Thursday, September 27, 2012

Life According to My Phone

 It's sad, but true, technology has taken over the world and the most honest depiction of my life is according to the pictures taken with my phone.  (Let's not even mention the fact that it actually takes better pictures than my regular camera also:)
Grandpa Crapo has stopped in for dinner a few times lately when Grandma has been gone, we love having him over. Especially Hagen who likes to chum food from his plate!


 My brother Hank, who is not even five years older than me decided to fill me in on the fact that he doesn't remember me AT ALL growing up and spent a whole Sunday afternoon taking notes from stories I told him about us.  He didn't remember any, instead of being offended I am concerned! Something is for sure wrong with him because I am basically unforgetable!
 Kallie loves baking and Grandma is way more patient than I am with the mess, her cookies were really good!
 I love to watch Hagen sleep, he looks so cute and I always marvel at the positions he sleeps in.  Usually he sleeps with his feet or arms out the bars of his crib.
 Jalyssa decided that Hagen is NOT too big for his swing and got him to go to sleep in that thing.  His feet were dragging the ground! I think she is having just as hard a time as me that our baby isn't much of a baby anymore!
 Speaking of baby, he did however decide that he really likes to sit in Reagan's carseat. He wants her out so he can get in!
 It's a good thing I have this girl to entertain this boy in the car!
 We have soaked up every single bit of sunshine that we can this fall.  The weather has been great and we love it.

 Hagen loves to ride the horse and can throw a nasty fit if he doesn't get his way.
 This is Hagen's spot every morning while I get ready for the day.  Without the other kids here in the mornings this kid is a terror to the house!
 We snuck an hour at the splash park, that was a huge hit!

 Cole now thinks he is a trick rider and yes he is still sporting the shorts and boots look!
 This giant zit decided to move in and live on my face for a couple weeks.  Kallie thought it was hysterical and we spent an embarassing chunk of time one day taking pictures of that thing and distorting it to make it look even funnier!
 Hagen climbs everything and knows how to get all the good treats at Grandma's house, Oreo's are his favorite.
 Just like his brother Hagen loves the bouncy horse and it buys me enough time to clean the kitchen each morning.
 Kallie and her adorable cousins are so funny, they are always busting some sweet poses for pictures!
 Hagen at a whole pan of Rice Krispy treats for breakfast one day.  Sometimes I just say whatever keeps that kid happy for a minute!
 We took the kids to the state fair. Why? Weston Loves the fair.  The kids love cotton candy, it works out good. 
 
We are so cheap we only let them ride one ride.  They didn't care, they loved it.  I'm mostly scared of the Carnies that work there.
Cole also rode the mechanical bull at the fair so he is basically on his way to the PBR. It's okay to switch hands in the middle of the ride right?

We LOVE smoothies and I may or may not have a whole freezer dedicated to frozen fruit!
 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Distorted

 I guess it probably shows my level of maturity to admit that I find these pictures that the kids took on the ipad beyond hysterical.  I mean seriously, if you don't laugh at these there is really something wrong with you!
First you have the Hammer Head Shark affect which I personally find most flattering!


 
Next is......actually an arm, one with plenty of peach fuzz.  Weston and I studied this picture forever trying to decide which kid was in major trouble for taking an inappropriate picture before we figured out it was an arm! We laughed for days!
 
I also find this one pretty funny. It reminds me of a "who" off The Grinch! Let's just say I'm pretty happy my kids' faces are shaped the way they are and not the way they like to distort them to be!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ocular Albinsim Findings

I wanted to do a little post on Hagen's Albinism, I have been learning a lot of things about it and I find it all so interesting.  From the first time I looked in Hagen's eyes I knew something wasn't right with them.  I kept telling myself that he would grow out of it and that it was no big deal.  When it became apparent that he wasn't growing out of it, I decided to deny that there was a problem at all.


After his diagnosis was confirmed and we were told that there was nothing we could do about it, I did the smallest amount of research possible just so I could answer people's questions.  In my opinion, ignorance was bliss! Except it wasn't, the unknown was killing me and my sister in law was studying so much about it that I started feeling guilty.  I didn't want everyone else to know more about my son's condition that I did, so the study began. 

Truthfully there isn't a ton of information about Ocular Albinism.  It is very rare in fact Hagen is the only known case of it in the state of Idaho (so I am told).  However once the study began, my mind became more at ease and I realized that my new motto was going to be "Knowledge is Power".  And i do feel "powerful" over Hagen's future. 

Here are some of the most interesting things I have learned.

1. Albinism is Albinism.  There are just so many different levels of severity.  So Hagen is in fact an Albino (which I have also learned is a very derogative term, the proper terminology is "person with albinsim" His genetic makeup that causes his problem is the same as someone with red eyes and white hair.

2. People with Albinism have little to no depth perception.  I have noticed this in Hagen only slightly. When he steps from the carpet to the tile, he is very cautious.  He never attempts to walk down a step, always crawls. I honestly don't think this is much of a problem for him though, he really seems pretty aware.  (I have been told that he may just know his home really well and if he were other places it may show up more)

3.  A lot of people with albinism are actually able to drive and play ball sports, both of which we were initially told he would never be able to do.

4. (One of the more complex and difficult to explain) Ocular Albinism is really a brain problem more than an eye problem.  The person is lacking color pigment in the back of the eye (retina) not the colored part of the eye (iris) necessarily. I have had numerous people say to me, "He can't have albinism his eyes are blue and his hair is light brown" This goes back to 1. and the levels of severity.  Anyway for a normal person their vision is transported from the right eye to the left side of the brain and visa versa. Hagen's visual pathway is misrouted which means images from his right eye go to the right side of his brain and left to left, which creates a blurry image.  It is really way more complex than that but that is how I dumb it down for myself.  The brain changes and grows at such an alarming rate from birth to five years old that it is possible for his visual pathways to change.  Basically he can see great today but that may not be the case tomorrow.  Make sense? Not really! This is why he is seen by doctors so regularly, we just won't know until he is about five or six what his vision for life will actually be. 

5.  When we were told that there is nothing that we could do for Hagen, I felt a little hopeless. Almost like, "why study and learn if there is nothing I can do anyway?" Well I have learned that I can actually do a lot.  We are right on top of making sure he hits every developmental milestone there is.  We have had therapists and social workers evaluate his progress and they are just waiting to help if early intervention is needed.  I plan to start working on letters and numbers with him as soon as he can talk (and focus for more than 1 second:) because learning to read is the number one stumbling block most of these kids face.  I want him to be mainstream school more than I want chocolate at midnight. I understand that his future depends on me!

6. To most people's eye Hagen doesn't miss a beat.  He does so well and is right on track for his age.  He has more energy that I could ever dream of having and he is lovable and sweet.  As his mother though, I see plenty of things that keep me worried and aware.  When Hagen looks at a book (which is rare he is way too busy) he holds it right to his nose and tilts his head from sided to side to study it.  He NEVER acknowledges that the T.V. is on.  This may just be his busyness as well but it almost seems like he is looking around to see where the voices are coming from.  One time I held him right up to the T.V. and he just got a huge grin on his face and stared at it, but as soon as I put him down he looked up that way and then walked off.  I personally don't think he can really see it. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Homecoming

 
I love to dress my kids in Red and Black on Fridays to show a little school spirit! Especially for Homecoming! They were very excited to ride the bus up town to the parade too.  (Especially Cole because he doenst get to ride the bus this year) I love that Cole is making lots of new little friends at school and Kallie has such a great class of girls. I really like all my kids' friends, I hope that they always feel comfortable in our home.  Miss Berklee shown above in the red has probably been to our house the most out of Kallie's friends.  She is adorable and I love having kids like her at my house.  She is so nice to the boys, she isn't shy AT ALL and she will tell me when she is hungry.  Actually she will ask me to make her some chocolate chip cookies, and I love it!!
 
I always felt welcome and at home at my friends houses growing up and I really hope I can create a place where my kids' friends will want to be!
Hagen also has his little groupies! Little kids, and bigger ones to make me so happy!

Friday, September 21, 2012

At What Point?

At what point are my kids too old to bath together? This doesn't happen often but something about the fact that my kids were all in the tub together made me relish in the fact that they are still little.  Kallie will usually shower while the boys bath but she just couldn't resist the overflowing bubbles this time.  I love every second of having these kids to myself because I know that with the blink of an eye they will be all grown up!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

We Work, We Accomplish, We Fight

 A couple Saturday's ago Weston and I woke up with a "get stuff done" attitude. I love it when that happens.  I did a bit of housework, and then we headed out to the garden. We dug the potatos and harvested all the corn.  I love to work as a family.  The kids got so much satisfaction out of the fact that they helped with the garden.  Cole loved using the shovel and Kallie was the corn husker. Hagen well after being in the way a lot, getting puncture weeds in his hands, and eating all the corn Kallie was husking; we finally went in and cooked him a piece of corn.  Then he was happy. 



 Hagen was in heaven when the cows wandered over to eat the remains of our garden.  He chomped on his corn, mezmerized by the fact that the cow was so close. 
 Our new neighbor Dirk, installed a drip system in our garden this year and man alive that allowed us to have the best garden we have ever had.  This was the first time in ten years that we have actually produced corn. ( I know my husband is supposed to be a farmer right? Well apparently we can only grow stuff if it's under a pivot!)  My sister in law showed me how they freeze their corn and it was so much easier and healthier than my old way.  I husked and washed the corn, dried it off with a clean towel, wrapped each cob individually in saran wrap and then put them in freezer bags.  No blanching, no cutting, no five pounds of butter and salt added! Just plain old corn on the cob.  (We had our first serving from the freezer last night and it tasted fresh from the garden!) We were finsihed and cleaned up and just over an hour and I was happy! Until....
We decided to clean out the office. Unpaid bills were found from months previous, Whoops! And I decided that the clutter of the office was more than I could handle.  Weston and I then decided to have a big fight over the fact that I want to have doors made to go over the books shelves.  I hate the way they look cluttered and messy.  He thinks book shelves are nice to look at what with the fact that they hold books and all.  I guess my OCDness thinks that if all the books were the same size and color it would be okay.  Otherwise, doors would be a better option.  One of our sillier fights I have to admit but in the heat of it all we were both pretty mad.  I'm glad that we can work together, be mad at each other, accomplish things together and get over it! Truthfully I'm pretty happy about how that day turned out, even if I didn't get my doors! We topped the night off by making our traditional trip to "Bean on the River" with the Stoddard's and then off to the adult session of Stake Conference. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

iPads Are BAD



There's a well known fact about Weston.  That is; when he gets an idea in his head, there is no getting it out until a plan is formed and a way is made for him to accomplish the idea that is in his head.  (I feel like I just wrote a scripture:) He will spend hours planning, researching and saving to get what he wants.  (I'm making him sound like a real jerk, he's not! I actually find a lot of humor in his behavior)

Anyway Weston decided that he wanted an iPad. There were so many reasons why he 'needed' one.  I kept saying "no" because I didn't want my kids to waste a bunch of time on one and I have watched how their eyes gloss over and they become in a trance like state when they are playing with Grandpa's iPad.  Well then the unfortunate happened and Weston got put in the bishopric. This was just the amunition that he needed to pursuade me, so he thought.  Father's Day was rapidly approaching and he kept talking incessantly about getting an iPad.  I ignored it, I actually think this is a pretty funny game and let's face it we are hard up for entertainment around here.  So I continue to say no.  The day before Father's Day Weston asks me if I want to get a sitter and go to I.F. with him for a dinner date.  Let me tell you, I am nobody's dummy, so I said, "Why, so you can get yourself an iPad for Father's Day?" He just grins and that is that.  I love that boy, but my goodness he is high maintenence!



I stand true to my beliefs however, iPad's are BAD! Cole turns up missing regularly and he is usually hiding somewhere to snag a few minutes on the iPad. Who knew taking pictures of yourself and then distorting them to make you look like a mutant could be so fun? This particular day he was actually hiding in the laundry hamper.  In his defense he did sort all the laundry first!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Labor Day

 We had so much fun when we went four wheeling to PackSaddle Lake that we decided to do a repeat for Labor Day.  It was even better the second time too! It had rained over the weekend so the dust wasn't near as plentiful as it had previously been.  We took some great company along with us too! The Jensen's came with their kids and Uncle Brett always makes sure everyone has a good time.  He was the driver of the kids in the Ranger which I am sad to say I didn't get a picture of.  He hit every mud puddle there was and had those kids bouncing all over the place.  He is a great guy! Some other friends, the Larson's, also came and it was way fun to get to know them a bit better.  They love to have a good time so they helped to keep things lively!
 Cousin Libbie adores Hagen.  I mean seriously this girl cannot get enough of him and he is actually starting to like her a little too.  Kallie has some major jealousy issues there that I think are pretty funny.  She is sure that Libbie only likes to come to our house or see us because Hagen is there. 



I have to say, this may be my new favorite afternoon activity.  It is a pretty short ride and it is honestly beautiful.  There is one spot where the view of the Tetons cannot be matched anywhere. (I swear I will get a picture of that next time!)

Funny story; My mom used to always point out the Tetons to us and comment on how beautiful they were.  I remember looking at them but I think it took me growing up a bit to really LOOK at them.  I remember a couple years ago I was driving down the road when I first really LOOKED at those majestic mountains, I got right on the phone to my mom to ask her if she had ever realized how amazing the Tetons were.  She laughed at me, and then told me that she had tried to get me to notice that for years.

Honestly that moment was the very first time I felt a slight twinge of being old(er)! I was finally mature enough to look beyond myself a bit and notice the God given beauty around me.  It made me realize that we can tell our kids things until we are blue in the face and we can try to protect them from making all the dumb mistakes we made as kids but until they really SEE for themselves they won't understand.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Meet Big Mark


While we were away to California back in July we had some intruders in our home.  Some friends of ours left this stuffed "man" if you will, all dressed up in Weston's clothes and it was sitting on a chair.  I have to admit we were a bit startled by the dummy, but truthfully I was more concerned that someone went through my closet to find clothes for him! My closet was definitely not up to my organization standards, and I was a bit embarrassed.  We later learned that this same event included a golf ball being launched from the other side of the neighborhood, and smacking into the garage door.  Then the intruders decided that golfing would be a fun game and pulled out Weston's clubs and hit all his balls back to the other neighbor.  We really missed some excitement, and in case anyone ever intrudes again, you should know that their is a few certain neighbor kids who tell all!!

I have to admit the joke was funny, but funnier still is that Mr. Big Mark has become the funnest toy in our house.  He plays along with every game imaginable.  Big Mark has been a ninja, a cowboy, the sherriff, the bandit, and so many other things.  He has been drug around, hung from the stairs and tied to a chair.  I'm telling you, Cole has never had so much fun with anything in his life! Big Mark finally had to be banned to the basement because he was wreaking havoc on my wood banister.  After being hung for his crimes so many times, I have deep gouges from the noose that was used as his death trap. 

Cole is the funniest kid, his imagination is a joy to watch every day.  I think sending him to school was the right choice. He is loving it and thanks me every day for letting him go.  He doesn't give me much info about what goes on at school like Kallie does, (heck I can tell you what every kid in her class wears, eats, plays with, and any other information you would like) Cole just says he likes school and will answer most yes and no questions I ask him.  He did tell me that the only part of school that he doesn't like is that he isn't allowed to dip his cookie in his milk at snacks and that he has to sit criss cross applesause at rug time and it hurts his legs:) He has a tough life that's for sure.