Howes That! Dallin & Kathryn’s Corner of the Internet

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The foolish farmer

May 19th, 2013

So this happened a while a go now, I just never published the post!

So, before we begin, answer the following question and then read on….Is Old McDonald (yes, as in Old McDonald had a farm…) a wise farmer or a foolish farmer?

…. and right now you’re wondering what on earth I’m on about, well read on!

We were driving home last night to the beautiful sound of our 3 year old singing to himself. He was singing something like….

Old McDonald had a farm EIEIO
and on that farm he had some sand EIEIO
with a wash wash here and a wash wash there,
here a wash, there a wash, everywhere a wash wash
Old McDonald had farm, EIEIO

…. so that was pretty funny, yeah? Well….

Dallin asked me ‘Do you know where he got the sand thing from? and I had no idea, but I’ve discovered lately that J is very good at knowing where he picked things up from, so I asked him, and this was the resulting convo! …

Me: “J, why does Old McDonald have sand on his farm!?”

J: “Because there were no animals, because they were all washed away! ” – Oh, of course, why didn’t I think of that!?

Me: Oh! Did Old McDonald build his farm on the sand!?

J: Yeah!

It gave the two of us a good giggle! And if you’re totally confused, think of the song the wise man and the foolish man, now add it to Old McDonald – and there you go! The logic of a 3 year old :-)

Utah! The first few days….

May 5th, 2013

So, many people want to hear about our holiday, but I don’t want to bore you with 100 posts detailing every minute of what we did, so we’ll try to be brief, but will go with a few days at a time!!

Our first week in the US, we spent in Utah. I was so excited to be able to go, for so many reasons but most of all it was for the people I was going to meet while we were there. We met the beautiful Paul and Jen, stayed with the amazing Eric and Lisa, met Nina after many, many years of her writing to my Mum, and met some of Dallin’s mission companions.
They are all wonderful people and when the time came, we were sad to leave them all!

Our first sight seeing stop the day we arrived (Monday) was, of course, the beautiful Temple Square! It was wonderful to finally be there and see it all!

The Salt Lake City Temple the day we arrived. It was overcast and a little cold but it was beautiful!

Josh loves fountains, and loved watching this one!

It was pretty cold (especially after having had summer here!) and Mr B was asleep in the stroller, sunggled under a blanket. Mr J didn’t think that was fair and wanted a blanket to wrap around himself! We had no blanket to wrap around him, so Dallin tied his jumper around him!

Beautful City Creek

There are several fountains throughout City Creek and Josh loved them all. He especially loved the night we saw them timed to music, and also had fire in them.

Tuesday we met Nina, she has been an extended part of our family for years and it was lovely to meet her. We went to This is the Place, where the kids loved seeing the animals and my big boy had his first pony ride! They also loved playing the the little houses that were there and ran around in them for ages!

His first pony ride!

Watching the blacksmith at work.


Playing around in a little village at This is the Place

He had a great time running around these little houses.

They loved touching and seeing the baby animals.

My baby milking a cow!

Saying goodbye to Nina! It was lovely to meet you!

Wednesday we took the long awaited trip to Ogden’s Dinosaur Park! They have a couple of robotic dinosaurs there and a little museum and then outdoors they have big dinosaur sculptures of lots of different animals. Josh loved seeing them all although did not want to stop to have pictures with any of them, but we did convince him a couple of times!On the way home I went shopping at Deseret Book – it’s a beautiful shop and I could have stayed there all day! (… and spent a fortune!)

Mr J’s favourite dinosaur!

The fearless protector!

Robotic dinosaurs at Odgen’s Dinosaur Park

Cleland Wildlife Park

March 3rd, 2013

This week, from March 2-8, is Parks Week. A week to ‘celebrate your love of nature’ and the ‘important role that parks play in contributing to the health of our communities’. I love being outdoors with our family and so for me we were also celebrating the role parks play in helping us spend time together as a family.

As part of the Parks Week celebrations, Cleland Wildlife Park were offering entry for a gold coin donation. We have all been sick here and barely left the house in 2 weeks, so we couldn’t pass the opportunity up. I had never been to Cleland before and I loved it. It was a busy day (as you would expect) but we weren’t disappointed by any of the animals!

I was reminded again on the drive there, and while we were at the park, of the unique beauty of this wonderful country, and the amazing wildlife we have. I think I have often taken it for granted but I was so glad this weekend to receive a greater appreciation for our amazing country!

Saturday adventure!

This is my ‘baby’…. not sleeping!

Mr B fell asleep on the way to the wildlife park and we had lofty dreams that he may actually stay asleep when we put him in the pram…. As you can see, there was no way that was happening!

 

Potoroos – These guys were often found just next to the paths

This little guy was cute!

Branches of a gum tree

Kookaburra sits in the old gumtree

Cosy Koala

I love wrens! We think this one is a female blue wren

Lorikeets! Beautiful birds!

Emu lunch

Dingoes.

Shoulder rides

Mummy and her baby

Twisted joey!

I love wallabies, and I love watching joeys in the pouch! We watched this little guy for a while and he moved around quite a bit! Here we have his tail, hind legs, and his head poking out!

 

Patience

We had a wonderful example of Mr J’s patience this day. He walked around with his hands cupped together, carrying animal food for atleast 10 minutes. He slowly approached several kangaroos and wallabies just wanting them to sniff his food! (We had warned him that due to the amount of people there, the animals weren’t going to be hungry!) He was so excited when he got a few of them to sniff it….In the end, the only animal he really got to eat from his hand were the emu’s (as above) he was pretty excited about it!

Secret….

February 26th, 2013

So, it’s NO secret that I have two of the cutest boys on the planet…. and I have plenty of pictures to prove it!

Of course, we all have our favourite times of day as well, and for me, with my boys, my favourite times of day are wake up time and bed time! I find that for us as a family they’re some of the more precious well spent moments! I love having my 3yr old crawl in to bed next to me and talk to me in his still half asleep sort of voice (although admittedly I much prefer it if this happens AFTER 7am!) and ask me what the day is and what we’re going to do today (our opinions on this matter often vary!)

I love the way our 1yr old cuddles into me when I lift him out of his cot and will just sit and cuddle with me for a few minutes until he’s ready to get down and play, and I love holding and watching over him while he has his bottle of milk… I could put him down to drink it by himself, but it’s our cuddle time and I love it!

Then, at the other end of the day, I love singing to our boys before they go to bed, especially as Mr J sings along with us and then gives us kisses (and often very MANY kisses) and cuddles before we leave for the night… My boys usually go to bed happy and I love feeling the sweetness of their spirits as we are reminded of how much we love each other!

The other sleep time we have in our house is at nap time. Mr B is the only one that naps but often after he has woken (especially if I’m not quite ready for him to be awake!) I’ll send his brother up to play with him for a few minutes and this has to be my all time favourite! I listen to them through the monitor as they laugh and play with each other and sometimes I take the camera up stairs with me and we just play and take photos in the bedroom for a little while… we did this today and so I have some precious moments to share with you!

Despite any evidence to the contrary, they DO love each other!

Playing in the cot.

Footsteps

Photographer in training.

February 14th, 2013

Mr J has discovered the camera. He’s always loved taking photos on our phones, and for a while he used the little P&S camera we have. But now he’s all about the big guns and likes to take over Daddy’s DSLR

For a 3 year old he does pretty well really!

Smile Daddy!

He loves his globe!

Mummy’s turn!

A busy life!

February 4th, 2013

It’s been a while since I last posted on the blog, and much has happened! Dallin and I have both been given new responsibilities at church (seminary teacher and primary president), we’ve farewelled friends, celebrated Christmas, started a new year and are preparing for our trip to the US

Of course, above all else, we have been parents and trying to enjoy the precious days we have with our children…. With an addition to the family of a new 30mm camera lens, we have enjoyed taking more photos of the boys (and our adventures) and trying to capture the joy that they bring to our lives! There are so many more photos we could share with you but for today, it will be just a few!

This is the happy smiling boy that greets me after a good nap! He’s such a delight!

Josh loves reading! You can often find him reading to himself, reading to someone else, or being read to!

This photo was taken as he was watching Josh slowly approach. I love watching the boys play and seeing how much they love each other!

We went to Wacky Warehouse with our wonderful friends and the kids had a great time! Especially jumping in the ball pits!

Above all else, be kind to yourself….

November 8th, 2012

You know, before you’re a mother you may hear people say ‘Motherhood is hard!’…. and you get that, but you really have no idea what that means until you fast forward to the time you’re in the drivers seat!

Suddenly those words contain so much more than you could have ever previously imagined! I mean, let’s face it, especially the first time round, you never really know if what you’re doing is right! There’s a lot of guessing, elimination and gut instincts that go into those early weeks, months and years, and it is for that reason that I urge all mothers, and new mothers especially, to be kind to themselves, and to be flexible in their plans!

… handprints on my heart…

When I was pregnant with my first child, my midwife would say ‘Think about your birth plan, and make some notes’ …. I would go home and say to Dallin ‘How am I meant to make a birth plan!? I’ve never been through child birth before! I don’t know what it feels like, or how I’m going to cope… what am I meant to say? what sort of a plan should I have!?’

And so, in preparing for my first child the only thing I had set in my mind was ‘I want to try not to have an epidural’ …. See, I wasn’t even prepared to make a definite ‘I WILL NOT have an epidural’

Now, over 3 years later (and with 2 children!) I’m still convinced that for my first child, that was the best thing for me to say! The second was a whole other story, you see, by then I’d had the experience once, kinda knew what I was in for and so I had a much clearer idea of what I wanted in my labour, and how to achieve it.

The main reason that I feel it was the best ‘plan’ for me is because I’m not a person to make absolute statements about things I know nothing about! If I had been completely determined to NOT have an epidural, and then changed my mind, would I have felt like I had failed? If I had made my plans for a perfect natural delivery, and ended up having a caesarian, would I have somehow felt weak?

Somewhere in recent times, among some circles, there seems to have developed an attitude, or at least a feeling, that having a drug-free, natural birth is the be all and end all of motherhood, and that child birth is a defining factor in what kind of a mother you become, and that anything else is weak…. all I can say is that it is NOT true! I know many mums, mums who have had caesarians, epidurals, drug free births, home births, water births, kitchen floor births…. and they are all amazing mothers who I am proud to know! Please don’t let pure pride take the place of the advice of competent medical professionals and the peace of your own heart!

But this advice extends far beyond child birth….
When we find out we’re pregnant, and often long before that, we start thinking about what sort of a mother we want to be, and start making decisions in regards to things like –
Breast feeding – yes or no? Dummy – yes or no? Do I Self-settle or rock my baby? Feed and sleep on a routine or on demand? Will I co-sleep or have baby in their own bed? In my room or their own room? Baby wearing or not? Child care or not? … the list goes on, and the pressure increases along with the desire to be the ‘perfect’ Mum.

As we consider each of these things we come up with ideals, and with certain expectations of the way things will work, creating for ourselves along the way, expectations of what motherhood will be like and the type of mothers we will be. Looking back now, it was at times wonderful to dream about motherhood, blissfully unaware of the reality that awaited me!

When your child is born, and your life at home together begins, reality starts to set in and you soon start to realise that not all of your ideals and expectations are going to be realised right away, and maybe not at all. The challenges are different for all of us, for some it may be a fussy baby who makes it hard to get a good routine in place, for others it will be a baby with reflux who screams in pain when they’re laid down and so can’t self-settle. It could be that a dummy is the only way to settle a baby when we had hoped to go dummy free or in my case, I found that although I thought I would be the Mum to want our baby in our room forever, I found that after a few of weeks I wanted my baby in his own room and I felt like a horrible mother because of it!

Now, please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have these ideals and plans for your children, you SHOULD, they are valuable to you now and will be a reference point when you don’t know what else to do. But, please remember that these ideals are exactly that! They’re ideals, they’re something to work toward and not something that has to happen straight away….sometimes we won’t be able to maintain them and that is ok, it’s even normal, and dare I even say that it’s healthy.

As you’re going along and you find yourself getting stressed and upset about different things, please just ask yourself ‘Is this worth it?’ Sometimes the answer will be yes and others it will be no, and those answers will be different for everyone!

If you want your baby to sleep in your room or bed, but you can’t sleep with them there – then is it worth it?
If breastfeeding is unbearably painful and you get stressed and cry at even the thought of it – then is it worth it?
If you don’t want to use a dummy but your baby is a thumb sucker – then is it worth it?

You will quickly discover the things that are most important to you and you will decide what things are worth the stress and persistence, and what things aren’t…. and some things aren’t important when they’re 6 weeks old, but will be important when they’re 6 months old.

Just remember that if you don’t reach all your ideals, especially with your first, it’s ok! Be kind to yourself, and do things that help you as well as them! In the end, I think we all do things for the same reason – because we love our children! I have taught my children to self-settle from an early age because I believe it helps them sleep better which makes them happier, more content babies… and when they sleep well, I sleep well, and when I sleep well I’m a happier and better Mum to my children… I don’t cope well on little sleep, and lets face it, for me, showing love to and spending time with my children is much easier when I’m not tired and cranky! Others choose to show their love by not letting their children cry at sleep time, and rocking/cuddling them to sleep, and that’s wonderful, and yet others want to have their children self-settle from birth, but find instead that it’s harder than they thought, or their baby is particularly unsettled and so decide to wait until they’re a little older!

You need to do what works for you and helps you be the best mum you can be, there are very few rights (such as feeding your children) and wrongs (like starving your children) in the realm of motherhood, there are mostly just ideals (a baby who sleeps 12 hours a night at 12 weeks old) and opinions (such as the vaccinate or don’t vaccinate debate). Take what you will, leave what you won’t and live a happy, full life with your family knowing that you’re making the choices that you feel are best for your family…. in the end, that’s what counts!

Some things you should try to understand…

October 24th, 2012

As I am sitting here preparing and thinking about posts that I want to write, I feel I need to preface them with two disclaimers…. some things that first time mums need to know and understand….

The first and most important is this…..

There is no amount of advice you can receive or preparation you can do that will ever fully prepare you for the experience of motherhood….

… there just isn’t. The experience will be completely different for everyone. It is a complete shock to the system and each child and each family have their own unique challenges and joys. But as sure as I am about that, I am just as sure that you will be ok, the time will pass and before long you will know and understand your child better than anyone else! And with that, comes the divine responsibility to decide what is best for your family!

I’d never thought of it like this before!

The second thing is this…. what is right for one person is not necessarily right for another, and that my dear friends is OK! Not only is it OK, but it is wonderful and extremely helpful to you as a mother! One of my favourite parts about talking to other parents, and specifically mothers, is that through conversations and watching how they respond to, and work with their children I am able to form more clearly in my own mind my ideals and boundaries for my own family….I love being able to hear advice and think to myself ‘Oh, I like that!’ or ‘No, that’s not for me!’ or ‘I should give that a try but maybe instead of that I’ll do this.
A friend of mine explained it by saying “I’m glad that I’m able to get advice from so many knowledgeable mums and pick and choose what works for us” – and how true is that! It does not mean that I think any worse or better of my friends if their parenting methods are different to mine, it simply means that we are different!

Growing up..

The only thing I ask of mothers on both the receiving and giving end of advice is to not be upset or offended if people don’t take your advice, or do things differently than you would – it is NOT an attack on you! Remember that just as you wouldn’t want someone to tell you how to raise YOUR family, no body wants you to tell them how to raise theirs! Each family is precious and unique, and each operate in slightly different ways, it is part of what makes our world so marvellous. So just as you are trying to do what you feel is best for your family, just remember that all those other Mums you see and talk to each day are just trying to do the same thing!

…. and if you need some more convincing go and read this blog post from Kelly at The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking it is wonderful, and a perfect reminder for those who get caught up in the ‘Mummy wars!’

So, as you continue reading this blog please keep those things in mind… I don’t expect that what works for my family will work perfectly for you but maybe it will help you learn or discover something that will help to become the best mother you can be to your family.

A Perfect Plan

October 18th, 2012

There are two things that I learnt, or had confirmed very quickly with my entrance in to motherhood.

1.There is no such thing as a perfect plan

2. There is one perfect plan.

Yep, it’s true! When you have young children in your life one of the things you quickly learn is that you have less control over certain situations than you think you do! You may have every thing timed perfectly for baby to wake up, you feed, change their nappy, get in the car and you’re good to go! And then the baby with spew all over your outfit and you have to get changed…. Or the baby with have what only can be described as an ‘explosion’ and they need to be changed…. Or you expect baby to wake up at 11.00 and at 11.30 they’re still sleeping… The list of possibilities is endless, but they all have the same conclusion – you’re late and your perfect plan was, well….. gone!

To explain the other lesson that I have learned, lets go back to the anticipation of motherhood. I recall several times through my first pregnancy that I would turn to my husband and say to him ‘What do I do if I bring this baby home, and then I don’t know what to do?’ – Honestly, I don’t even remember what his response was. I imagine it was something like ‘You will’….But what I do remember, is the lesson that was confirmed in my heart after we brought our precious bundle home. And the lesson was something like this… Our Father in heaven has a perfect plan for each of us. Not only perfect in terms of where we start, and where we finish, but perfect in terms of he knows how many steps that road will take, and exactly where each foot will be placed as we take them.

Mums take baby steps too!

The way our Father designed parenthood and motherhood is perfect. There is no other way to describe the teaching and learning process that begins when that perfect, tiny and innocent being enters your home and your heart. It is a journey that mother and baby take together to grow and learn. When your child enters your home you don’t need to have all the answers right then and there. In fact, all you really need to do is make sure they get fed, changed and sleep. Then day by day, week by week, they grow, as do you. They teach you how to be their mother….and you teach them how to be your child…. It’s a process which I don’t think you can fully comprehend until it happens to you. I had heard it said many times that they teach you to be their mother, but then it happened and suddenly I really knew what it felt like. When I came to that realisation, suddenly motherhood was different

Tender moments

As women, it is in our nature to love, care for and nurture children. Never doubt or fight that! It is part of who we are and so it is our duty, responsibility and privilege to be the ones to carry our children next to our hearts as they grow inside us, and to hold their hand as they grow in the world. It is overwhelming, and possibly even terrifying at times but with each step you learn and grow… and one day 3 years from now you will wake up and realise that you no longer ‘have children’ but that you are ‘Mum’… but that’s a blog post for another day!

…. what more can be said?

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body” – Elizabeth Stone

You’ll just have to wait…

October 11th, 2012

So I’ve had a blog post that I’ve been thinking about for a while. As I’ve had several friends in the past 12 months become mothers for the first time I’ve been reflecting on the special experience that it is to enter parenthood, and more particularly motherhood for the first time. I have been wanting to write down my experiences and thoughts about motherhood, but I wanted to write it in a way that does some sort of justice to the feeling and experiences that come with this territory…

So, as I was sitting here talking with some of these new mums on FB, I decided that tonight was the night, I was going to write the blog. I decided to start by noting down the things I wanted to write, and before long it became evident that not only was this post not going to be written tonight, but that it was going to take much more than one blog. I’ve realised that I’m potentially going to be sharing my journey of motherhood with you as I try to record these things for my own records, for my precious friends who are entering the world of motherhood, and most of all, for my sons (and hopefully daughter/s) and their spouses.

So wish me luck, this isn’t going to be an easy project for me, I’m not one to share my feelings and thoughs in such an open way, but feel it’s an important thing for me to do…. and no, I won’t at all be offended if you decide not to follow along!

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