Not-so-up-to-date Update

Last week was Katelyn’s 9-monther. Only slightly behind due to the change in…well, everything. I didn’t have time to research a pediatrician so I just went with the one and only recommendation I had from a fellow ward member.

I was slightly nervous that I wouldn’t agree with her expert advise because her questionnaire asked how many ounces of juice your child drank every day. This made me think she was encouraging juice but on the contrary. Turns out she discourages it. Agreed.

Things went well. I got some great information on feeding our little Bug. I feel like I’ve been in the dark ever since she started solids. How much? How often? What? The? Heck? Am? I? Doing?

Since then I’ve been offering a lot more finger foods and she loves it. Today she sat and ate dinner for a solid hour. She was loving all the food and is getting quite particular about feeding herself instead of me feeding her. Not as clean but sure is cute watching her stuff her mouth with banana and get excited about it. Not to mention this should be a lot cheaper than buying the baby puree. I bought a big bag of fresh veggies for $5 and all I have to do is steam them. I like it.

Anyway, she seems to be doing great. She’s 26 inches tall and weighs just under 16 pounds, both of which puts her around the 6th (or something) percentile. (Is it weird that my 9-month-old is still wearing 3-month clothes?) Apparently it’s expected that they go down in weight percentile when they start getting more mobile…or something.

On the down side, her sleeping habits are killing me. She’s pretty good during the day. Usually two naps at 1-2 hours each. She’s usually in bed by 7pm and wakes up for the day around 7:30. But in between, totally frustrating. Last night she did an “I feel like waking up every two hours” night. Devin can hold her and rock her to soothe her but if I try that she gets frustrated that I’m not feeding her, even though she’s not really hungry and certainly doesn’t need to eat. Anyone have any good suggestions? And by good  I mean something more than just cry it out. I think that might work if she woke up a time or two but four or five? Yikes.

I’m tired….


Seems like lately life has been just that–ho-hum. There’s plenty to do but when it comes to Katelyn, she keeps me busy. Don’t believe me?


This was three weeks ago. Nowadays, her right knee actually hits the floor…occasionally. In addition, she’s pulling up on furniture and eating everything. (Or at least trying to).

To shake things up a bit, we went to the park this week where Katelyn discovered that sitting in the grass isn’t as bad as she originally thought. She loves string. Grass is similar to string. She loves grass. She loves to eat grass…er, try to.


She loves to swing. (That’s my girl!)


Recently we got a new ride. Play? Yes.

Ride? Not so much. We’re getting there.


Last week we ignored the pile of laundry in the hall way and went swimming to cool down. (Yes, we have no AC. It’s all good…)

Katelyn enjoyed it so much she almost fell asleep.


Which brings me to some of our favorite things about her. For the first time since she started to refuse to swaddle, she’ll cuddle with you! She’ll lay her head down (like the picture) and just relax. It makes bedtime so much more enjoyable.

Her newest trick is making a smooching sound. If you do it to her she’ll do it back to you, often accompanied by a big smile.

We may or may not have used cheese to train her to do this. I had a dog growing up.

You go with what you know…

Meh, who needs a professional?

For a while I wanted to get professional pictures taken of Katelyn but things kept getting in the way. First, the never ending money issue. Can I justify $100 for pictures just to want more taken even a month later? No, not really. Then there is finding a photographer. Ugh. Not so much fun. Seems like they are a dime a dozen these days and their pictures seem to be worth that much too. At six months I’d decided just to go to an inexpensive studio in Provo. Katelyn protested by putting a nice scratch on her cheek so no go.

Then I got a few comments about the pictures I took of her around graduation. Remember these? I had read up on a few things in the camera manual and we got a new lens (love it) that is designed for portraits. After messing with some settings and angles I decided to see what I could come up with.

What do you think?

Here is Katelyn a few days past her eight month mark.


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Here she is just last week at nine months and one day. (Sheesh…already?)







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I like the first set better because the colors turned out better. I think she needs to wear darker colors which is a good portrait rule in general.

And so I decided to forget a professional photographer for Katelyn’s shots. Eventually we will probably need one for a family shot but that’s another project. But how can you go wrong with a 10 minutes session and no additional cost?


Back to reality

Yep, we’ve been in California for about a month now. I know. I’m too far behind on blogging to even think about what I’m missing. But that’s probably a good thing for you.

First off–yes! We found a place! When we first made it to CA we stayed a few days with our good friends Austin and Emily. They were nice enough to let us take over their living room for a while. After three days of seeing dump after overpriced dump, we went to see the last one on our list. It was a couple hundred less than most the others we had looked at. As Devin got out to take a look he said, “I’m not even sure why we are wasting our time with this place.” There was no way it could be even halfway decent at the price it was. But he came back saying I had to take a look at it. I braced myself for scum, grime, and bugs.

Not even close. Brand new carpet. Clean. New paint. Clean. Well maintained. Clean. No stupid sliding doors in the bath tub. Clean.

Did I mention it was clean? It was crazy. We saw a couple other places that we considered but when there was a $200 difference, there was no question about it. We had found our place.

Want a tour?

That’ll have to wait for another day. I might need to tidy up a bit. But I’ll tell you a little about it.

It’s a two bedroom, one full bath. It has a good size living room with a balcony off of it which lets in a lot of light. The kitchen is a decently sized. And by that I mean it has a full size dishwasher. It has tile counter tops which I’m not a fan of but I’ll take that over the painted counter tops we saw in another apartment. Covered parking. Small outside storage. A pool (clean and well kept, though not heated). The coin-op laundry room is just a few steps from the bottom of our stairs. I know…coin-op. Yuck. But we just couldn’t justify what seemed to be a $500/month difference to have a washer and dryer in our apartment. But the set up we have is next best. I can do laundry while Katelyn naps because I can see if there is anyone heading towards our apartment from the laundry room.

The location is pretty good, too. Though it’s not walking distance to much like we wanted, there is a park that I can walk to. Also, there is pretty much anything within a five minute drive. Safeway, Arby’s, the bank…what else do you need? Devin’s work is about a 12 minute drive or a ten minute bike ride to a shuttle bus which makes it so we don’t have to buy a second car. Yay for us!

So not completely what we wanted but when you only have a few days to find a place, I’d say we did pretty good. We have a 6-month lease but I’m guessing we will stay longer than that.

So welcome home to us. Ah, finally somewhere to call home.

Back in the US of A with the cousins

After a long month+ we were ready to be back in the States with familiar food and language. Our first stop was back in Houston where we stayed one night before heading back to Utah. We took this opportunity to take a picture of all the cousins on my side of the family complete with the latest addition of Dustin.


After our brief stay at my sister’s, we flew back to Utah. We stayed several days with Devin’s family. To our surprise, his parents had delayed their vacation plans to Europe because of recent events with our sister-in-law, Katie, who was in the hospital expecting triplets. We were able to spend some time with Devin’s parents before leaving for Washington.

This is a picture of Katelyn and her cousin Brooklyn. Brooklyn is about five months younger than Katelyn.

It seems as though Katelyn wasn’t interested in this picture session…


That’s ok because this pictures if far from complete. The other cousin, Kaden, is missing and now there are three more to add to the mix. You can read about it on Katie’s blog.

Random pictures

Here are some random pictures from Prague that didn’t quite fit in with any other post but deserved to be shared.


Katelyn hanging out with Uncle Jiri.


Potato dumplings and caramelized onions that Uncle Jiri made. Delicious!


Mustard fields just outside of Sazava.


Katelyn and me in front of Uncle Jiri’s house. (And dog Ben.)


Devin, me, Katelyn, Marcella, Kristyyna and Uncle Jiri just before we left.


My dad, Jiri, and Katelyn.


After all of our traveling, Katelyn seemed to figure out how to handle public transportation best–hold on.


This was a parting gift that my uncle gave me. It is a glass spoon from a set that was a wedding gift for my grandparents. It was the last one that he had which was in once piece. It’s beautiful and I’m privileged to have receive it from him. (Hopefully I’ll make another post with some pictures of our souvenirs…we’ll see.)




Just around Ricany

Most of our time was spent in Ricany where my uncle lives. Nearly every day we visited a local pizza shop. Sometimes you just had to stick with what you knew. We also frequented the local bakery where we enjoyed some delicious pastries.  Also on our favorite list was the gelato shop which was conveniently a few doors down from the pizza place.


And yes, Katelyn got her first taste of ice cream.  We are pretty sure she would have eaten the entire cone had we let her.


We would also often go to the street farmers’ market to get produce. The last few days we were there, there were some extra booths with some candy, cookies, and these marzipan pastries. Too cute to pass up.


Castles, castles, castles are everywhere. Even in Ricany there are castle ruins.


My uncle always called Katelyn smisek, which roughly translated means smiley face. Near my uncles house we found this house that had this sign so we took a picture next to it.



The last few days in Prague were really nice. The rain finally let up and the sun was out. We decided to take advantage of the weather and we took two trips to Sazava.

Sazava is a small town where my dad’s family used to have a summer home.

My dad’s godfather also used to live in Sazava. At the bottom of his driveway is a religious shrine and a type of wishing well. Long story short–if you are able to put your fingers in the holes in the bottom of the basin, your wish will come true.


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On the tracks near the well.


There’s a joke between my uncle and me about the names of rivers. Most of it is lost in translation on my side but if you see a river, it’s safe to assume it’s the Sazava River.


Me and My Devin.


Me and my dad.


And that’s Sazava…



Salzburg and Cesky Krumlov

We took a short trip with my parents to Sazlburg and Cesky Krumlov.

In Salzburg it rained…the entire time. We were thankful that we invested in a good umbrella from Costco before we left.

We went on the Sound of Music tour. It was good but definitely overpriced. We took few pictures because 1) it was raining, and 2) we didn’t care for pictures with 20 other tourists in it, too.

So here we are in the Mirabel Gardens.


Here is Devin in front of the famous fountain.


We also saw Maria hanging out at the fountain…


In Cesky Krumlov we cut things a little short because of the weather. Fortunately, it stopped raining long enough for us to cruise the town for a few hours.



One of the main reasons why I wanted to visit Cesky Krumlov was that I wanted to take a boat down the river. We had several things working against us. Katelyn was one–it wasn’t safe enough to take her. The wether was another. And lastly, because of all the rain, many of the rivers were verging on flooding. This one was high and fast. My parents saw quite the commotion with some other tourists going down the river. So we decided to pass. Something else to save for next time…


Hiking–Prachovské Skály

One of my favorite things that we did in Czech when we went when I was younger was the Prachovské Skály hike. If you put western Washington and southern Utah together, you get Prachovské Skály.

Since we visited in November when I first went, we didn’t get much of the views that we did this time around because of the fog. Both times we went with my dad’s cousin and his family.



Katelyn, having fun.




My fam.