Friday, January 29, 2010

Loudmouth & The Great Poop Caper

I was at the pediatrician's office for Bella's cough and Emmett's 4 month checkup {yes he's actually five months} and Emmett was putting on quite a show: squealing and squawking for all he was worth {probably just trying to compete with Calvin & Bella, as they were showing off all their tricks as well}. The Dr. was doing his darndest to ignore the craziness, and not laugh every time Emmett let out a long howl. The doc has, afterall had a lot of experience with kids - he's been a pediatrician for a long, long time - he's actually retiring next month. But even he finally just stopped the exam - and looking over his bifocals at me, exclaimed, "That is the loudest baby I have EVER heard!" Welcome to the family baby Emmett. Looks like you've found your place!

A little tip. When your five year old comes to you and begs you to change the baby's poopy diaper to impress her friend - even if you are covered in paint because you've been refinishing your kitchen table, and it actually would be nice to have someone else do that for a change, and it would take you five minutes to properly clean up just so you could delve into that mess - do not, I repeat, do NOT cave in and say yes. If you fail to heed my warning, and you do, unfortunately say yes, this is what you have to look forward to:
Azure: OK! Thanks mom, we'll take care of it!
Me: But make sure he's on the changing pad!
Azure: He is.
Me: Make sure you get out the wipes before you take off his diaper.
Azure: We will!
{five seconds later Azure comes running into the kitchen}
Azure: Mo-om!!!! He's getting his feet in the poop! Come quick!
Me: Aaah! OK! Hold on one second! {hurry and try to rinse the paint off your hands. Azure runs back to the bedroom.}
Azure: {Screaming from the bedroom} Mo-om! Ooooo!!! GROSS!!! He just ate the poop!
Me: Azure!!! What on earth!!! {Run into the baby's room to see Azure's friend holding the baby's feet, which are indeed covered in poop. And incidentally, so is she. In fact everything in the near vicinity is covered in poop. Take a second to #1.Feel mortified about having to explain this to the friend's mom and tell her to go quickly wash up, and borrow a new shirt from Azure. And #2. Worry that your baby might get deathly ill from ingesting fecal matter. And #3. kick yourself in the shins for being naive enough to think that this could have gone any better. Then snap back to reality, pick up the baby and race him to the bathtub. Spend the next 20 minutes cleaning up the mess that would have taken you two if you'd just followed my advice and told your five your old a big N.O. to start with.}

Friday, January 15, 2010

In Training

Oh my lands. I have so much to catch up on and blog about from last year, that it has kept me from blogging for awhile since I haven't yet found that huge block of time I'm going to need to start and maybe finish that project...but, I've decided to press forward and move on, and I'll try to get a few older things on here little by little.

So - it's a new year. I was at the gym the other day when I ran into a friend who is amazing, and does marathons, and half marathons, and triathlons - really, pretty much any "athon" that is out there. I asked her what she was training for now, and after her brief explanation that she's injured and is just taking it easy (she ran 7 miles that day), she asked me if I was training for anything.

I smiled.

While I have done a sprint triathlon, and a couple of 10Ks and 5Ks, it's been a few years...and might be a few more!

But yes, I am in training. I'm in training to look good in the bridesmaid dress for my sisters wedding, which is a short 3 weeks away. The dress is designed to be pretty much skin tight, in black satin --- whoa mama --- I've got a lot of work to do!!!

So for now, the YMCA Childwatch is raising my children, and I am hungry for cheetos...
But I feel strong, and am grateful to have somewhere to train, and am thankful for all the support and protein shakes from sweet little Dan. Cheers to 2010!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas Recap - 2009

From beginning to end...we had a LOVELY Christmas season!

I love putting together our annual Christmas card! My friend Joyana took our family pics, and I designed the card. Let the holiday cheer begin!!!

One of my favorite family traditions that we do with our kids is cutting down our own Christmas tree every year. We used to go hiking up in the mountains with a permit from the city, but after a couple years of kids crying their eyes out because they were freezing, and waist deep in snow, with a mile to hike back to the truck -- we decided we should change it up a bit if we were actually going to create FUN family memories with this tradition. So this year and last, we visited The Merry Christmas Tree Farm in Black Forest. You still get to bundle up for the walk in the snow through acres of all natural, scraggly, Charlie Brown-ish {my favorite kind!} pine trees, and pick out your own tree to chop down yourself - but you get this minus most of the tears. I love it!
All of the kids {and mom too} helped Dad saw the tree trunk.

Once we get the tree up {which can be difficult when you have a forest grown lopsided tree with a split trunk. One year it required the hanging of a ten pound dumbbell with duct tape from a lower tree branch on the left side to keep the tree from falling over to the right - such a cute ornament!} we spend a Family Home Evening decorating the tree and talking about where each special ornament came from. We have several homemade ones from Dan's extended family. I love to ooh and ah over each one as we put them up.

This is a rare glimpse of Eden and Calvin getting along!

Our whole family was asked to be in the ward program this year, and we had a lot of fun with it! One of our Young Single Adults, Ashley Myers, wrote and directed it. When she told us that our family would be starting out the show by singing With Wondering Awe, and explained that we'd also be singing two other songs with the rest of the cast, Dan told her, "You know that I DO NOT sing, right?". She didn't know that, but it didn't bother her either. She basically just said, make it work, and we'll see you at practice. So he did make it work. I sang loud, the girls sang really loud on the chorus, and Dan whispered right along. Bless his soul - he's such a good sport.

We attend church every Sunday, so being there for the Sunday before Christmas is nothing out of the ordinary, except that the choir sings lots of beautiful music, the speakers focus on the birth of Christ and the sweet spirit of the Season, and our kids get to wear their special Christmas outfits. Somehow being a little more dressed up than usual makes this Sunday even more delightful.

The girls were soooo excited for Santa to come, that we thought for sure they'd be waking us up at 5am. In actuality, they were pretty tired from the week's events, so they were still sleeping at 7:00. I got out the camera, and took a picture of each one of them to wake them up with the flash. Probably not the nicest thing to wake up to - but once they realized it was Christmas morning, they didn't mind too much!

Bella took the longest to wake up.

Azure was bright eyed and ready to go.

Calvin couldn't wait to see what Santa brought him.

And Emmett didn't even flinch. We let him sleep in a little longer.

We always leave carrots out for the reindeer, but apparently, Donner doesn't like them - so he left his behind. Calvin was quick to snatch it up while we were reading the letter from Santa.

This was the first Christmas that we were at home with just us and our kids on Christmas morning... and it was AWESOME! We took our time and enjoyed each gift as it was opened, made a big breakfast after, and started our own traditions. One of which was that Santa left a letter for the kids hanging from a ribbon at the top of the stairs. Daddy helped them read that, and then Calvin got to cut the ribbon to let everyone pass and race to find their stockings.

I spent most of Christmas eve throwing these stockings together with material I had on hand. I couldn't find our stockings I had made a few years back, and Bella was seriously concerned that Santa wasn't going to leave anything for her since she didn't have a stocking! She was so glad when I finally made these new ones, that she wrote a note to Santa thanking him for everything he's ever given her, and left it in her stocking for him to find. Too cute! He was really appreciative.

After they they found all the treasures in their stockings, they made their way to the tree. {Which you'll notice is propping itself up against the ceiling.} They easily spotted the Santa presents, as he wrapped them all in the same, special Santa wrapping paper. What a clever guy.

I love this picture of Calvin! His huge smile made all of the headache and stress of planning, searching, shopping, and tracking down craigs-list treasures, worth it. He absolutely LOVES the truck Santa brought him --- and wouldn't you know it, Nana sent him a gas pump! How perfect is that?

Azure was all smiles when she opened up her new bike from Santa! Now she won't have to fight over using Bella's!

Santa surprised Bella with a pogo stick! Although she was really excited - it might be awhile before she really gets the hang of it. It's kind of tricky!

The thing the girls were the most excited about, were their Pillow Pets from Santa. It was the only thing they wrote to Santa requesting. Over, and over, and over. Of course, they were sold out EVERYWHERE, and people were selling them online for OUTRAGEOUS amounts of money. Luckily, Santa's little elf isn't a quitter...and tracked down a little booth that still had a few left! Phew! Christmas catastraphe avoided!

Ah, there's nothing like a baby's first Christmas! Emmett loved playing with all of the wrapping paper - and it was so cute to see Bella, Azure and Calvin get excited for him. They opened all of his presents for him, and squealed just as loudly for his gifts as they did for their own. Adorable.

Santa brought Daddy a spotting scope for hunting, and a surprise iPod touch. Exciting!

Lots of Dan's family lives close by, so we spent most of our holiday season celebrating with them. We made candy houses {my favorite!}. I'm loving the sugar cone trees this year!

Azure, Bella, Vince, Daemon, Calvin

Went bowling...

Bella, Catcher, Griffin, Azure, Daemon, Harris

And cheered on Dad vs. Uncle Todd in a very manly round of arm wrestling.

With almost three whole weeks off of school, we had lots of time to fill. We had a blast!
We went swimming with our friends at the awesome, huge and loud kiddy pool at Villa-Sport.

Lovejoys, McOmbers, Harveys & Drapers

We hung out at the Little Mr. Biggs playplace,
where even Emmett got in on the action.

Cal & Az love the carousel there

The girls went to gymnastics camp.

And a few days later, got all glammed up for a trip to the mall.

{Wild things happen when they're allowed to pick their own outfits!}
All in all, we had a FABULOUS Christmas Break full of friends, family, faith & fun!