Saturday, October 25, 2014

Birthday Party #2 and Reality

Hayes shares his birthday with my super cool nephew Kade.  We had a little party for the two of them after Sunday's Conference.  Kade turned 12 this year but we reminisced last years birthday for a bit.  Kade's birthday party was ruined because Hayes decided to make a dramatic entrance into the world. Misti got a phone call in the middle of hosting Kade's party saying that I was headed to the hospital, hemorrhaging and things didn't look good.  Being the great sister she is, she dropped everything and came to my aid.  Poor Kade was left with only half a party! He has since forgiven Hayes and is working super hard to be his buddy. 

These two girls so kindly stole my camera and practiced up on their photography skills which obviously need some serious help! 

They captured this gem of my mom! Nearly every picture I have of her looks like this.  When she dies we will have no choice but to put a picture of her hand in the newspaper obituary.  

At least Misti looks nice as she nonchalantly clears the table.  

But don't you worry, I'm pretty sure I win this contest.  Mid bite! That's reality right there.  Always feeding my face, and I look ridiculous doing it! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Conference Traditions

I look forward to General Conference every six months.  It is so nice to hear the inspired words of our prophets and to enjoy church from the couch! We always go for a drive during the Sunday afternoon session.  We take fun treats and the kids bring a game or a toy to keep them occupied.  This year Weston was in search of a horseback riding trail.  We got a bit lost and drove around for quite some time, but eventually we were able to find our destination.  The head of the trail had a fun campground that was set up for people with horses.  The kids were so excited and wanted to run home and get the camper! 

Just a side note: Hayes was with us and part of the family, but he fell asleep just as we pulled into the campground.  I was not about to wake him!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Late Nights

The decision for us to be a sleep over free family came slowly.  Its been years in the making really.  It started when Kallie was about four years old.  She would get invited to sleep over at a cousin's house.  This, I was completely fine with until the next day.  Kallie would throw a fit because she didn't want to come home, that would be followed by a huge meltdown over asking her do to the simplest of things later in the day and a very tired girl that needed literally days to recover.  (Kallie has always required a lot of sleep) I began to dread any family functions that landed on a night that had "sleepover potential" She asked, every. single. time! I either had to be the bad guy or pay the price the next day.  I hated it.  

In the midst of this ugly phase came the General Conference talk by Elder Larry Lawrence of the seventy titled "Courageous Parenting" here .  In that talk we are strongly advised to be wary of sleepovers.  Weston, being the more faithful of the two of us, took that as a very clear answer to our problem.  "No more sleepovers" he said.  I was more hesitant.  Some of the funnest memories I have with friends growing up was sleeping over.  Nothing bad ever happened.  We were good kids.

I continued to let the kids have their sleepover fun and not only did I pay the price the next day with grumpy kids, I had a grumpy husband too.  It always ended up in an argument, he just felt strongly we shouldn't have them at all.  I was finally convinced recently when I learned that the first time both my brothers ever saw pornography was at a sleepover, AT A COUSIN'S house! I have great cousins, and great aunts and uncles who would all be crushed to know such a thing took place in their home.  I also have great siblings and inlaws that work tirelessly to teach their children the same things I am trying to teach mine, but Satan slips in way too often.  You never know what is going on at someone else's home, heck sometimes I don't even know what is going on in my own home when the kids are upstairs playing.  We all do our best, but we all come up short.  

We have now become a sleepover free family.  Of course there are exceptions; sometimes we babysit nieces and nephews and sometimes our kids need babysat overnight.  We did let Cole go overnight with a friend to attend a BYU football game a few weeks ago and I am sure there will always be things come up, but for the most part this is the rule.  

We have now begun to institute the idea of "late nights".  I  insisted on this one since I don't want our kids to feel left out, or picked on and resentful.  We let the kids have friends over or go to friends house until 10:00 or 10:30.  They play, eat junk food and have a great time doing all the things you would do at a sleepover except when they get tired, everyone goes home.   So far it has been a huge success that we all feel good about and the best part is; in doing this I have found that 75% of our kids' friends' families have the same rule! That makes it so much easier.  

Kallie and Cole each had their own late nights during our 3 week harvest break.  The girls were all about the food! They were adorable, polite, and super fun.  The boys didn't care at all about food, they were much more interested in beating each other up the entire night and running around like little crazies!  Weston and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know their friends better and had fun.  We did realize that our 9:00 bedtime is to be enjoyed for the next few years before we have teenagers! Staying up until 10:30 kicked our butts! Ha!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

12 Months Sounds Better

Hayes turned 12 months on October 4th.  I realize that is the same as one year old, but I can't stomach the thought that my baby is no more a baby and so to me he is now 12 months old.  How did he go from the tiny, fragile infant above that was clinging to life and being sustained through tubes and cords; to the wild, havoc wreaking, precious toddler below? I am usually not one to succumb to depression, but Hayes birthday was a really rough day for me.  I cried, a lot! I don't do that!!  EVER! I was grumpy that my kids wanted to make a birthday cake, decorate the house, and heaven forbid wrap a gift.  I wanted to skip this day!

Alas, the kids won and we did have a party.  A very small, pathetic party I might add but it was a party.   I couldn't muster the energy to make a cake but we had some cupcakes that honestly tasted like crap.  Hayes doesn't seem to have taste buds so that didn't matter much.  We plastered the fridge with pictures from the first year of our little man's life, sang him a birthday song and let him eat his cupcake.  

Needless to say he enjoyed that cupcake very much (he enjoys all food) and delighted the children with his messiness.  

We presented him with the gift you can only give unknowing babies; a new carseat! I will insert now that the new carseat was actually for Hagen and Hayes got his old one, so I actually got him nothing for his birthday!  The transition to an upright carseat had been needed for quite some time as he was bursting out of his infant seat, but that was a tough one for me.  No infant seat means no infant:(

I was pretty glad when the day was over and I could forget all the birthday nonsense.  But I have to say just how much I adore this kid.  Seriously he brings so much happiness into our home.  He is rarely grumpy, still eats and sleeps like a champ, giggles hilariously, bosses us all around, and gets into everything.  We all dote on him terribly and even as I realize we are creating a "youngest child monster" I can't help it.  

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

A New Trick and a Little Family Unity

This Chubalub has become a mobile monster.  He is everywhere! I can't keep track of him! The other night he came up missing and after a quick search he was spotted climbing the stairs.  He was so proud of himself that we couldn't steal his thunder.  It became a family affair with the kids cheering him on from the top of the stairs, Weston spotting him from behind and me with the camera (which was on some weird setting that resulted in bad pix) It was the cutest thing ever and the kids were as excited as the baby! 

I'm not much of a sentimental person but as I was standing at the bottom of the stairs watching my little family with pride, I couldn't help but be so grateful! This little baby has brought us so much joy. He unites us and can magically melt anger and frustration with one flash of that toothy grin.  This last picture in all it's blurriness perfectly shows what I want from my family.  I so badly want us to always cheer each other on, show love and support, work hard for our goals (Chubsly was sweating by the time he got to the top! That was tough work!) and always be at the finish line of life's events large and  small being the first to congratulate each other! 

Through the years each of us will take our turn "climbing the stairs" figuratively speaking.  There will always be things that are hard and that take a lot of work. Wouldn't it be a beautiful life if we also took our turn being at the top of the stairs cheering and never tearing down? Giving words of encouragement and love? I want my kids to take their turn being the support from behind as well.  Always pushing each other to do and be better.  As children of an eternal, loving Heavenly Father, our potential is limitless! 

Whether it is a point scored in a ball game, a successful potty training, an A on a test, a pat on the back for a job well done, the loss of a first tooth, a mission call, a temple marriage, or the graduation from school; it is my hope that there will be many pictures similar to this in our future and that we will always love each other just like this!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Weekend Getaway

We took a weekend getaway to a cabin in Island Park.  It was the perfect relaxing weekend.  Due to the excessive rainfall, we watched a lot of T.V.  I'm talking the entire Indiana Jones series! The boys loved it.  In between  rainstorms Cole and Nathan rode dirt bikes.  Cole is obsessed and was so excited that Nate brought his little 50 for Cole.  Hagen was pretty excited too but wearing the helmets around the cabin was enough for him.  

We went on a pretty good ride on Labor Day afternoon and even though it was a little cold we all had a good time.  Afterwards we went swimming at the Clubhouse in Island Park village.  Why is it that kids love to swim so much?  They do though and we wore them all right out.  

Hayes has started doing a couple new things that are pretty great.  First of all he does this weird finger thing when he is tired.  He pushes his two pointer fingers together and basically hypnotizes himself.  We all love it! Secondly he has started enjoying a little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the mornings. This is delightful to me as it allows me to get ready for the day without him destroying the whole bathroom.  I mean that literally.  He pulls everything out of all cupboards and drawers, plays in the toilet, pulls all the toilet paper off the roll, scatters all the shoes in the closet and all other manner of ruckus.  All boy this one is, but we sure adore the kid!