This blog is like a journal for me and because of that, it contains my opinions and the way I see things. It is not intended to judge or criticize anyone or to impose any of my views on anyone. I apologize if any of the posts in here is offensive or somehow harmful to you. Because this blog is like a journal, I do not expect anyone to read or comment on my posts. However, I really want to share my life with you and I love reading your comments so please, if you feel like you have something to say, go right ahead! You are my best friends and my family and I hope that you agree with the terms stated above. Thank you so very much for reading and for always being there for me.

Learn about essential oils

I am a Young Living distributor and if you're interested in signing up or just learning more about these amazing essential oils please don't hesitate to contact me. I'd be more than happy to help you find answers to any questions you might have.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Healthy family, happy mom!!

This is the kit that got me started with essential oils. It's worth over $300, and I grabbed it for $160, and the awesome friend I bought it from (Hi, Brooke!) gave me some cash back to make the deal even sweeter.

The kit comes with your choice of diffuser, all kinds of literature and goodies like a roller ball and dram bottles, and ELEVEN bottles of essential oil! Here's a bit about each:

Thieves - the healthy-keeper. It helps kill airborne yuckies, boosts immunity, makes our digestive systems work at their best, and is just the greatest.
Purification - gets rid of bad odors and airborne junk. Feels amazing rubbed on the outside of your throat. I love it in our laundry and to repel bugs :)

Copaiba - supports body’s response to injury/irritation, is a driving oil (enhances other oils!), regulates natural immune responses, can be soothing, promotes youthful appearance from the inside out

Frankincense - Incredible for my skin and immune system, eases occasional and minor tension/anxiety, promotes feelings of calmness and balance (Was given to baby Jesus as a gift. Rad!)

RC - contains 3 different kids of eucalyptus which have naturally occurring eucalyptol (really good stuff), inspires and uplifts before working out, creates a comforting environment

DiGize - supports a super healthy digestive system, alleviates nausea and upset/sour stomach, great for occasional irregularity or upset tummies, relief from occasional heartburn

Lemon - naturally highlights hair, maintains energy levels, helps oily skin, calluses, cellulite, detoxing your body. The works!

Stress Away - exactly what it says. We roll it onto our wrists and the back of our necks anytime we want it.

Peppermint - helps me enjoy springtime outdoors, Soothes occasional head discomfort, supports digestive system, promotes proper nasal and respiratory function! Love this stuff.

Panaway - so many types of relief. Helps with occasional head discomfort, everyday joint and muscle soreness, and that time o' month cramp suckiness.

Lavender - "the Swiss Army knife of essential oils." We use it for enjoying the springtime outdoors. great for relaxation, sleepy cream, a calm environment for kids, and dry/chapped/irritated skin.

Since I'm as nice as my friend Brooke, I'm paying forward the $10 deal too ;) I can not WAIT to have fun with all my new oily friends this month!"

Friday, December 4, 2015


Yet another year has come and gone. We are stronger because of our trials and hopefully a little wiser too. Our girls have grown bigger and have learnt a little more about life and the world. Our major accomplishment was buying our first home in May. We invite you all to come visit! Now, we’d like to share a bit about us. Enjoy!

Jane is now 5 years old. She's “big and strong” and is developing a soft, kind personality. She likes to help us around the house and even changes Kaley's diapers. We started preschool (Homeschool) this year and Jane knows about half of the alphabet and the numbers from 1 to 10. We do lessons online and together at home, sing songs, draw and color. Jane likes to pretend that she is Toothless the Dragon. Together with her sisters they play many parts from the movies they watch. Jane also likes to dance and sing and she enjoys painting and playing with her stuffed animals.

Alyss is 3.5 years old. She is still cute and cuddly and just a joy to love and hug. She is very independent and can do almost everything that her older sister does. She knows a few letters and when she can sit still she colors really well. She now stays inside the lines most of the time and loves to use many colors so that everything looks like a rainbow. Her favorite letter is letter "A for Alyss". She still loves Lightning McQueen and has tons of him and other cars. She also likes elephants, fish and cats and riding ponies.

Kaley is 2.5 years old. She is the sweetest and kindest little girl I know. She gives “Noapte buna” (good night) kisses to her sisters and kisses us better when we get hurt. She loves to cuddle and give and receive hugs. She still sleeps in our bed but sometimes she ends up in her own bed which is right next to ours. Kaley likes to color with her sisters when we do lessons, she loves to dance and sing and is really good at learning and singing a lot of songs in Romanian and English. She knows all the main colors and counts like a pro. She recognizes letter A and Km which she calls her name.

Dahlee is still the great mother that she's always been. She likes to think that she's even better now that she's learnt about the different types of people she read about in the book “The Child Whisperer” by Carol Tuttle. She knows how to treat the girls a little better and understands herself a little better too. Dahlee has taught the girls a lot about the world and about school and they did lessons together this year and learned a lot about teaching and learning ways. Dahlee took the girls to Thanksgiving Point quite a bit. They visited the gardens, the farm, the dinosaurs and the children's museum and had a lot of fun while learning new things and enjoying the outdoors. The girls had fun at the pool in the summer and at different fall and winter activities when it got cold. They love to go see Santa and the Christmas lights all over the Salt Lake and Utah Valleys.

David had a successful year at work. He attended an international technology and education conference in Philadelphia where he was a presenter and had a full house with people asking questions and learning lots of things from him. He continued to work hard for Jordan School District and had a supplemental job at Barnes N Noble. He also read a lot of books, which is one of his passions, went on hikes, including Mt. Timpanogos and developed a better friendship with Chris, Lia's husband.

We hope you had a wonderful year as well and that you kept busy and were healthy and happy. We wish you a joyous new year 2016, lots of love, health and accomplishments and wonderful relationships.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New Year, New Home!

Year 2015 proved to be a good year so far, after all. It didn't start out too good and we went through quite a few disappointments but we persevered and stayed together through it all and things did get better.

In February, after receiving our tax return and paying off more of our debt we decided to start looking for a new home to buy. We've been renting for years and buying seemed feasible and the next natural step in our family progress. So, I contacted my friend Serena Essuman who I remembered was certified as a real estate agent. It turned out that her husband David was too and practicing more than her who at the time was a Stay-at-home Mom of two young children and pregnant with the third. After searching and searching and searching some more, we found a 3 bedroom condo in Pleasant Grove. We liked it a lot and were so excited to buy it but after a month of going through the process, the loan officer realized that we didn't qualify for the loan necessary to buy the place. And so the process of searching restarted, though we were sad and disappointed that things didn't work out with the first apartment. Well, after more searching, in May we found another apartment we loved even more than the PG one. This one was in Saratoga Springs; still 3 bedrooms but nicer. It took us another month to go through the process again but by my birthday we were able to move. What a birthday present! :)

We've lived here for a few months now and we all love it. It's a nice neighborhood, we have stores and restaurants close and we are close to friends and lots of places where we can go have fun. We are only about 25 minutes farther away from Salt Lake. We got a membership to Thanksgiving Point, which is very close to us and we go there with the girls often. David doesn't mind the commute and we are happy that we live close to Lia and Eni and can hang out and have un with them a lot more than before.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Kaley Just Turned 2!

You are two, Kaley! TWO!!! Yes, I know, it's crazy and I still can't believe it. You are my little baby, and will always be but I'm not sure I'm ready for you to grow up.

You are so sweet and smart. You can count to 14 better than your sisters, you know a lot of songs, you love to dance and you know Romanian words. You are also a great talker. You know a lot of words and are starting to make sentences. What else could a mom ask for? You are pretty much perfect and beautiful and I LOVE YOU!!! Yes, I love you so much it's hard to explain.

I love to sleep next to you, I love your hugs; they are the best hugs ever, so filled with love and candor. You are so beautiful. You have beautiful blue eyes and blond hair and man, you can tan too! Perfect combination. :) This past year's been a little hard for you because of all the big changes that come with growing into a toddler. But you did so many great things this year. You learned how to walk, and run and jump. You learned how to talk. You learned how to put shoes on and you like to try on everyone's shoes, including daddy's. You learned how to sleep through the night without drinking milk from mommy. Man, was that hard to do! You sometimes cry because your sisters won't share their toys with you but a lot of times you all play together and have a wonderful time.

For your birthday party you were so lucky to have grandma here with us. We decided to have a Baymax party because you like Baymax and Big Hero 6. Grandma made you a Baymax cake and you got tons of Baymax presents. We all had a great time and loved seeing you blow the candle on your cake.

I wish you a wonderful 2nd year and I can't wait to see all the fun new things you will learn this year. 

I love you Kaley! Never forget that! I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

How I night-weaned Kaley

Kaley and I co-sleeping peacefully

I'll start out by saying that Kaley's been breastfed on demand from day one. When I decided to stop feeding her at night she was just a couple of weeks over 20 months old.

I decided to stop feeding her for multiple reasons. First, her pediatrician informed me that her teeth were getting bad because of the night nursing. Second, she would literally stay attached to me some nights to the point where I couldn't move or she'd wake up crying. Third, neither one of us was getting enough sleep. I was tired and yelling at the girls and I didn't want that anymore.

So, after we went through a rough night where she nursed the entire time and my nipples were starting to hurt again, I decided that the next night will be it; we would stop nursing at night. I researched some gentle ways of doing it and I found Dr. Jay Gordon's advise. We cosleep and so our situation was a little different than that of other families. Dr. Gordon's advise is specifically designed for cosleeping families so I thought I'd follow his suggestions. I also watched some Youtube videos of moms who successfully night-weaned their toddlers without too much effort and read a couple of articles written by RIE advocates. I thought I'd apply what I liked from the different sources and hopefully it won't be too hard to do it.

Well, the night came. According to Dr. Gordon, you need to set a specific time when you're not going to nurse anymore (say 11 to 6) You can nurse before and after but not during that time. I nursed Kaley that night and then, at 11:30 I stopped and told her it was now time for bed. I had told her in advance that we would have to say "bye-bye" to the boobs at night and even though she didn't seem happy about it I don't think she really thought we would not nurse anymore. So, when she tried to get to the boob and I refused she started screaming. It was the type of scream that breaks your heart. She kicked and hit me and kept pulling at my shirt. It was one of the hardest things I've done but I stayed firm. When she hit me, I'd put her on the bed where she would just scream and call me. I always stayed calm and right next to her but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. After crying for about 30 minutes I picked her up and started walking in the room and bouncing her like a little baby. She eventually calmed down enough to fall asleep. I put her on the bed and she kept sleeping but whimpering too. I was so heartbroken but I knew that I needed to be strong for her. While she was crying I told her A LOT that I loved her. It took everything not to give in. Four hours later she woke up asking for boob. Again, I refused and offered her water. The screaming began again, I thought, even harder and more heartbreaking. It lasted for almost an hour but she eventually laid down and fell asleep on her own. She slept 3 more hours and then when she woke up I offered her the breast and we both kept on sleeping for another hour.

The second night I was terrified about the whole process and about our neighbors calling the cops on us if we torture the poor baby again. This second night was about the same just one thing was different. Daddy came in the room while she was kicking and screaming and she just stopped. I was holding her and she fell asleep in my arms. When she woke up 3.5 hours later daddy had to go stay with Jane and Alyss who heard the screaming and were not very happy. Thankfully they didn't fully wake up but Kaley did give us another round of screams.

The third night I thought I'd do things a bit differently. I was alone at home with all three girls and I was worried that no one will go to sleep and I'll end up with three screaming kids. So, after everybody was bathed, we all got into my bed, we read a story and I nursed Kaley while we read it. After everyone brushed their teeth we said "bye-bye" to the boobs. Jane and Alyss fell asleep pretty fast but Kaley found my phone and she started watching some Winnie the Pooh. Daddy came home from work and moved Jane and Alyss to their room and then came to lay down with us. Both he and I were getting tired so we kind of laid down and got pretty sleepy. Kaley watched Pooh a bit more and then she laid down all by herself, without any crying or fussing and fell asleep. I eventually fell asleep too and the next thing I know it was the morning. David had already gone to work. It was 9am when Kaley woke up and asked for boob. I gave her some and she fell asleep again for another hour.

On night four I decided to just stop nursing right before bed, contrary to dr. Gordon's advise. After I nursed her a bit we brushed teeth and went to bed. She started crying when we went to bed but she calmed down and cuddled with daddy. She woke up twice and whimpered a bit each time but fell back asleep within minutes. The next two nights she fell asleep with me without daddy and without any crying and slept through the night, about nine hours straight. When she wakes up in the morning she asks to nurse and I'm totally ok with that. 

So, I think we did it. I'm still a little nervous every night when I put her to bed but I think she learned now that we don't nurse at night anymore. It was hard the first two nights but I trusted her and she showed me that she can do it. Good job little angel and sleep well! I love you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

3 Years Old Alyss

So, today you turned 3, Alyss! THREE!!!! Where did time go? You are as sweet as ever and the strongest willed little girl I know. I love you to pieces!

For your birthday party, daddy stayed home to get things ready and I took you and the girls out to play and be out of the way. ;) We also wanted it to be a surprise so of course we had to be gone from home. When we returned, daddy had finished the McQueen cake and put up all the decorations. The theme for the party was Lightning McQueen since he is still your favorite. You were so excited to see all the McQueen decorations and plates, and table cloth and CAKE! Daddy made a McQueen cake for you and you loved it. You also got a lot of McQueen and Cars toys. It was so much fun. We talked with Charity on Skype and with Grandma and Grandpa, ate pizza and cake and just had a great time together.

Lightning McQueen cake made by Daddy

Alyss, I just want you to know today and always that I love you so much. I love your giggly laugh, I love your cute cheeks, I love your bright eyes, I love to zerbert your tummy and I love to hold you. I love your hugs at bedtime, I love to watch you pay with McQueen and with your sisters and I love seeing how loving and caring you are. I love you baby, with all my heart and I'll try my best to help you never forget that. Happy birthday Alyssuca!

Happy Birthday, Alyss!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Happy New Year!
Well, here we are again at the end of another year. In January it felt like it was gonna last forever and now, in December I can hardly believe that it's almost over. Here's a short summary of what we've all done this year.

David: continued being successful at his instructional technology job at the Jordan School District and also continued working for Best Buy until November when he started working for Barnes and Noble. He loves reading books and sharing that love with others so this job is pretty fun for him. He was also a presenter at a technology education conference in Salt Lake City and applied and was accepted to present at a national conference in Philadelphia in 2015.

Merry Christmas!
Dahlee: still staying home with the girls and still loving it. She teaches them lots of things and their most favorite activities are going to the library, the zoo and the aquarium, singing, reading books and watching movies.

Jane (4): happy, sweet, active, sensitive, observant, caring little girl. Started gymnastics in October and loves it. Also loves Elsa and everything princess and Toothless the Night Fury Dragon. Favorite color - pink. Favorite song - Let it go (Frozen). Favorite outfit - Elsa dress. Favorite thing to do: singing songs with mommy and her sisters.

Alyss (2y 10mo): happy, stubborn, daring, loving, playful, tender cutie pie. Loves Lightning McQueen. Favorite color - blue. Favorite movie - Cars. Favorite song - Let it go. Favorite outfit - anything McQueen.

Kaley (1.5): happy, sweet, cute, loving, smart, boob-loving little bundle of joy. Gives the best hugs and kisses. Loves to sing and dance. Favorite song - Twinkle, twinkle little star. Favorite shoes - her new winter boots and her sisters' shoes. Favorite thing to do - nursing.

Happy New Year 2015!

Our beautiful girls: Kaley, Jane & Alyss

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Jane is 4 Years Old

4 Years Old
Toothless cake
Jane, iubita, you're 4 years old today! What a big girl you are! It seems like yesterday that we went to the hospital to have you and now you are four.
It's been a great adventure so far and you've changed so much since the day you were born.
You look and act like a child now, not like a baby anymore. You are really smart and know lots of things. We are so proud of you and of all the things you can do now. You like to color and draw with chalk, you like to dance and sing and you like to play with your toys and with kids at the playground. You are very nice and make friends easily. You like talking with little kids and with adults alike and everyone finds you a very pleasant and friendly little girl. Other things you like are movies and games on the iPad. You also like dressing up like a princess and also like going to gymnastics. You are getting pretty good too. 
But do you know what I think is your best quality? You are very kind and always try to find ways to help those in need. When Kaley cries you pick her up or give her a toy. When Alyss cries you usually try to comfort her or tell me that Alyss needs my attention. When mommy needs help picking up, you're the one who comes to help. You are so in tune with the feelings of those around you and that's a great quality to have. 
Another gift you have is your intelligence. It seems that your brain always works in overdrive and that you make connections between different things that may not easily seem related to others but make perfect sense to you. What a great gift to have!
Some accomplishments this year would be going to gymnastics and doing really good, being fully potty trained, knowing how to put your clothes and shoes on, jumping, talking a lot in correct sentences and knowing lots of words, singing and acting and remembering lots of songs and lines from movies. Some favorite movies are How to train your Dragon, Robots and Frozen but you like most of the cartoons we have. You also like Team Umi Zoomi, Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Little Einsteins and, Dora. 
For your birthday daddy made a tasty Toothless cake and you got a Toothless toy, a couple of shirts, one Anna doll and from bunica: a nice bike! You loved your presents especially since you got pretty much everything you asked for and more. 
Now, at the beginning of a new year of your life we'd like to wish you a very happy birthday and good health for the year to come. There are many adventures ahead of you and we want you to know that we'll always be here for you, no matter what. You are beautiful and perfect and I want you to know that I'll always be here for you and that I'm here to always listen to you, teach you and take care of you. I love you Jane with all my heart, more than I thought possible. May you have a lot of fun and happiness in this new year of your life!
Te iubeste mami mult de tot, pui mic si drag! Sa nu uiți asta niciodată!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Water can take your most precious possession

It is true. While I love the beach and the pool, I never felt completely comfortable in water. This year we have been using the pool at our apartment complex quite a bit. The first day the girls were really scared, the second day Jane started letting go of my hand and a few times later both her and Alyss were playing in the water and having fun. However, Alyss seemed to have a hard time not rolling face first in the water. We tried different life jackets and flotation devices and the only thing that seemed to keep her up and her face out of the water was an inflatable ring sewn inside a vest. Just yesterday she went all the way around the pool and floated everywhere and j thought that we finally found the flotation device that would keep her from getting face first in the water.
Well, today we went to the pool again. As the water was dirty with lots of leaves floating around I told the girls to only play on the stairs while I got the net and started gathering the little floaties. As I was engaged in this activity I kept checking on the girls, especially on Kaley who kept wanting to crawl out of the inflatable tub I'd put her in. For a second I forgot about the older girls who we're having fun together by the stairs. As I looked towards the water I see what I now describe as the most terrifying image of my life. Alyss was on her belly with her face in the water, struggling to lift herself up. I don't know what happened but for a split second I couldn't register what was happening. It was like I was watching a movie. I looked at her, then I looked at the kids playing and not noticing what was happening then I looked at her again. She wasn't really struggling anymore and was just lying there, face in the water. I got in and pulled her out. She wasn't responsive though she was conscious. She coughed a couple of times then just laid quietly in my arms. Her cheeks were still red from the heat but all around her mouth she was a pale green. Eventually the color returned to her face and she showed a desire to get back in the water though more cautiously. All I wanted was to leave and never return but I didn't want this experience to scar her and make her afraid of the water for the rest of her life, so we went back in. My hand never let go of her though and I know I'll be scared and paranoid for a while before I could trust that she will be ok.

The pool is usually a great place for us - 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Alyss at Two

Alyss loves Sulley and Monsters U
Fun on the slide
Disney Store in SLC
Happy Birthday our sweet Princess
Sulley cake made by daddy
Happy birthday our sweet Alyss!!!! Man, you're two years old! I can hardly believe it but you've grown so much and every day you show us more of your personality and of who you are and what you like.

Physically speaking, you still look like a toddler, with chunky legs and squishy rolls on your arms and cute, chubby cheeks but you are slowly transforming into a small child. Sometimes I think I see an older you when I look into your face but then I blink and your serene, innocent 2 year old face stares back at me. I just love your little face and everything else about you. I love you when you fight with me, when you bite your binky or when you throw yourself on the floor because I won't let you play with the iPad anymore. I love you when you cry and scream and I love you when you give me hugs and kisses and when you play wit Jane and when you love Kaley so much you can hardly stand it. I love how vibrant and spunky you are. I JUST LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU!

You are so lovely and smart and happy. You still copy many of the things Jane says but you are also becoming more and more independent and are learning how to use language in your favor. You are a talking machine. You know so many words and you put them together in sentences and are pretty easy to understand. The pediatrician is always amazed when she hears you talk, how coherent you are and how many words you know and understand. You also know lots of songs both in Romanian and English and you love to sing and dance. You also love to watch movies (Minions and Monsters being some of your faves) and to play on the iPad. 

I just thought of something really cute you do. You like to give me hugs and kiss me when I'm on the floor at your level, after I change your diaper. Yes, you're still wearing diapers even though sometimes you use the big potty and tell us now when you need a diaper change. It's a bit scary to let you run around naked because of the puddles and bombs we usually find all over the floor when that happens :) I guess this summer will be the time to help you learn more about using the potty all the time like all the big kids. And speaking of big kids, you also still LOVE your binky; so much in fact that you cry even when I move it from one onesie to the next. We'll see how we'll deal with ditching it but for now I just think that it's not that bad and that you'll eventually stop loving it so much eventually on your own.

Now, a bit about your actual birthday. We went to Chuck E Cheese in Orem with Eni, Lia, Rodica and Maria and their kids and we had a great time playing and eating yummy food. You love to eat and are a great eater. I love how you try almost everything and are good at sitting down and eating your food. After this party we went home where daddy had another party for you. He had made a Sulley cake and decorated the living room with Monsters U stuff. It was so cute and the cake was delicious. Your daddy is an awesome cook! You then opened the presents and loved everything you received. Jane liked your new toys so much too and you two shared the little ponies that you got.

Our dear Alyss, you are such a sweet little girl and we love you more than you can imagine. This kind of love cannot be explained and you will too experience it when you have your own children. We want you to know that we are proud of you and so happy to have you in our lives. You are an independent and very happy little girl. You are not afraid to try things and you show no fear even going down the tall slide for big kids. You show me every day that life is to be lived. We love you and hope that you'll stay happy and adventurous and will keep saying "no" and being the independent little person that you are. Te iubesc Alisucu' meu mic si drag!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013 - A Good Year

So, I don't know what others thought at the beginning of 2013 but I was a bit skeptical since this year ended with the number 13 which is sometimes thought to be a bad luck number. It turns out that 13 wasn't that bad of a number after all and 2013 was a good year for us.

Johansen Family - December 2013
Kaley (6 mo), Jane (3) and Alyss (1 yr 10 mo)
Here's what happened:

- Alyss turned one and started walking at 14 months

- We moved to Taylorsville at the beginning of June

- My mom (bica) came to visit in June and stayed with us until December 20

- Kaley was born on June 30 by successful VBAC

- David's parents moved to the States from Japan and came to visit in July

- Our apartment flooded in September

- David started a second job selling at Best Buy in September

- Jane turned three in November

- We loved trick-or-treating on Halloween, enjoyed our great Thanksgiving dinner and had fun opening presents at Christmas

Now for each person a little bit to remember...

Kaley - born on June 30 at 11:10pm, at 38 weeks. She was 7lb 14oz and 19.5 in long. She is exclusively breastfed and we introduced solid purées around 5 months of age. Kaley has a hole in her heart that we need to check on periodically. She doesn't seem to be bothered by it. She is a very happy, alert baby. She loves to be help and gives the best hugs. She smiles all the time and people often comment on how beautiful she is and how sparkly, like stars, her blue eyes are. She loves to kick and roll over and she enjoys eating sweet potatoes and squash and drinking from mommy's kefir. Up until 6 months she hasn't cut any teeth yet, to the enjoyment of her mom who is a bit worried about breastfeeding a baby who has teeth and likes to mischievously nibble and play with the source of her food :)

Alyss - man, what a dynamite girl she is! Especially since she likes Wreck it Ralph I think that the description fits her perfectly. She runs around and climbs on everything. She copies everything that Jane does and says. At her 18 months appointment when the doctor asked if she knows 10 words I almost started laughing. Not only does she know a lot more than 10 words but she also understands and speaks both English and Romanian words and even sentences. This baby is pretty much my dynamite baby. She is also very happy and loves to laugh. She already knows the ABC song, Twinkle twinkle little star, The itsy, bitsy spider and even some parts of a couple Christmas songs. She can count to ten almost without any help and knows lines from several movies by heart. She enjoys playing toddler iPad games and puzzles and also loves being outdoors where she loves the park and the swing and to play in the water. 

Jane - our cute, sensitive, dainty Jane! She is such a girl. She puts her hair behind her easy, pulls on her sleeves so that they don't ride up her arms and likes to wear cute clothes. I love how when people say that she is pretty she simply answers "yes" :) She knows she is beautiful and I sure hope she will hold unto that knowledge for ever. As much as she's grown and is more of a child than a toddler now, Jane still likes to crawl around under tables and climb up on tables. She likes to watch a bunch of movies on the computer and play toddler and preschool games on the iPad. She talks a lot and sometimes I wonder how and where she learned some of the things she says. I just love how she actually forms correct sentences and phrases and how we can actually have a conversation. Jane is a very sensitive girl who observes those around her and their feelings. She is touched by music and likes to dance and twirl around with her toys, epically her puppy toys. She loves puppy toys, the 'noceros' (rhinoceros) and the reindeer bath toys and she carries around her beloved pillow what she used to take out in the car but now she just leaves on the couch when we go out. One time we were at the mall and a nice, slow pop song was playing at the radio and Jane almost started crying. I had the same feeling so I totally understood her but I was surprised to see how soft she is. Jane enjoys going to IKEA and to the "parking park" and the dinosaurs at City Creek. She loves her two younger sisters even though she doesn't show it very much. She always makes sure that Alyss also gets gummies, water, apple or whatever Jane asks for. She sometimes holds Kaley and likes to kiss her head. Even though she more often than not makes a mess by leaving toys and books everywhere in the house, Jane also helps mommy with stuff around the house and helps pick up the messes she and Alyss make. Both Jane and Alyss like our sleepy time routine of brushing teeth and reading books and they even 'read' the books to us and know parts of the rhymes in them. Jane's favorite color is pink and her favorite letter is W. She knows many songs and loves to sing. I love how Jane and Alyss sing "oac, oac, diri, diri, dai" or "Monkeys on the bed" while actually jumping even though both the song and mommy tell them no to. 

Dahlee - so, pretty much the biggest, happiest moment this year for me was the birth of our third cutie pie, Kaley Olivia. The birth wasn't too difficult, the only part I didn't enjoy being the labor pain and the painful epidural, and the pushing only lasted a couple of minutes. I still needed an episiotomy but it wasn't as unbearable as last time afterwards this time around. The doctor was amazing and very nice. The other great accomplishment for me is successfully breastfeeding Kaley. She was exclusively breastfed until she was 5 months and we are still doing it and having a good time. I love the closeness breastfeeding brings and even though it gets hard sometimes especially because of having three children so young and close in age it is also very rewarding and comes in handy at night or when we're out and about. I've gotten pretty good at the whole nursing in public thing and not only do I not get embarrassed anymore I actually enjoy doing it. The other thing that I've been learning and working on is the type of parent I want to be for our girls. There are many days when I can't help but wonder "what was I thinking having so many kids so close on age?" but then I look at them and am so proud of every little thing they do, so happy to see them smile and play and giggle, so thankful to see them healthy that I forget all the hard times and just want them to feel loved and happy. We must not be such bad parents after all :) I'm learning about RIE (Resources for Infant Educarersand attachment parenting and I try to help the girls be independent while knowing that we are there for them and love them unconditionally. I'm far from being a perfect parent but I'm seeing my mistakes and am trying to be a bit better every day. Now, If I could only stop yelling :) One other thing that I've researched quite a bit and started applying in our,livesmismhealthy, greener living. I try to get greener products for our home and for ourselves and I also try eating better and using natural remedies and health options. We take multivitamins and minerals, cod liver oil and probiotics and try to go out for walks every day. I hope that we can get better at living a healthy lifestyle and feel great while doing it.

David - our hardworking daddy. I honestly don't know how he does it. He leaves before 8 in the morning and some days doesn't get home until midnight. Oh, how I wish that he had one job that he loved and provided enough so that he didn't have to work menial jobs and be away from me and the girls so much. There have been days when the girls wouldn't see daddy for two or three days in a row and it really saddens me to see them ask for daddy and want to be with him when he has to be at work to provide for us. We love daddy so much and hope that 2014 is the year when our dream of having one great job and daddy home more will come true. The sad thing is that David is so good and knowledgeable at working with Macs and iPads; he is great at teaching people how to use them; he can troubleshoot and fix computer problems while helping others understand the problems; he wrote a book about the use of iPads in the school district where he works, was invited to speak at several educational technology conferences and was asked to help and tutor several people and companies. Yet, he is underpaid and not able to get a better paying job because of not having a degree in educational technology which would require money and time that he doesn't have. There also isn't a huge job market for technology teaching. He could work for a company but we haven't been directed towards such opportunities and are not aware of many companies who would give him an opportunity to show what he knows and can do. So, he keeps trying and learning more every day. He is also a really good and loving dad. He plays with the girls and I love seeing him hold both Jane and Alyss in his arms when we are out and they are tired of walking. He reads to the girls and helps them get ready for bed and almost always stays with them until they fall asleep. He is also a great husband. Who would come home from a long day at work to do dishes and vacuum the living room because Mommy had a rough day and didn't get to do it? I just love him and my girls so much and feel, so lucky to have such a wonderful family.

We hope that your 2013 was a great year and wish you all a new year with much love, health and happiness. Happy New Year 2014!

Our Sweet Little Girls

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jane is Three!

Our beautiful Jane

It's November 5th, 2013 and Jane's third birthday. I can't believe how fast time flies. I remember as if it were yesterday, how around midnight my water broke and I was admitted into the Provo IHC Hospital. Around this time (3:30AM) three years ago the epidural stopped working properly and the, not so wonderful part of labor started. However, at 1:08PM Jane was born; a healthy, beautiful baby girl who brought tears of happiness to her mom's and dad's eyes. Even though the C-section was a blur, I still remember how David brought Jane to me and I kissed her tiny face.
Many things have happened since then. Jane, you are now a big sister and have learned so much in these three years since you were born. You weigh 35lb and wear 3T and even some 4T clothing. You are tall and have beautiful, long hair. A lot of people compliment you for her beauty, cuteness, pretty hair and big, blue eyes. You are a good big sister. You like to hold Kaley on occasion, and marvel at how small and cute she is. You also take care of Alyss and always make sure that she gets something before you do. If you ask for some chocolate, you first give a piece to Alyss and then come and get a piece for yourself. You and Alyss like to play together too, even though almost always your play turns into fighting as you both try to figure out how to do things together. Life can be pretty hard when you are a toddler. You are trying to understand how things work, you want to be listened to and do things that you see grown-ups do and, you want to be always be right. All these struggles turn many times into full-blown tantrums and meltdowns when you go and close yourself in your room or just hold tight your pillow and sometimes put your face in it to cry. You have a small pillow that you sleep with and carry around the house. You used to want to take it outside with you but nowadays you just leave it on the couch in the living room to wait for you until you come back home. You also have a little fluffy puppy and a rhinoceros that you love very much and who help you fell better when you are sad. In the beginning we weren't sure how to deal with the intense feelings that you experience. We are now starting to realize that you are learning and want to be considered as a member of the family who has something to say and wants to be listened to. So, we are trying to be more patient and understanding and to help you understand your feelings and learn how to express them. We know that you are having a hard time sometimes but we also know that you are very smart and have a good heart and that you will learn in time how to deal with your emotions. We just want you to know that we are here for you no matter what.
Jane, we are so excited to start a new year of your life and to see you grow and become a child more, and more every day. I can't wait to take you to sports or dance or who know what else you might want to do. I can't wait to start teaching you how to draw and color and how to read and write. We already have small conversations and you are starting to ask more and more questions about what things are and why they are the way they are. You love to talk on the phone with daddy, you absolutely adore daddy and love to spend time with him. He loves spending time with you too. You like to watch movies on the computer and know how to pick a movie by yourself. You like "Horton hears a who" or "Elephant" how you call it, you like Walle-E, Toy Story (or "Buzz"), "Monsters U"  (or "Monsters"), "Bolt" (or "Puppy") and "Despicable Me" (or "Minions"). You also like "Sophia the First" and "Doc McStuffins" and "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" on Disney Junior on the iPad. You still love music and to dance and you can sing the "ABC song", "Twinkle, twinkle, little star" or "Old McDonald". You and Alyss dance and sing with mommy many times and we have a great time whenever we listen to fun music.
Jane, sweetie, now that it's your birthdayI want to wish you a wonderful fourth year of life. I hope that you will be healthy and very happy and that you and your sisters will have a wonderful time together. I hope that me and daddy will be able to help you learn more and more things about life and that we will be able to be here for you and give you everything you need to be the best three year old that you can be. WE LOVE YOU MORE THAN ANYTHING. We are proud of you and are very excited to have more adventures with you and to see you grow and learn more every day. We love you Jane! Happy third birthday!

Well-child visits and development for Kaley

2 Weeks:
We found a pediatrician, Dr. Barbara Bean in South Jordan, that Dr. Merrill recommended and this is where we took Kaley for her two weeks well-child visit. Everything went well but the doctor heard a murmur in Kaley's heart and sent us to a pediatric cardiologist. We went and Kaley had a heart ultrasound that confirmed that there is a small hole in the center of Kaley's heart. The doctor wasn't concerned and said that many times these type of holes close on their own by the time the child is two. We will need to have Kaley's heart checked again when she's one and hopefully she will be all better by then. Other than this problem, Kaley is healthy and happy and is growing fast. She is also exclusively breastfed.

2 Months:
At the two months appointment, Dr. Bean still heard the heart murmur and she also pointed out that Kaley's head was a little miss-shaped and that she might need a helmet if it doesn't fix itself by 6 months. We hold her mostly on her left side now to help normalize the shape of her head, and it's looking better in my opinion. She also had her two months vaccines (3 in the legs and one by mouth) and she did very well and didn't cry too much. By the next day she didn't seem to be bothered by the shots anymore and she seemed to be feeling ok. Also, the measurements were great, Kaley being healthy and happy. She loves to smile and to look at our faces. The doctor was impressed that she is exclusively breastfed and is as big and healthy as she is, but I know that she is that way, BECAUSE she is breastfed. Breast milk is the best food there is for babies and I will try to feed her as much as I can. I'm really happy that I can feed her breast milk and that she strives on it so well.

4 Months:
We actually went at almost 5 months so that we could take Jane for her 3 year appointment as well. The appointment went well. Kaley is tall and skinny. Her head has a nice shape now and the doctor didn't mention anything about a helmet anymore. We've been helping her lay mostly on the left side to balance the shape of her head and it seams that it worked. Her heart murmur is still there but the doctor didn't seem concerned since Kaley is so happy and alert. The doctor was pleased with how curious Kaley is and how much she smiles. She rolled from front to back at 4 months, which is right on track! We were advised to introduce all regular foods, puréed except for honey on top of the breast milk.  We started at about 5 months with just a little and by 5.5 months Kaley learned how to eat from a spoon and how to chew her food. She absolutely LOVES regular foods and gets really excited when she sees the jars :) she doesn't like bananas much and pretty much hates carrots and pears but loves squash and sweet potatoes. At this appointment Kaley had three more shots and the nurse gave them so fast that Kaley didn't even cry too much. My mom held her and she calmed down quickly. Both Jane, Alyss and myself got the flu shot too so all of us pretty much had to go to McDonalds afterwards to treat ourselves with ice cream for being so brave.

6 Months:
No appointment at 6 months. We'll go at 8 months in February when Alyss goes for her 2 year appointment and she'll catch up with her shot schedule then. Kaley is very happy and curious, loves to eat and smiles and laughs a lot. She also cries when she wants something and is starting to interact more and more with us. She loves her sisters and is always happy to see them. She looks after them all the time and smiles when she sees them. The girls love Kaley a lot too and always try to make her laugh and even feed her or calm her down when she cries. Kaley doesn't like pacifiers and she doesn't have a binky. She rolled over front-back-front at 5 months and sits up with very little support. She holds toys and likes to taste everything that gets near her. She also likes to talk and squeal and says 'mama' when she cries. :) I'm still breastfeeding Kaley. She is pretty small, still wearing 3 - 6 mo clothes but she looks happy and healthy and has cute chubby cheeks and round legs and arms.

7.5 Months:
At this appointment Kaley got the shots she was missing. She is on the schedule and on track with the vaccines. Kaley is healthy but small for her age. Actually more skinny than short. The doctor told me not to breastfeed her at night anymore and to give her real food, 3 meals a day. I will continue breastfeeding on demand though as I still think breast milk is best and most nutritious food for babies. We have been eating real food (no purées as she now hates them) and I think that she is now heavier but don't know... She does wear 6 - 9 months clothes now and they're starting to look short on her but she is still skinny. I think it's just her body type. She is happy and healthy otherwise but still has a heart murmur. She scoots everywhere and sits on her own for long periods of time. She feeds herself and is practicing the pincer grasp successfully. She repeats sounds and talks to me. She fakes a cough to get a response from me and laughs when I make funny faces and sounds. She likes to touch our faces, mouths, eyes and noses. She squeals with excitement when her sisters do something funny. She is very happy and smart, knows where her milk comes from and let's me know if she doesn't want something by pushing it away vehemently. She is starting to pull up on her knees and will probably crawl soon. Still no teeth which I don't really mind :)

9 Months:
At this appointment she only got one shot and she cried just a little and did really great after. The doctor was a bit happier with her weight.Though she is still very slim, she is gaining slowly and it getting taller. She is still not crawling, just does the soldier crawl. Also, no teeth yet! She likes to eat everything, still but doesn't seem to enjoy eating very much. Sometimes she eats alright and others she won't touch the food. I guess she is not a eater :) Other things that the doctor checked: the heart (still no change - so she still has a hole that hasn't closed yet), the ears - ok, the eyes - ok and a beautiful blue color. :)

12 Months:
It was a good visit. She got 2 shots and she did cry and was scared but I held and nursed her and she calmed down fast. I love how I can just reassure her and help her calm down by holding her close and nursing her. It makes me really happy to be able to do it. She weighs a little over 16lbs and though it is not a lot she is gaining and growing taller as well. The doctor didn't seem worried even after listening to her heart and could still hear the murmur (we also went for a check-up at the Primary Children's Hospital and they heard the murmur too but didn't worry and told us to return in another year). One little thing that the doc was a bit worried about was her eyes - she seems to not focus and look perfectly straight when the doctor put the light in her eyes but would adjust after a bit. In my opinion she has a bit of my eye problem. Her eyes are a bit too far apart so it takes her a bit to adjust and focus on things. I doubt she actually has a problem. It's mostly anatomy, in my opinion and also the fact that she is still growing and developing. Kaley is very happy and is developing well. She now stands while holding unto furniture, crawls everywhere, climbs on low chairs and up and down the stairs, goes up and down the slide, says a lot of words, gives hugs and plays with us. She shows emotion and things she wants and gets upset when she doesn't get what she wants. She is sensitive and sweet and loves to smile and play with us, her sisters and by herself. She likes to eat and some days eats all the time while other days she won't even look at food. She sleeps well at night (only wakes one or two times at the most) and we still co-sleep. I still nurse her and I doubt I'll be stopping any time soon as she absolutely adores "boo" :) If she ever catches me naked her face lights up and she would alternate between the two boobs while smiling and saying 'boo' in between sucks. It's the most priceless and wonderful feeling in the world.

15 Months:
Another successful doctor's visit. Kaley got 2 shots and cried very little. Mommy was there for her to give her a big, tight hug and she felt a lot better after that. She is right on track developmentally. Her heart still has a murmur but she looks and feels healthy so the doctor isn't concerned. She weighs 19lbs and still nursing quite a bit. She eats regular foods as well but doesn't seem to love them. She still sleeps with mommy and nurses several times every night. Since her last visit she grew a few more teeth, including molars which gave her a bit of a hard time but she bravely overcame all the discomfort and can now eat anything she wants with her band new teeth. Haley is still very happy. She plays a lot, likes pretend play, likes to talk and talk and says A LOT of words. She just started walking by herself at 15 months, after trying it and practicing for about 2 months, and is getting quite good at it. She also loves to sing and knows many songs.

18 Months:
This was a very good visit even though the girls were loud and climbed everywhere. As far as Kaley is concerned, her height and weight are good. She is growing steadily. Her eyesight is so good and... Not sure if I wanna believe it but the doctor says that her heart sounded good. I'm not sure I wanna believe it because it was pretty noisy in the office because of the girls talking so even the doctor was a little distracted. I really hope her heart is ok now! Other than that, the doctor advised that we stop nursing at night because Kaley's teeth seem to not like that. I asked about how to night wean her and the doctor just said that as long as we cosleep it would be impossible. I was disappointed by her answer especially since she usually is pretty good but I thought to myself that she told me that she didn't nurse much at all and so I'm pretty sure she doesn't understand these things. I'll research this and hopefully I can help Kaley sleep and not nurse anymore. It breaks my heart because I know how much she loves it but I also known that her teeth' health is important and also her and my sleep as well. 
This time Kaley got one shot and it looks like it will be her last one until she turns four. Good job little one! We did it!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Kaley Olivia Johansen

Kaley Olivia Johansen - a sweet little princess

2 Years Old
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Alyss Lucy Johansen

 Alyss Lucy Johansen - a work in progress :)

3 Years Old
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