Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mr Builder

G-man has been dying to get something that he can build, more than just LEGO. We showed him Erector set at Toys R Us, and he was interested in getting it. This is, by far, more complicated than mere LEGO, and the first model has yet to be completed.
Maybe this is too hard for his little fingers, but we have the week to work through a model. Hopefully, it will work for him, and teach him a little patience.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Perfect Gift

This is Mr. S with his Garbage truck he got for Christmas (or the day after Christmas. We opened gifts a day late). It's even cooler than mommy and dad thought. The arm that lifts the dumpster is motorized. It's now broken, but it was cool for about an hour. We couldn't get him away from it long enough to eat breakfast this morning. He threw a fit when we made him go to church.
Here he is yelling at me when I asked him to look at the camera. I think his words were "mommy, I don't want to smile!!!!" Can you see the pile of Christmas wrappings he is using for trash? I don't think he has touched his other gifts. I guess the nice thing about an obsession is it's easy to buy presents that will be loved to pieces (literally). We love you little S boy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What Happens in a Month

We haven't blogged for a while. I just downloaded pictures from our camera. It's been over four weeks since we did that last. There were 128 pictures. We've done a lot in the last few weeks. Here's a few items of note:

We traveled to Phoenix for the first time in over 5 months. I've since been back and we will be going again soon.We went to a zoo and fed the giraffes, pet the goats, turtles, deer, and stingrays.
We traveled 200 miles in one day without actually leaving the metropolitan area we were in.G-man went to his first Professional basketball game.
JW learned to roll over, found his feet, found his voice, found that his mouth is full of water and spends most of his time trying empty his mouth of said water. He spent the other day trying to figure out how to get his dang binky back in his mouth and was quite upset that the stupid thing wouldn't do what he wanted. He is rolling across the floor and the other day I caught him trying to scoot on his tummy to the Christmas presents under the tree. This kid is trouble.
We put up the Christmas tree. We did not put up Christmas lights. I'm boycotting this year. But I am buying Christmas presents even though some little boy told some little girl that a certain bearded figure dressed in red is actually imaginary. He's not supposed to do that. That's my job!
We sold our first table that we've had since we were first married. We stripped of it's bright turquoise paint and sanded it together before we got married. This was a hard one to let go, but that's what picture are for right? (repeat after me:I will not become a hoarder, I will not become a hoarder, I will not become a hoarder!)

School is almost out for the quarter. At school in the last four weeks we ran some laps, did some homework, and danced in an assembly. In the next two days we will go on a field trip and get an award for being awesome (that's Kiwi. She's everyone's friend and the school wants to honor that fact. She's my social one. I don't know where that came from).

So, we're busy. Kiwi's dancing in the nutcracker this week. This involves two rehearsals and two performances spanning four nights. So I figured I'd better blog now, otherwise it may be a month before it happens again.

Friday, November 19, 2010

First Bobcat

G-Man is finally old enough for Cub Scouts. He is excited to get into scouts. Who wouldn't want time to play with friends and get out of the house for non-school activities from time to time? Here he is in in brand-new scout shirt, that Mommy stayed up late to sew on the patches.
 At the pack meeting, they introduced G-Man as the newest Bobcat. He got to the front of group, and I got to paint his face with the Native American inspired face markings.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

But what about the baby?!

Chad failed to mention in the last post that there was another star this past weekend. We blessed Little J at our church the day after G-man's baptism. He IS a rock star, mostly because his faux hawk has grown to be a good three inches long. And it stays standing straight up.
This is how his hair stood for the entire baptism. I was left at home with the task of getting three kids to the baptism on time. When Chad left (about 35 minutes before it was set to start), JW wasn't dressed, Kiwi's hair wasn't done, and S was still napping. Luckily my brother and his family came by to get themselves dressed and Lacy very kindly helped. I wouldn't have made it there on time without her. But J's hair didn't get combed. Oh well, that's life. The more it sticks up, the more head rubs he gets from complete strangers.
Here he is in his outfit. I didn't get a good picture of him dressed up at all. I ordered the suit online and the neck and tie were way too small. So I went to some stores in town trying find something that would fit. Nothing would. He has no neck due to his copious amounts of neck fat. So the top button was left undone and the tie was held on by a safety pin. I think it kind of makes him look like he's sporting some bygone disco fashions. This picture was actually taken after the baptism. Since all the family pictures from the previous post were actually taken after the blessing, I thought it would be appropriate to put this one on. Plus, I love it. My SIL Liz took all the pictures except for the top one (you can tell by the picture quality). I am so grateful to her for bringing her camera and being willing to take pictures. It's so hard to think about busting out the camera when you're busy trying to organize two large extended families. Thank you to everyone who came and for traveling to see the momentous weekend in our family.

Monday, November 8, 2010

G-Man's Most Special Day

G-Man hit a milestone in life: baptism. Since this is such a major event, that nearly all of the extended family on both sides came down for the event.

But the main event was the baptism. I am so proud of my oldest and the choices he has made. The best part is that the water level in the baptismal font was so low, that G-Man had to lay flat, and I had to push his feet under the water to get him fully immersed. But still, a memory to cherish.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween, 2010

Halloween: Best time for a sugar high and the resulting crash.

G-Man wanted to be a ninja for Halloween. He has to clarify when people ask that "it is a red dragon ninja." Yes, you have to be specific with him.
Kiwi has to be something really girlie, of course. She was a Fairy Queen or Fairy Princess, depending when you asked and if G-Man was around. We forgot the wings for actual trick-or-treating, so mostly it was a princess. There isn't a picture of the hair, but trust me, there was much screaming involved, so it was ornate. :)
Mr S was very adamant about not getting his costume on when we were getting ready to go to the trunk-or-treat. Once we got there, he was willing to put it on, for the sake of getting candy. The tradition for the boys is to be Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc.
And last but not least, our cutest candy-grubber, JW. Who knew Skeletons could be so darn cute? I think he senses that he wasn't going to get any candy.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

G-Man's 8th

G-Man finally reached the ripe old age of 8. We had a minor party at the house on his actual birthday. He got the first part of his present: bedding for a reptile or amphibian, TBD. A trip to PetCo give a frog a leg up on the competition.

His real party was with friends on the Friday following. A pizza party at Peter Piper Pizza. I don't think I have every seen a group of boys burn through game tokens so fast!

The best part of the party was that G-Man and one of his friends ended up getting sick. That is a real party.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Late Night for G-Man, 2010 Edition

G-Man got his first taste of procrastination tonight. He "forgot" about an advertisement that was due tomorrow. Trying to get him to spit out the details of what he needed was like pulling teeth. First it was just advertise anything. Then it was something to sell. Then it was you have to sell that thing. And, at the last minute, he remembered "And we have to have a store name." You can see the addition of ".com" in little print under the title. Before we got to pasting them on, he said "can I go to bed now, and you finish it?" I love my new procrastinator!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekend Away, 2010

The family all took a short weekend away, to the north west side of town. Even though it is still in the metro area, the drive still takes 45 minutes. As far as you can get without leaving town.

As is the rule when staying in a non-home location, the TV must be on, and must be watched at all times.

The "highlight" of the trip was a visit to Biosphere 2. Granted, there was much talk of "I'm bored" from Kiwi and a few incidents of Mr S doing overly dangerous things (did I mention that he almost ran into a well of water? that got everyone's attention.)
Way fun to spend time doing nothing at all with the family.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Chad's parents sent us a box of these for fun a few days ago, so of course we had to try them. It was like Russian Roulette with Jelly Beans. There were many nasty faces made, and a little bit of retching in garbage cans. Poor Seth loves Jelly Bellys , and it was kind of sad to see his happy face slowly turn to one of revulsion as he spit the offending bean into a napkin. We had a lot of fun. I think for the next extended family gathering I may mix a box of these into a Costco size container of Jelly Bellys and sit back and wait. Beware the Jelly Belly jar next time you come down mom!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

80's Movie Memories

I really get a kick out of introducing my kids to things from my childhood. Especially movies. We watched a lot of movies over and over and over again growing up. My mom worked nights so daytime during the summer was a free for all while she slept.

The best thing about these movies was most of them were recorded off the TV. There were often scenes missing because someone forgot to turn off the pause button when the movie came back on after the commercials. There was also some fabulous dubbing. I remember we used to mock the recording of Back to the Future 3 we had because we could clearly read Michael J Fox's lips while the dubbing said "Crap."

Here are a few of the movies I have fond memories of and my favorite lines from some that I remember:

Short Circuit: "Number 5 is alive" "Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?"
My kids watched this on Hulu a month or so ago. They loved it. This is one of my favorites.

Karate Kid: No memorized line, but I can't count the number of times I re-enacted the crane kick at the end. It was so fun to watch this with G-man at see him get so excited when "Daniel-son" won the karate match.

Princess Bride: "My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die" "No more rhymes now, I meant it" "Anybody want a peanut" "Mawwiage, Mawwiage is wot bwings us togever today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam wifin a dweam..." I could continue quoting this part for quite a while. Another one of my favorites. I think my love for medieval dresses comes from this movie.

Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea: I still have to watch this one every now and then . And read the books. I always wanted to change my name and put an "e" at the end so I could be Luanne with an e.

Return of the Jedi: I think we watched this all the time because of the Ewoks.

Back to the Future 1,2, and 3: I want to know where our hoverboards are. 2015 is only 5 years away.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit: No quotes or explanation as to why we watched it all the time. That movie is a little dark for kids.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Who didn't love Indian Jones?

Man from Snowy River: So Beautiful. I went through the love of horses that many girls do when I was 9 or 10. I loved this movie. And the music.

So far we own most of these and my kids have watched them. I need to get my hands on '*batteries not included' to show my kids. They would get a kick out of the cute little robots.

Some other ones we watched were: Darby O'Gill and the Little People, The Gnome Mobile, the Journey of Natty Gann...

I'm sure there are some movies I've forgotten and there are many more classic 80s movies I haven't included. Our movie choices were limited to whatever happened to be playing on Disney's Sunday night at the movies. So I didn't get much variety. It's crazy how much of my childhood was spent watching the same movies over and over again. Kids are weird.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Baby Love

Baby J, how do I love thee. Let me count the ways...I love the way you cross your eyes when you're concentrating. You're trying so hard to figure out what that camera is all about. It's lucky you haven't figured out how to work your hands well enough to grab it.
I loved watching you learn to suck your thumb. It kept you entertained for days, and now that you know how to do it, you have started to sleep through the night. Let's just hope you don't love it too much in the future. I'd hate to have to break out the Tabasco sauce.
I love your crazy hair that stands straight up no matter how much I comb it. I love your rolls, your rubber band wrists, and the dimples on your hands, elbows, and knees. You're so squeezably soft, I'm surprised I haven't popped you yet.I love your sweet squinty eyed, dimpled smile. I love how easy it is to make you smile. I love to watch you try so hard to talk to me. Don't worry, you'll learn how to work those vocal chord better soon enough. It's fun to listen to you experiment with them.
I also have to admit that I love to torture you little baby. I couldn't convince you to like the hat or the chair, but you were so cute crying there, I had to snap a photo. I hope you forgive me someday for all the crazy things I have done and will do to you in the future.

I like to tell people that if babies weren't so cute, we'd throw them out the window. They are a lot of work and sometimes I'd much rather stay in bed than go feed you, thank you very much. I think our Father in Heaven knew what he was doing when he created these little things. I am thankful every day for this sweet little guy, and I am sad to see how fast he's growing. Babyhood doesn't last nearly long enough.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For the Love of Trash Cans

Our little Mr. S has quite an obsession with trash cans. I'm not quite sure if it's garbage trucks or trash cans, or the combination of the two. Either way, I think there needs to be an intervention. Here is my proof:

-Tuesday is trash day, but the trash excitement begins Monday afternoon when our neighbor across the street puts out her trash cans. As soon as he sees it he tells me he will be putting out the cans with his daddy when daddy gets home for work. "daddy take out trash cans after work."
-We don't recycle enough to put out our recycling can every week. We could go two weeks for our regular garbage can, but diapers in a can for two weeks really start to stink. The weeks the blue trash can doesn't go out are quite tragic. Much screaming ensues when the blue one is left behind.
-Tuesday morning starts early. Mr. S wakes up and trots to the front window to watch for the garbage truck. When the garbage truck comes he runs to the window in front, then moves to the window in his bedroom so he can view the truck making it's way around our circle.
-Everyday is spent playing trash man. It's amazing what he calls trash cans. Duplos stacked two high (in matching colors), a chair to his table and a baby doll high chair, little counting bears, our hampers...
-Last week he dumped all his toys into our hampers, pretending they were trash cans. that was a fun mess to clean up. His toys are the trash, although the play food is his favorite thing to use as a trash can.
-Mr. S doesn't watch TV and movies. He watches youtube garbage truck videos. They are videos of garbage trucks doing their thing. I was able to give him his first decent haircut while he watched a garbage truck video. When they end, again, there is much weeping and wailing.
-We went to Target the other day and found a megablocks garbage truck. It had a recycling can and an arm to lift the can into the truck. Mr. S would not let the thing go. I was able to sneak away with it and put it back. He noticed and blamed Chad. "Where's garbage truck? Daddy take garbage truck. Daddy mean." This was repeated multiple times throughout the next few days. It was a fun few days since generally he prefers his daddy over me.
-I embraced the garbage truck love the other day and built a city for Mr. S. Each house had a trash can and his garbage truck went around and picked up trash. Although it turned into cleaning the Webelot castle with a toothbrush. Two year olds are a riot.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Summer Swimming

I have always had a hard time remembering to take pictures of things I do with my kids. Blogging has helped me a little bit with this. We'll be doing something fun, and I'll think "I need to blog about this" and then I'll think "I should take a picture." So in reviewing my picture gallery a ran across a few events I wanted to blog about.

Before Jare Jare Binkys was born (Chad came up with that one. I think it's funny. We're nerds.) I took the kids swimming. I have a very very awesome friend who offered (or maybe I begged) to let us come swim with them in the morning at her mom's house. I wasn't about to go to a public pool 9 months pregnant. So three times a week we joined her teenage son and two girls to swim for an hour. It was awesome.

My kids are naturally competitive, and I think hers are too. So we all made great progress. Kiwi wouldn't let go of the edge of the pool at the beginning of the summer. Both my friends girls were using floaties, and Mr. S screamed the first time we got in the pool and wouldn't let go of me.
By the end of the summer, all three girls were swimming without floaties. My friend's girls were jumping off the diving board. First Kiwi learned to use floaties (she refused to try them previously). Then she started swimming without them for short distances. She still won't jump in, but hopefully we'll get over that fear next summer.

Mr. S was swimming and jumping off the edge of the pool with floaties on by the end of the summer. He wanted to swim like his siblings. I would take him out to the middle of the pool and he'd insist on "swimming." I'd let him go and he'd wiggle his whole body and call it swimming. It was super cute. He also had a superman towel with a hood that made him look like a Jawa (more Star Wars references for those who don't know). We called him Super Jawa.
He's just trying to get the chlorine out of his nose. It stings ya know.

G-man was swimming at the beginning of the summer and at the end was still swimming. He did learn to hold his breath under water and touch the bottom of the deep end. He also learned how to horse around in the pool with a 14 year old boy. He had a lot of fun.

I couldn't have survived the summer without swimming. It's amazing how water takes the pressure of the body, especially my back. I have a feeling the J-baby will be a super swimmer with all the time he spent in a pool before he was born. And no, I will not be posting (and do not have) any pictures of me in my suit. I'd just rather not. Thanks Megan for letting us swim with you guys.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Living Off The Land

We've been having a fun little food adventure at our house. It involves eating weeds.

Has anyone ever heard of purslane? Here's a picture:
It is growing all over our backyard and has been since we moved into this place. So, naturally, we decided to start eating it.

One of Chad's coworkers told him about it after receiving it in her CSA box a few years ago. He's been trying to convince me to eat it since. I was a little wary, seeing as I've always been taught not to eat weeds and other random foliage that may be growing in the yard. It may stem from a serious reaction I had after eating lawn mushrooms when I was four (how was I supposed to know they were poisonous? The neighbor kid who dared me to eat it obviously didn't). I would just ignore Chad and pick those darn weeds. They pop up every year after the monsoons and are pretty annoying.

After seeing a blog post with a recipe for it (inspired by a woman who received it in her CSA box) I started thinking more seriously about trying it. Then I looked it up on the internet and apparently it is full of a lot of Omega 3 something or other and is actually good for you. So I looked up a few recipes. We've mixed it in with our salad at dinner. I've mixed it in with a potato salad. Today we had it with some zucchini and tomatoes. The results are promising! The older kids think it's fun. It doesn't have a very strong flavor, so it's great to add to any vegetable medley you've got going on.

Maybe you happen to have this weed in your yard. Or maybe you're the type to care for your yard and not allow weeds to grow. In that case, come to our house and pick some! There's plenty to go around.

Here are some of the recipes I tried: The second link has some information with recipes at the end. We tried the potato salad. It was fabulous.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Getting Wet

There's nothing quite like a pouring rain in August on a Saturday afternoon. It sure helped Chad and I get through the rest of the day.
I'm not quite sure why they both decided to stand on one leg and stick there arms out. They both did it simultaneously without discussing it beforehand. I'll have to ask them.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Smiles and Loves

Jared is now one month old and smiling! He's pretty smiley if you catch him well rested right after he has eaten. Wait too long and he'll be grumpy because he's bored. I forget how much work it is to entertain a baby.
This kid is very loved. His siblings constantly want to hold him. It's can be kind of annoying since most of the time they want to hold him when he's cranky and usually he sits and cries on their laps. But they keep asking, so I guess they don't hold it against him.
J's hair is pretty awesome. It prefers to stick straight up despite my efforts to comb it down. This picture is immediately after his bath and it's particularly bad. He looks like a little mad scientist. Throwing a temper tantrum. Angry Baby! I love this kid.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Off to School (x2!)

I officially have two kids in school! Kiwi started kindergarten and G started 2nd grade. I feel very lucky that we are able to have them at the same school. G-man tested into GATE (the gifted program in our area) for first grade and goes to a school in a different neighborhood. He is in a self-contained GATE classroom with other gifted kids. We were really happy with his experiences last year and are continuing at the school. Almost all the kids that were in his class last year have returned. He also has a male teacher this year. I am so excited for that. It is so rare to get a male teacher in the younger elementary grades.

Due to the extra support from the GATE program and it's title one designation, the elementary school also was able to keep full day kindergarten. When G-man started kindergarten I was frustrated that I didn't get a half day option. Now that I have two kids in school plus the two little ones at home, I'm so glad Kiwi has full day kinder. It would have been such a pain to pick up kids from school twice a day.

Kiwi had a great week. She didn't know any of the kids at the school. I think she's slowly making friends. Although apparently her favorite past time at recess is chasing boys. The second day Chad took her to school, intending to walk her to the area she lines up. When they got there she hopped out of the truck, told Chad she remembered where to go, and ran off to the playground equipment. She is such a brave, independent little thing. I think it took half the year for G to let Chad drop him off outside his school when he was in kindergarten. By Wednesday I had G-man picking Kiwi up from her kindergarten class so I didn't have to unload the boys from the car.

It's amazing how fast these kids are growing up. I think I may have to walk to pick up Kiwi a few times a week just so I don't feel like she is growing up so fast. But I'm so glad she was able to go without being afraid. I'm so proud of my little girl!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Four Babies

Mr. S

I wanted to see all their baby pictures side by side. They all look so different.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Thoughts on a Two Week Old Baby

My three boys!
Seeing as I'm two weeks postpartum these thoughts may be scattered and a bit crazy. But that's how I be these days.

-We decided to give our little guy the middle name of William. We've been having fun with nicknames. J-Dub is my favorite. Chad came up with J-Will. I'm think we should call him J-Willie and hope for a future in rap music.

-The delay in giving him a middle name caused a mix-up with the social security and vital records office. I guess they don't deal well with people who haven't had names picked out for all their children since middle school.

-I really love the place where Jared was born. It's a free standing birth center right next to the hospital. There are no OB's, only midwives and nurses. The beds are regular queen size beds, there are no epidurals, and there are no IV's. Most importantly, you can take your baby home when it is four hours old. Unless you have group B strep. Then you get to make the nurse feel like a jailer when she makes you wait until the baby reaches the 12 hour mark. The best part is now I can say two of my kids were born in a bathtub.

- The nurses are awesome. One nurse got out our camera while I was giving birth and started snapping photos. Most of those will be deleted. Within 30 minutes of J-Dub's birth, Chad and I were left alone to bond with the baby along with a bowl of strawberries and angel food cake. When I came back two days after he was born (for rhogam) they gave me a plate of snacks to eat while I nursed him. I've decided that food is the way to my heart.

- One nurse made cards for each of my kids with J-Dub's footprints on it. She has three kids of her own, so it was nice to have someone who understood siblings. I've also gotten calls every couple of days from the nurses to check up on me. It makes you feel good.- One of my regrets from this birth is that he was born on a weekday during clinic hours at the birth center. One half of the building is for prenatal visits and the other half is where the real fun happens. Labor was harder this time than the last two. J had the cord around his neck which made things go slower than I am used to. Let's just say I may have scared a few women away from the natural delivery option.

- After two weeks I am even more sleep deprived and Jared has gas. The last few days have not been fun. Luckily my parents took the older three camping so at least I can just sit and hold a baby. Now if I could just stay away from the bad food that's making him uncomfy!
-J-dub has a fair amount of hair, and it makes a pretty good mo-hawk. Kiwi had one as a baby too, but hers was caused by two cowlicks on the back of her head. Luckily I can grow her hair out long to hide them. It was fun trying to deal with it when she was a baby.-Seth is starting to warm up to the baby more and has a lot of fun "holding" him. I love that holding basically involves the baby lying on his lap.All in all, I think I'm slowly getting used to this. The kids start back to school in a week and then I'm sure everything will change again. But most of the day will be just me and my tow little boys. It'll be a lot quieter around here, that's for sure.