 7 am. I think she is finally sleeping pretty well through the night (let’s hear a hallelujah for that!).

She recognizes her tummy and bellybutton and head, and gets really excited when she sees our cats. Lately her new things is sitting on top of the couch at the picture window in the living room and watching the world go by. Wes used to do that a lot, too.

Yesterday I dropped some chocolate chips on the floor. No sooner had they touched the floor before Elizabeth scurried over and ate them all up. Today I gave her a chocolate chip granola bar. Guess what was gone first? (Hint: not the granola part). She also likes M&Ms.


When you take a picture she makes a sound like “Cheese!”

She loves to play in the sink and will stand by the step stool and make noise until I drag it out for her.



The other day I was sitting on the couch by Wes with Elizabeth in my lap. He indicated he wanted to hold her. They were so cute together I had to quickly grab my camera for a shot. Naturally Carissa wanted in, too, and–naturally–she only adds to the sweetness of the scene.



Dec '13

Winter is Here

With the holidays fast approaching we’ve been enjoying the season.

I tried taking photos of the kids for a potential Christmas card but they all basically turned out like this. No Christmas cards for us.







We bought a pile of hot chocolate for a church activity. Wes and Carissa liked using it to build a giant tower.


Wes is really improving at his art and writing skills. As his mom, I am Super Impressed and Proud. And so I share:

He did this picture AND the word all by himself. ALL BY HIMSELF. (I just told him how to spell “spider.”) Did I mention I’m Super Impressed and Proud?




Elizabeth is 13 months going on 13 years.


This afternoon the sun was shining and it was above freezing, so when Carissa asked to play outside in the snow I couldn’t object. For the first time, both kids got to make snow angels. Carissa did one and was happy (“Just like Kipper!” she said, referring to the dog on one of her favorite shows from Netflix), but Wes made about six. He really liked it!


Carissa was my helper decorating our goodies for neighbor gifts. She was in her element and did a good job. She helped decorate, Wes helped eat them.



Nov '13

All About Elizabeth

Yesterday my baby turned one. Let me tell you all about Elizabeth.


Only a few days after Carissa was born I started to feel a desire to have another baby. Usually that’s the last thing you’d think about after giving birth, so I set the thought aside. Yet many times as my two kids grew up I’d look at them, and at our family, and feel like one was missing. Once I learned I was expecting in 2012 those feelings and thoughts disappeared.

Pregnancy challenges me. When I was seven months pregnant I received a new calling at church that was hard and felt overwhelming at first. I prayed that in exchange for my service, I would have help with my pregnancy and delivery of the baby. Wesley and Carissa’s births were very difficult in different ways.


I was due around mid-November but labor started around 11 pm on November 5th. It was Monday night and I was just getting ready for bed. I had stayed up too late watching a movie with John, and I felt so tired. Nonetheless, labor was happening. Around 1:30 or 2 am my visiting teacher came and slept on the couch while John and I went to the hospital. I had my first-ever epidural. Though the newness made me nervous, it was overall a wonderful, wonderful experience because for the first time I had a baby without the pain of labor. Wow.

When the doctor showed up I felt nervous again, remembering how difficult pushing had been in the past, but the doctor acted like it was no big deal, and it turns out it wasn’t. The water hadn’t broken yet, which may have made her birth easier and my recovery faster.

She was born around 6:30 am on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 (Election Day). As soon as I held her and got a good look, the first thing I thought was how different she looked from Carissa when she was a baby. This baby was lighter, more fair, and with less hair. We named her the next day: Elizabeth Erin.


I enjoyed the quiet time I had with her at the hospital, and I thought she was very sweet. When we brought her home she was so quiet that sometimes we’d touch her chest to make sure she was breathing.


My mom and dad stayed with us a short while to help, and my mom spent much time holding baby Elizabeth in the rocking chair at night (she’s a softie like that). One morning she told me she felt like her mom and grandma (Elizabeth’s great- and great-great-grandmas) had come for a visit.


Elizabeth was very small until I started feeding her formula around her fourth month. Since then I think she’s become the biggest baby I’ve had. She seems to be growing up fast. She loves sippy cups. She is really good at imitating. If you make a sound with your mouth (such as blowing air or growling) she’ll imitate it. She also is quite vocal. Sometimes John and I joke about what it’ll be like having two chatty girls around. I feel like, for her age, she is good at communicating vocally. She is my only child who hasn’t used sign language. I use it sometimes with her, but for all her imitating, she’s just not interested in sign.


We’re getting more familiar with her personality as she gets older. Some words I’d use to describe her are playful, social, and explorer.


She seems to have a sense of humor and is very playful. She loves to play peek-a-boo by ducking behind a doorway and then popping back out, or holding a blanket over her head and pulling it off again. Now that she’s walking she thinks it’s great fun to walk away from you, even as you call her name, with a great big smile on her face.


She’s still sweet, but more spunky now. She seems to really enjoy being with other people. She’s aware of who’s in the room and whether she’s alone. She’s learning to play independently, though.



She started walking at 11 months, and now that she’s mobile she is quite the fearless explorer. She is quite good at going up and down stairs (she scoots down so fast that it’s like she’s sliding on ice). She clearly wants to be able to walk up and down stairs like the big people do, but she’s still too small. With her being so good on the stairs sometimes I’ll find her in unexpected parts of the house by herself. Just this morning I found her in a darkened bathroom with her hands in the toilet.


As far as sleeping goes, when she was younger she used to go to bed at night without so much as crying, but later she started to cry at bedtime and wake up after she had been sleeping through. After a few months I got up the courage to let her cry and now we know she can cry herself back to sleep with no problem. She goes to sleep around 6:30 or so and I don’t get her until after 7 am (my personal sanity-saving rule). She’s usually happy when she wakes up, and she likes to hang onto her blanket when I pull her out of the crib to go downstairs. She takes a morning nap and sometimes an afternoon nap.


She has about four teeth on top, two on the bottom, and her first molar coming in as well. Her hair is a beautiful auburn color, kind of golden/red/brown, and quite straight. She’s getting more of it, too. I think she is a beautiful little girl. We are glad to have her in our family.