27 August 2013

Doll Therapy for Alzheimer's

My mom's mom, Grandma Hartley, has Alzheimer's Disease. She lived with my mom in 2009-2010. It was so much fun to have her around. I saw her multiple times every week. She would tell me stories from her past, read me her journals, sing songs, recite poetry and we would watch movies together.

It wasn't always pleasant. She would cry. She would say she wanted to be with her husband, Grandpa Hartley, who died 25 years ago. She would try to run away, and was successful a couple times. She would be rude and call names, which is extremely NOT the way she used to be. 

She was so sweet and happy. She would get really giddy late at night... those were some of my favourite times with her. She would always buy us special treats when we visited. She had puzzles, books, games and toys at her house for her grandchildren to play with. She was kind and loving.

She's still very loving. Much more so now in fact.

Last week I drove to Canada to go to my cousin's wedding. It was the first time I'd seen my grandmother in almost 3 years. When she was living with my mom, she went on a visit to Cardston, her hometown. Some of her children decided that she was better off living in an "old folks home" in Cardston, rather than with her daughter, so they got her a room and she's been in a "home" ever since. So sad.

Before I went on my trip, I had read about Doll Therapy for alzheimer's patients. The idea is to give them a doll. They then feel like they have something to do. It obviously does not do anything to improve memory, but because nurturing a baby or child is such a natural instinct, the patients often will "adopt" the doll as their own child. Their quality of life improves because they have a new found purpose. How sweet is that? 

I went to target with my mom and girls, to pick out a doll. I told Annabelle is was going to be a present for Grandma Hartley- whom she only knew through pictures. Annabelle was ecstatic to bring a present with us to give to Grandma Hartley. We found a beautiful doll with dark brown hair- just like my grandma had when she was a child. The doll's eye's close when you lay her down even.  We thought it would be perfect. We were right.

Driving up to her home and getting the doll out of the trunk made me nervous. I was very excited, but I'd read that sometimes the patients rejected the doll. Sometimes the doll would frighten them or make them upset. Regardless, Annabelle wanted to hold Grandma's doll to give to her. When we walked in, I almost didn't recognize her. No one dyes her hair anymore, so she now has soft white hair. Her face seemed lost, starring into the air.

She didn't notice the doll at first. She did notice my girls. I had been warned that she didn't recognize anyone anymore. She didn't use real words, she talked gibberish, sometimes she's just silent. I was unsure what to expect. After giving her hugs and introducing her to my girls, she said to me, as she was starring into Betsy's eyes, "She's the most beautiful baby I've ever seen." That just warmed my heart. Next she turned to Annabelle and mumbles something about her being the sweetest little girl. Again, I was in awe that she would even acknowledge them.

We walked into her room and sat on her bed. I told her about the doll and wanted to give it to her, but she wasn't interested. I laid the doll on her pillow- for her to discover on her own, as I had read was the best way to introduce the doll. I told her who I was and that I loved her. She looked into my face and had a moment of recognition... I assume... because she looked like she all the sudden knew me and exclaimed, "Oh!" Like she was thinking, Oh! I know you. It was precious.

continued later because i'm going to bed now...

04 August 2013


Annabelle & Betsy are at the end of a couple amazing weeks with their cousins from both sides. Annabelle especially enjoyed all the cousins, or "the friends" and would constantly ask, "where are the friends?", "can I see the friends today?", "it's good to see the friends!"

We went swimming, boating, canoeing, for lunch, to This Is The Place, Hogle Zoo, Discovery Gateway, had BBQs and dinners and played. 

Next week I think she's going to have a hard time realizing they've gone back to Texas and Arizona. I'll have to be sure to line up some play dates. 

Here is my mom with all 8 of her grand kids (1 is on the way). Then there's Chase's parents with all 6 of their grand kids (also 1 on the way).

09 June 2013

Dinosaur park.

Have you been to the dinosaur play area at City Creek in their food court?

It is the most fun place for Annabelle and Betsy. My mom lived across the street for the last year so we've been there lots.

Chase just started an internship downtown so the girls and I met him down there last week.

I'm so proud of Betsy, recently she learned how to climb up the steps and go down the slide all on her own! It's so cute.

Take care.

03 June 2013

Playground fun.

Summer started and we started going to the park a lot! We love the park. Annabelle's favourite are the slides and Betsy loves the swings most.

One time I squished Annabelle & Betsy in one swing together to push. It was hilarious and they loved it. I'm also loving the picture of Chase mid jump, off the swings.

Betsy loves playing in wood chips and scoring around. She wore sunglasses for the first time last Saturday- I love that Annabelle wants to wear hers constantly.

Annabelle is fearless on the playground. She's conquered every fear and will climb up anything and go down even the biggest tallest slides!

I'm sure we'll continue to have a lot of park fun this summer!

02 June 2013

Blast from the past...

Just looking at some fun old pictures from my pre marriage days. I'm back in school to finish my associate degree that I started so long ago- I'm back at the business college, where I used to work at their bookstore. (And hide in the shelves, ha!)

Me and my sisters at my brother Andrew's wedding. A week before I got married.

Chase & I used to climb on my roof lots... in fact, he used to sneak in my window that way. Ha.

My little cat named Warner... she only had 3 legs but we loved her anyway.

How fun to look back at my glory days!

27 March 2013

Naps and baby moccs.

Moccs. Apparently that's a word now.

My sweeties decided to have a nap together today, which was adorable.

Annabelle stopped napping a couple weeks ago. She used to love her naps... gradually she took longer and long to fall asleep, sometimes I'd hear her in her room playing (and destroying things) for over an hour. Then somedays, she'd just hang out in her room playing and calling for me. I guess she was getting enough sleep during the night.

Last night our family all went to bed together. It was a fun little sleepover, but in the morning, both girls woke up two hours earlier than usual. :(

That brings us to this afternoon... I nursed Betsy to sleep and Annabelle was watching "Bananas in Pajamas" on her iPhone, she dozed off. I forgot how freeing it feels to have two kids asleep at the same time.

While they napped, I made a photo book of all my Instagram photos. Yes. I did. I can't wait to get it in the mail. I had a code, so it was free+ shipping. Otherwise, I don't think I would spend $30 on an Instagram book.

Speaking of Instagram and loving free things...

Freshly Picked Moccasins.
$500 giveaway.
Yes please.

Why are they are unique?
They are simple. They are quality. They have a little fringe around the ankle AND in front. They are made in so many different colors. Gold is my favourite. (I'm a Canadian so I spell words differently than Americans.) and something I just learned... they aren't only for babies! They make up to a toddler size 10!

If, or should I say, WHEN I win this giveaway, I'm going to buy Annabelle & Betsy matching moccs.

21 March 2013

screen shot.

Sometimes (ok, often) I take screen shots on my phone of things I see and like... then they sit in my photos and are practically never seen again. Hmm.
They're typically quotes, cute animal pictures, funny cartoons and a variety of other pointless things.

Instead of deciding to not take screen shots anymore, I've decoded to blog them. I can't credit any of the images- sorry. You could do a backwards image search if you really want to know where it came from. :)

Xoxo, Brittany

12 March 2013

bathing beauties.

These sisters love having baths together.
Whenever I tell Annabelle its bath time, she says, "Baby come?!"
They splash at each other and play with their little toys, smiling the whole time. (Except the two times Annabelle pushed Betsy over.)

Life is getting better for Betsy as she becomes more independent. She only recently has been able to sit on her own in the slippery tub.

What age are babies allowed to bath alone, together? I can't wait. ;)

I wish life was simpler.

There are too many to do lists, things to remember, people to see, ways to improve, books to read, blogs to follow, meals to prepare.

I don't have a fast paced life, but I still wish it wasn't so complicated.

Did you know The Wonder Years is on Netflix? I have a headache and can't sleep, so I browsed TV shows and watched the first couple episodes. I'm excited to watch more. Life seemed so simple back then. Perhaps it's because in the perspective of a seventh grader or because the 60s were simpler. I don't know.

I do know my girls lives are simple. They sleep, eat, play, explore, learn, nap, read, sing, dance. They have so few people in their lives. So few possessions. So few worries. It's sweet.

I'm very much in love with being their mother. That part of life is wonderful.

Xoxo, Brittany.

03 March 2013

bowling for fhe.

Family Home Evening bowling night. (Classy, I know.)

We had a lot of fun taking Annabelle bowling. Sadly they didn't have shoes to fit her feet, but she was very enthusiastic. She had the 6 pound ball and could aaaaalmost do it herself. Once the ball went so slow, it stopped, and started rolling back to us. :) She slipped on the lane a couple times and liked pushing the ball down the frame mostly.

Chase of course won both games. And got a few strikes.

The only strike I got was while I was holding Betsy! Imagine that. Ha.

This was last Monday night. Chase had this past week off of school and we enjoyed his break!

Xoxo, Brittany.

16 February 2013

Too much fun.

I bought a silly app. It's too much fun. It's pointless but hilarious. Addicting.


25 January 2013


Happy Birthday to Bethany.

This year we had a sewing day to celebrate Bethany's birthday. Besides the mini balloons grandma brought to blow up and the pretend cake Bethany pretended to blow the pretend candles out of (for the kids sake), it wasn't a typical party. Just a day with the girls, sewing. I loved it.

For Christmas this year, I sewed my sisters and mom little lined zipper pouches. I thought I was being so original and it was a big step because I had never actually sewn a zipper before.
Hilariously enough, Bethany had the exact same idea! She had also sewn the exact same sized lined zipper bags that I had, for each of us! (Great minds think alike.) Luckily this wasn't a problem because one can never have enough bags. I use Bethany's for my makeup and its perfect.

Brooklyn wanted to make one that was bigger- to hold diapers & wipes for her new sweet baby Ada- so as Bethany made a gorgeous silk shirt, I made another bag and showed Brooklyn how. It's so much fun to get together and learn from each other. For living so close we don't get together enough!

Bethany is a year and a half older than me. We were a grade apart in school.
Our relationship reminds me of Mary & Edith sometimes. (Ha jk Beth) I think it's more like Betty & Judy (the Haynes sisters!) Complete with plentiful song & dance numbers... those were the days.

I learn a lot from her and admire her constant progression and passion for learning new talents. She sews, cooks, bakes, sings, speaks many languages, does family history even!, travels, exercises consistently, eats healthily, applies false eyelashes, works at the temple (etc...) and she does all these things amazingly. I'm very envious. But she motivates me to better myself too.

I'm glad she's my sister and look forward to many more fun days spent together.
Xoxo, Brittany.