Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What a Kid!

Adam's birthday was on Sunday, and to celebrate, we had some family over for cake and icecream. On Monday, I took him to get some updated pictures done. Can I just brag a bit and say that I really don't think he could possibly be more handsome?! Gorgeous dark hair. Beautiful green eyes. Eyelashes to die for. And that smile? I'm just floored every time I look at him.

Even more amazing than his looks, though, is his amazing personality. Here are a few of his best moments recently:
  • As I was busy decorating his cake (and frustrated because it wasn't perfect), he came over to check it out. "Mom, you're doing great! I think it looks wonderful."
  • As I was working out, he looked at me and exclaimed, "Mom! Your fat is gone!"
  • Whenever Alex asks if he can sleep with "Brudder," Adam is always willing to scoot over and share his bed.
  • Adam is always willing to help feed, hold, and entertain his "Pickle." (That's what we call Dylan. Dill pickle. Get it?)
  • Adam loves to learn. He is quick to answer questions in Primary, and he loves to play learning games in the car. Right now his favorite is adding.

There is so much more, but Dylan is screaming, so I've got to wrap this up.

Take a peek at Adam's baseball themed cake assortment this year. Thanks, also, to Adam for picking an easy cake. Mom couldn't have handled much more. We did a large baseball mit, a large baseball, and cupcake sized replicas.

Happy Birthday to the best big brother ever.



Monday, January 25, 2010

Link

I'm not usually a forwarder of emails or a poster of links. But this one is worth it:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Reading, Shaving, Parenting, but, um...

I've recently been reading the Book of Mormon in the bathtub. Yeah, you read that right. I just grab the book and read a few pages while my tub fills up with water.

This used to be the time I dedicated to shaving my legs. But it's winter, and something's gotta give.

Right now I'm reading from Mosiah. "Mosiah?!" I hear you thinking. "Either she's a speed reader, she takes a LOT of baths, or she used to dedicate an inordinate amount of time to shaving her legs!"

But lest I mislead you, I will confess that I did not start from the beginning. Too many ill-fated attempts to start a scripture study habit have ended somewhere mid-Mosiah, so I opted to give myself a headstart and just jump in right there. I'm certain the first section of the Book of Mormon still has many lessons to teach me, but it's been so long since I've read the back half that I'm starting to forget the basic stories.

Also, I just recently finished a fictional book called Alma and I wanted to compare the fiction to the actual story.

But, um... (did anybody get that little reference there?)

So I've been reading the teachings of Abinidi, specifically about who gets saved and who doesn't, and it got me thinking about the literal role of our Father in Heaven and how it parallels parenthood on earth.

Here in our house, rules are rules, and the rules we have are pretty straightforward. For example, the boys aren't allowed to play in their rooms. All their toys are in a playroom, so there is no reason for them to be in their bedrooms during the day. The consequence is straightforward, too. If they are caught in their bedrooms, they have to come upstairs and sit against the wall for 15 minutes. (The idea is that if they don't appreciate what they have downstairs, they get to sit in utter boredom until they do...)

Simple rule, often broken. But as kind and just parents, we might offer a few warnings.

"I sure hope I don't hear any boys back in those bedrooms..."

--or--

"You remember what the consequence is for being in the bedroom, right?"

If the kids refuse the subtle hints, they end up terribly bored with their backs against the wall.

I think our Heavenly Father, being even more just and kind, offers us similar warnings.

A talk in Sacrament Meeting last Sunday about how we need to be doing the little things.

A ton of passages in Mosiah that praise obedience.

Trials to bring us back to humility (and make us appreciate what we have) when we choose to ignore the warnings.

Oh how I wish I had a clever way to wrap this up.

But, um...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

And We Thought They Were Cute Then...


When people meet Dylan for the first time, their response is always a variation of one of the following:
  • Wow, he really has his own little look, doesn't he?
  • I can't believe how much he looks like Adam!
  • He sure looks like his brother, Alex!

I've been anxious to get Dylan's 3 month pictures done so we could compare side by side. Though I was formerly in the Alex camp, I think I've switched teams to "he has his own little look."

Looking back at Adam and Alex's pictures, though, I can't help but think, "We thought they were cute?" I now know from experience that they just keep getting cuter. Now I can't wait for the 6 month pictures!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Well That Explains It

I can't seem to remember anything. In fact, I thought of the concept for this particular blog entry on Friday, and it has taken me until today to actually remember to sit down and write it. I forget items at the store. I have lost my Sinclair gas card several times over the past few months. (Currently missing, by the way.) I don't return calls; I leave things everywhere I go. (Also missing a really cute, fold up diaper bag/changing pad that I used to use for Alex... has anyone seen it?) As I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person, this has been incredibly frustrating for me, but I have finally at least found an explanation.

On Friday, I packed up my two youngest children and sent them off to Idaho for the weekend with my mom. (She was taking them with her to visit my grandparents.) I packed all the essential items and started giving her the 411 on the kids. "Dylan has started rolling front to back a lot, but he almost always rolls over his left shoulder. So be careful where you put him." "If Alex starts to cough and can't seem to stop, his asthma is acting up. Make him hold still for awhile." "Dylan will generally stay awake for an hour and a half." "If Dylan wakes up crying, give him his binky. If he cries again within 15 minutes, he is hungry." "Alex will sleep better if he has a snack before bed."

After a few minutes of this, I realized exactly where my memory has gone. It is now completely full of information about my kids. My mental sponge is dripping with said information, and it simply cannot soak up another ounce. So when I need to remember that Dylan needs to take his antibiotic daily, that means I have to forget that I promised my mom I'd make flyers for her upcoming show. When I try to hold on to the memory of a first giggle, I leave the book my dad lent me sitting on his counter. Again.

Unfortunately, I think this problem is irreversible! How do I know this? Well, I know that my mom could tell you the favorite foods and food aversions of all of her children AND her sons-in-law. (Or is it son-in-laws? Hm.) But I also know that my mom can NEVER find her keys.

I think I'm doomed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pretty Smart Meal Planning Idea

I followed a link in a friend's blog over to Pocket Full of Posies and read about this really smart meal planning system. Basically, you have several cards with 5 complete meals listed. On the back is an ingredient list for said meals. You choose a card for the week, then simply buy the ingredients listed on back. Of course, on their site you buy a really cute pocket system in which you can organize your cards. You also buy the premade cards and recipes.

I LOVE the idea, but I'm super picky, and I love the meals I already make. So I'm thinking of turning my own recipes into a pocket system. I don't really want to do it by myself, though, so I'm wondering if any of you ladies would like to ditch the kids for a Saturday and get together to make your own personalized pocket recipe system. Any takers?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Stars Have Aligned

I got my kids a "craft box" for Christmas, full of construction paper, stencils, glue, etc. and intended to pull it out at least once a week for some fun time together. Hasn't happened yet. Either the baby is awake, or I know he's about to wake up. Or it's too close to lunch. Or I haven't even had time for a shower. Or, or, or.

Today, the stars finally aligned. Baby sleeping, mom showered, AND still two hours until lunch. I did a quick internet search for a fun wintery idea, grabbed the box and the kids, and got to work. The craft was easy, fun, and a little messy... perfect for little boys!

And who knew cleaning up would be half the fun?!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Proof...

...that being a mom is one of the hardest jobs out there...

For the last several weekends, Kirk has been working with my dad, helping to meet deadlines for a weekend-only installation job. (My dad owns a storage system installation company.) He generally goes on Friday from about 4:30 pm to 11:00 pm, then again all day Saturday. By all day, I mean 8:00 am often until midnight or later. And then if the work still isn't done, he goes on Sunday, too.

This morning, he woke up and jokingly said, "I think you should go to work for me today." Without so much as a pause, I said, "Ok." I then proceeded to find some clothes I didn't mind ruining, drove to Reams to buy a pair of work gloves, and headed off to the warehouse.

What on earth would possess me to do this?

Lets see. Stay home and play single mom... again? Or go hang out with my dad's employees (all of whom are either family or friends of mine) and not have to listen to single whiny or frustrated "Mom" all day? Nevermind that the latter also meant backbreaking work including stacking wood covered in 35 year old dirt onto pallets until said stacks were taller than me. Nevermind that I probably swung a small sledge hammer over 600 times. Nevermind that I had to try to keep up with much more seasoned (and in shape) employees with a 3-months post-baby body. All of that seemed easier to me than being a good mom today.

I was exhausted after 8 hours and had to call Kirk to come relieve me. But I thoroughly enjoyed the hours I was there. I worked hard, caught up with a few old friends, listened to show tunes (Yeah, wanna see something funny? I'm pretty darn sure my dad's crew is the only warehouse installation crew that listens to show tunes and Billy Joel), and got in a great workout, too!


As I was leaving, my dad asked me if I was done "playing" for the day. I left exhausted, but strangely rejuvenated.

Even though sometimes going off to a job seems easier than being a mom, I know no one can do my job better than I can, and I'm sure grateful to be able to do it.

Oh, and if you haven't read my "trade for pages" offer for my digiscrap business yet, scroll down.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A New Way of Thinking About It

If any of you are interested in how to earn "free" (ish) scrapbook pages designed by me, Click here to read the latest post on my business blog.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

TWELVE Ways to Build It


One of the best gifts we got for our kids this year cost very little and should provide lots of entertainment and opportunity for creativity. What little boys wouldn't love a box full of sprinkler parts?! Kirk cut two 9' poles into 3" and 6" pieces and mixed in all sorts of connectors. Here is the "friend" I helped Adam build. We later made a dog for his friend, and a bone for the dog. I can't wait to see what else we can come up with!
Thanks for bearing with me through our 12 days of Christmas!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

ELEVEN Years Difference

At Great Grandma Fife's the boys got the chance to hang out with their 2nd cousin Zack. Even though the difference between Zack's 15 years and Adam's 4 is a grand total of 11, these three boys had a great time together.

Monday, January 4, 2010

TEN Lucky Cousins


They were too spread around the room to catch in one picture, but between our 3 boys and their 7 cousins, there were 10 kids in all to enjoy Christmas day together. Thanks to Grandma Tess for a great Christmas night party and for the great gifts!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

NINE Bakugans

These really awesome toys start out as a sphere but when you touch them on the metal cards they come with, they pop out to be various little warrior guys. Santa brought each of our boys one Bakugan. Adam lost that one, but got two more from his cousin. With his Christmas money from two great-grandmas, he bought acquired five more Bakugans and a carrying case. Alex also added a new Bakugan and case to his little collection. That brings our current collection to 9, but I anticipate it growing rapidly! (Walmart.com had the starter pack with 3 Bakugans for only $6, which is an amazing price. Don't tell my boys, but I've already ordered a pack for each of them for their upcoming birthdays.)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

EIGHT Days a Week

video

Mark and Rachel brought Beatles Rock band to Mom & Dad's house on Christmas night. Of course Mom, an avid Beatles fan, had to try it out on mic. The video is only 45 seconds, and I promise it is worth it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

SEVEN a.m. Christmas

Kirk and I woke up before the boys (thanks to Dylan), so we waited patiently on the couches until they woke up. Then they waited patiently on the stairs until we gave the official OK to come see what Santa left.