Sunday, May 30, 2010

Projects for the Plane

Tomorrow Brynlee and I are flying to Utah! It's not that long of a flight, but it's still going to be interesting since Josh won't be there to help me with Bryn. I've been collecting some new little toys and things to keep her busy on the plane. Included on the list are: A new designer pair of shades from the Target dollar section. And I made a quick glasses case for them out of felt. Bryn loves sunglasses and she loves little purses and pouches so hopefully this will keep her attention for a bit.
And then I made a crayon roll, so she can do some coloring. The goal is for her to sit reverently on my lap the entire flight, wearing her sunglasses, quietly taking the crayons in and out of the pockets, and sketching the profiles of the people sitting on our row.
If that plan fails then I've got 200 stickers, a new animal book, plenty of snacks, a small stuffed dog that pants when you squeeze him, four plastic insects, two miniature slinkies, 20 fake gold coins, and about thirty new pages that I added to her picture book. And a blankie. Maybe she'll just want to cuddle the whole time? That's an idea.


(These pictures are from Diana, so this post will be a repeat for Tueller family members who reads Di's blog.) We were lucky to spend time with my cousin Diana and her husband Dan. They came down from San Francisco for a wedding in San Diego, but they stayed in Huntington for a night. I'm so glad they came to visit, and that we could get together! It's always such a treat when family comes to town. Love you, Di and Dan!
Me, Bryn, and Uncle Mark (Please mind my lovely exercise attire. It appears I was the only one to break a sweat during our walk on the beach trail. Ha.)
I'm so glad Di caught this moment! Whenever Brynlee sees Mark she arches her back and does this silly little face. Sometimes she arches so far back that she falls over. She's done it for months, and she only does it for Mark. No one knows where she got it, but we always laugh.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Five Regrets From Today

(1) Not buying one of the fourteen cent goldfish we saw in the pet store this afternoon. My kind of pet. Reasonably priced, only lasts about five days. I'm sure Bryn would have been happy to take it home. (2) Eating eight of the twelve cranberry walnut muffins I made this morning, and then doing the math in my head of the calories they totaled. Bad and bad. Tomorrow's a new day. (3) Pulling up Justin Beiber videos on youtube to see who this kid really is. Enough said. Never again. (4) Buying Brynlee a "bucket-o-buttons" and letting her organize them in muffin tins. Started out okay, but now we have about 50,000 little buttons in every nook and cranny of our apartment. Should've seen that one coming (5) Not bringing my camera on our little outing to the beach with Uncle Mark.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A year ago

I'm about to fly to Utah to see my fam, and I just realized I took a trip to Utah last year at this same time in May. I've been looking back at the pictures from that trip, and it's funny to see how much Brynlee has changed since then. She was still so tiny!
She was cute and happy little baby.
But it was a hard time in Brynlee's life: she couldn't get around, couldn't communicate, hadn't even been allowed to try rice cereal, and she was embarrassed by all of her spitting up in public. She hadn't made any friends yet in California, she was balding in back, and was still recovering emotionally from her bout of baby acne weeks before. And to top it of, she got called a boy everywhere we went. Life isn't always easy for a five month old.
Fast forward one year and we have this silly little girl, who cracks us up each day with singing little songs, shaking her hips, bustling about the apartment, helping out with simple chores, doing puzzles and reading books, changing her jewelry ten times a day, running crazily around with closed eyes and giggles, getting into mischief, looking for bugs with her friends, and so much more. So many changes in a year!
I love my little buddy! (Maybe by May 2011 I'll be able to report that the little rascal has learned not to climb onto the kitchen table! It's something to shoot for.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Art for Bryn's Room

I'm still finishing Bryn's "nursery", even though she's 17 months old. I finally finished a little collage of pictures for one wall. (My little brother Logan drew the two bird drawings on the ends. )
I found the three small black frames at Target in the dollar section for a three-pack. I used paper scraps and acylic matte medium to do the three mini collages in those frames. The two square white frames were from Goodwill for a dollar each. I wasn't a big fan of the lovely rose photos that were in them, so popped out the photos and mats, and then made the simple replacement pictures.
I just drew the bike and flower design on regular white computer paper and cut it out with scissors. Then I glued them, pencil side down, to blue cardstock that I had. An easy naptime project!
I'm not sure if I love the bicycle. It looks a little too boyish and little too street-sign-ish. (I'm actually just realizing that. Oops).
My to-do list has one fewer project to finish!

Friday, May 21, 2010


I LOVE that Bryn has so many fun neighbor kids to play with. (Especially since she doesn't have older siblings). They are so sweet to her attention, playing little games with her, sharing their toys and snacks, teaching her somersaults and dance moves, finding bugs together, riding bikes (with help!), fighting monsters, and presenting her with freshly picked dandelions. Bryn is lucky!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


(Silly Bryn right before bed last night).
My heart is full of gratitude tonight, for so many blessings: for good friends, neat experiences lately, an upliting Ward Conference on Sunday, Josh's career, our little life here in California, so many things. And at the top of the list is my little family. I don't think I deserve such a great husband and a sweet little daughter, but I am surely grateful for them. (Just a little glamour shot of Josh from his last photo shoot on the pier.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Shirt Project

Many of my projects linger around unfinished for weeks, so I love a project that I can start and finish in one sitting. This little shirt was one of those quick ones. I bought the shirt at Old Navy on clearance for $5.00 then just cut out lots of circles of fabric and machine stitched them onto the shirt. Does it look as good as the J.Crew shirts I love? Definitely not. But for five bucks I'll wear it!
(It looks especially nice paired with pajama pants).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I love moments like these

I love it when Bryn sits at her table and does puzzles. And I love it when Bryn sings the tunes of primary songs. And I also really love it when Bryn comes out of her room wearing necklaces and hats (her new thing). This morning we got all three at once. .

Friday, May 14, 2010

Picture Book

I just finished a fun little project that Brynlee really loves. It's another project that my Mom did when I was a kid. My mom sends me her magazines after she reads them, so I went through the stash and cut out images that Bryn would be interested in, then I just glued them on cardstock, and put them in a folder with plastic sleeves. Here are a few of Bryn's favorite pages...
Bryn hasn't seen my siblings since Christmas, so this is how she has learned their names.
It's Bryn's favorite "book" right now, even beating out Goodnight Gorilla...which is saying something!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How it Goes

Parenting is a funny thing at times. Some days I feel so comfortable and pleased with my relationship with Brynlee and her behavior. The days are easy, and it's delightful to watch her run, and spin, and explore. And then the next day I am totally humbled because her behavior is suddenly different, she's more moody or sassy or whiney, and I realize all the things I must be failing to teach her. And it swings back and forth between feeling pleased and feeling shaken. Today (and yesterday) I am on the what-am-I-doing? side. So, if anyone has advice on disciplining toddlers, curing picky eaters, teaching toddlers to clean up their toys, keeping a tidy house with a tornado child, or parenting in general... please leave your words of wisdom. Or maybe I'll just wake up tomorrow and be back on the this-is-a-piece-of-cake side of things. (I'm crossing my fingers). I completely love and adore Brynlee and love being a mom. I just have so very much to learn!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Felt Flash-cards

During Bryn's nap today I made these flashcards. Another quick, free project with left-over felt. Bryn loved playing with them after her nap. I mix them all up and hold up one card and then she'd find the match. It entertained her for quite a while, actually. --- There are two layers of the brown felt, so the back sides are all blank. We turned them all over, mixed them up, and tried to play the memory game, but I think we'll wait a little bit on that one. (The memory game won't work when Bryn's old enough to memorize that the leaf card is the one with the crooked seam, and the flower card is a bit shorter than the rest, and so on. I tried to make them identical from the back, but it just wasn't going to happen!)
I found the idea on this blog, where she made flashcard with numbers. I decided to do simple shapes that Bryn would recognize, since she doesn't know her numbers yet. I'd like to add grommets, so I can keep them on a ring. But I don't even have a grommet tool, so that'll have to wait....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Part II

For old times sake. Remember when I used to take a picture with Brynlee every Sunday before church and then post it on the blog? Woah. First time mom! But we figured Mother's Day was an appropriate time to take a pic.
Love this girl.

Mother's Day

I wish I could spend this Mother's Day with my mom. She is an incredible woman and I am blessed to be her daughter. She is so talented and involved in many different things, but motherhood was always a top priority. Anything good I've done as a mother is because of the pattern she set for me. I am grateful for her every day.
I love you, Mom! And I am also so grateful for my dear mother-in-law who is a wonderful mother to eight children. I'm grateful Josh was raised by such a remarkable woman and I'm grateful to be a part of her family now, too. I am blessed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Central Park

One of my favorite places in Huntington Beach to play with Bryn is Central Park. (The same park with the memorable Fitness Challenge. We've got to do round 2, and move up from the beginner level. Ha.)
The park is right next to the Huntington Beach Central Library, where Josh often goes to study for the CFA. The other night while Josh was studying in the library, Bryn and I walked around the trails at the park and watched the ducks. Bryn was fond of two ducks in particular and followed them around for half an hour. She mimicked their "quacks", said "yuck" and giggled when they ate grass, and pranced after them as they waddled back and forth. The simple joys of life!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Counting Down the Days

(This is the last family pic I have with Jord in it. December 2007. I love that half of us are in turtle-necks. Especially you-know-who. Let's shoot for turtle-necks across the board in December 2010. And Jae's elastic-bottomed sweats circa 1999. Yes, it went on that long).
In four weeks I will be in Utah with my family, and my brother Jordan will be home from his mission! I'm so excited to see Jord and the rest of my fam, and for Bryn to show off all the tricks she's mastered since our last Utah visit in December. It's going to be a busy few weeks, trying to teach Bryn all the things I've told my family that she can already do. Wish us luck!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Instant Friends

Bryn + big blue exercise ball. Why didn't I introduce them sooner?