Sunday, November 27, 2011

{Thanksgiving 2011}

We were so happy to have my sister and her family over for Thanksgiving. They live in Renton, about 45 minutes away, so we get to see them quite a bit, but haven't had them stay at our house in years! My kids were in heaven with their cousins.  The guys got in plenty of football watching. And it was so nice to have help for the meal (Reese cooked half of it!) and help in the kitchen too. 


Cooking must always start on Wednesday.  Rolls, Stuffing, and Pies were on my list that day.  (And an unanticipated stop to the pediatrician, with 4 kids,  to rule out strep throat for Rylan.  It was negative, thank goodness. Then a stop to the pharmacy for some sore throat magic mouthwash, and I was officially way behind on the to-do list.  But we managed to pull it off. I just left laundry undone and the house a little less clean than I hoped.  Why do I even make a plan?...kids are so unpredictable!)  Anyhow, keeping with tradition, each of the kids had to make a pie.  Carson fizzled out a bit, but Addy and Ry helped from start to finish.  Addy - Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, Rylan - Apple Pie, Carson - Chocolate Cream Pie.



 And then Thursday morning the kids can't wait for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  They even stayed interested for over an hour. That's Addy with socks in her hair :-)

Addy waited by the window for almost an hour for her cousin, Paige, to arrive.  She was asking every 5 minutes when they were coming!

The dining room was empty until a month ago when my mom drove up my Grandparents dining room table.  My Grandpa recently moved in with my Aunt and Uncle as his health continues to decline.  We all got a few trinkets, but I feel immensely blessed to be able to have this table that my grandmother served so many meals at.  It's beautiful and in amazing condition.  And my mom is extra amazing for driving it all the way up to my house!

All the kids (minus babies). The kids did a great job at making place cards.  I never got a group shot at the table. Too much prep going on at the same time, but the kids sure look happy and excited!



Rylan called Brynn "my Brynn" the whole weekend.  "Hey Carson, that's my Brynn!"  These two are so sweet together.


Brynnie is so sweet!

 The babies just outside the dining room in their own chairs.  Finley is so sweet and so quiet compared to our loud and often cranky Miles. She is just so content most of the time you hardly hear a peep out of her.  I'm sure it is a big surprise to be around our babbling (just started saying da-da-da), crying, and sometimes screaming baby.  Finley had fun crawling all over the place while Miles was a slug in one spot.  But they are sure interested in one another.  Sure to be great friends!



 Who says you can't have more pies than you have adults? Reese brought Banana Cream and a yummy Berry Pie too!
Our tradition is to stick an almond in each pie. Whoever gets the almond, gets a prize.  It kind of back fired this year because we had so many pies so the chances of someone getting an almond was small. In fact, Chris was the only one.  And then the kids were asking for more and more just to demolish their piece looking for the almond. So I just handed over a prize to each of the kids before all the pie was gone!

After pie, we spent a long time looking through ads and searching for on-line deals. We were trying to minimize our shopping by seeing what we could find on line for the same price and were pretty successful at that.  Reese and I didn't go shopping until 7am and hit Fred Meyer (still had everything we wanted...and with very light crowds) and Toys R Us (a total bust...everything gone).  We had a great time and got a ton checked off our shopping lists!

So lucky to have a sleepover with cousin Paige!

And Reese brough Just Dance 3.  The kids loved it!
It was warm and sunny on Friday. Warm enough to eat turkey leftovers outside in the sun!

After the guys got in a few hours of Black Friday shopping, we raced to the Christmas Tree farm to cut down our tree before the sunset (post coming soon!)

We had a blast with Charise and Chris and all the kiddos.  They are so fun and it is just so easy to host my sister. No need to worry about the dirty dishes laying around for a few hours or a house full of toys and piles from the kids. It just means the house is lived in, and we are having fun visiting, relaxing, and enjoying the good company!  Thanks again Reese and Chris!

It is nice to reflect on so many things that we are thankful for at Thanksgiving.  At our family home evening last week we made a list of about 100 items. Some of my favorites:

Trains (Rylan)
Birthdays (Addy)
Harry Potter (Carson)
Toothfairy (Addy)
Washer & Dryer (Mom)
Jeep (Dad)
French Fries (Rylan)
Employees (Dad)
College Degree (Mom)
Wii (Carson)
Sunshine (Addy)
Scriptures (Dad)
Cubscouts (Carson)
Emma (babysiter) (Rylan)
Temple (Mom)
PE (Addy)
Jesus (Rylan)
Skittles (Addy)
Camera (Mom)
Shapes (Rylan)
Job (Dad)
Good Health (All of us)
Baby Miles (All of us)
New House (All of us)
Gospel (All of us)
Family! (All of us)

This is just a fraction of what we feel blessed and grateful for this year.  Happy Thanksgiving!



{Soccer Season 2011}

Soccer season ended in the middle of November.  Both Carson and Addy were on excellent teams once again.  Fortunately this year they both practiced at the same time and days of the week.  But, at different locations. Trevor and I divide and conquer and did pretty well juggling the practices and games.  We only had an overlap a few times on game day.  We lucked out with only 2 really rainy games.  And had some awesome weather for the others.  I only dragged the camera along for a couple games because managing the baby in the front pack or stroller and keeping Ry from running across the field is a full-time job.  But I did get some fun shots to document another round of soccer. 

Addison:


Addy's aggressive side finally came out.  She was on a team of 5 girls and they were all super competitive.  It was so fun to watch! These 5 girls were best friends instantly and plan to play together next year.  Coach Morgan was great!  And one of the girls' parents took pictures all season long and put together a photo album for each girl to preserve all the memories. It really was such a fun team. We'll miss these girls until next season.

Addy really improved this year and had only one thing in mind each game.  Score goals! And she did. Each game.

 '
Woot!

3 goals during the first game of the season!






Dad's her biggest cheerleader.  She'd run over to give high fives after a goal.




Carson:


Carson played on the same team again this year as he has the past few years. We love Coach Robb and his very positive, never negative, building of confidence.  He is always about the love of the game, building skills, and having fun...more so than than winning.  It was a tough season as far as wins go.  But they all had fun together and Carson has definitely improved.




 A big smile running off the field after his first chest trap during a game!  He had his best game the last game of the season.  A little confidence goes a long way and I hope it carries over until next season.


 Dad and our sweet little Miles all bundled up on the last game of the season.  Hello Saturdays. We have you back now.  Hooray!




Thursday, November 17, 2011

{Miles: 6 Months}

This little guys is 6 months old! 


Weight: 17 pounds 9.5 ounces (40%)
Length: 28 inches (90%)
Head: 17 inches (25%)

I was telling Trev the other day that in some ways it feels like he has always been a part of our family and in other ways it has been the longest 6 months ever!  This cute little guy is finally growing out of a really colicky stage that started at about 3 weeks old.  The hours of crying in mid to late afternoon have diminished to about an hour.  The waking up 2-3 times a night have gone away in favor of 7-8 hours of sleep in a row.  And we are now able to anticipate what he needs a little better, thus keeping him happier.  I can't even describe how wonderful this improvement has been. 

I am never really frustrated with Miles.  I get frustrated with myself.  He's sweet as can be...just trying to figure out his little life too.  But I just shake my head and wonder why the heck he can cry for so long.  Worried he's in pain or that he just has a bad temperament that will never improve. And the tension in the house when I am trying to help child A with piano and child B with homework when there is a screaming baby in the background...just crawls up your skin and makes me stressed.  It's been tough. 

The kids have been great.  They take turns too...holding, consoling, shhhh-ing.  We all are looking out for this little one.  We all get spit-up on regularly and have learned to have our defenses ready (a blanket always in hand).  But we are coming out of it.  Slowly.  Just when I think his acid reflux is getting better, there comes a day when we both have to change clothes by 4pm.  But in general, better.  And I've realized there is only so much I can control, and just let the rest be.  Time has helped the most.

Some things to note on our sweet baby #4:

  • He lights up with the attention he receives from anyone.  He has the biggest smile that just melts your heart.
  • He is our big kicker.  Seriously.  He is moving those leggies constantly.  He can rock his infant car seat back and forth like a swing with his legs.  All this makes it almost impossible to change a diaper or bathe him.  He is a wiggle worm for sure.
  • He loves the binkie (thank heavens for that).  And he loves his blankies right up by his face.  When he is tired, you just put a blanket by his face and he pulls it over his head and his eyes roll back and he loves it. 
  • He falls asleep almost every night in Carson's bed.  Carson just begs every night to snuggle him in his own bed.  And they always fall asleep together.  It is the sweetest thing ever...which is why I haven't put the kibosh on it yet. 
  • Addy is a little mother to him and jumps at the chance to do 'baby chores' like changing a diaper, feeding him cereal or rocking him.  And she does a pretty good job too! 
  • Rylan isn't so attached to the little guy.  In fact most of the time when Miles is crying, Rylan is also yelling "Stop it Miles!" at the top of his lungs.  So then I have a screaming baby and a yelling toddler at the same time.  Both frustrated.  I am trying to help Ry love him a little more by giving more kisses and having him be my helper with him.  It's kind of working. Kind of. 
  • Miles lights up when Dad is around.  Trev is so good to tackle the baths, diapers, middle of the night fussing, and other dad help when is home.  But really most of the time I say I'll take the 3 kids if you'll just handle Rylan.  It is definitely not a fair trade.
  • His baby squeals and giggles are priceless.  He is starting to babble and blow bubbles and it is so sweet. 
  • He just cut his first tooth last week!
  • He loves the megasaucer and is getting too big for the swing. 
  • He's almost sitting up on his own.  (And made getting these pictures of him by myself while holding him with one arm, camera in the other, making crazy baby sounds to get his attention, and managing Rylan running around the deck in his underwear....it's a small miracle that I got several good shots of this little one!)
  • And I'm proud to say he has officially been sleeping in his crib for 2 weeks at night.  Until 2 weeks ago, he hadn't spent one night away from the cradle in our room.  It's been hard to let go of that.  I'm so worried about him spitting up in the night and choking (remember the 911 call?)  But his tummy is always more settled at night.  And it's been ok.  I may check on him 2 or 3 times, but he's in his own room like he should be.  And maybe I can start getting some sleep.
Oh the first year just goes by too quickly!  I am grateful for his personality coming through and for fewer rough and cranky days.  I do just love having a baby in the house.  All the work, all the cleaning, all the special needs of newborn....is all just so worth it to snuggle that sweet boy during the day.  Mine.  All mine.




 

 

Friday, November 04, 2011

{October Halloween Wrap-up}

This might just be one of my favorite pictures of all-time.  I love it. 
And I love this little Halloween crew!

Like I predicted, we ended up carving our pumpkins the night before Halloween...barely squeezing it in after church, dinner, and the Stake Priesthood session.  It was a busy Sunday evening...but they all seem to be this way with 1:30 -4:30 church.  Can't wait to start attending in the am for 2012!

I didn't have to gut any pumpkins this year.  Carson was the master and did 4 of the 6 in less than 30 minutes. 

Addy did her own too.

And Ry was so happy to carve his little "pumpkin patch" after he woke up from his 6pm-8pm nap.
 (yes, seriously).

He loved the bat I cut out of one of the pumpkins and thought it was a mustache.  He kept saying "I'm not a Mister".  Apparently you are 'Mister' if you have mustache.

I carved 4 of the 6 pumpkins though. I value speed over precision and ended up with a missing arm on my ghost, but I don't think anyone noticed.
 6 pumpkins! 
Left to Right: haunted house (Trev), ghost, witch, bats, 'evil eye' (by Carson all by himself), and one happy pumpkin. 

The kids have been talking about their costumes for about two months.  Addy pretty quickly decided on a witch...but a NICE witch. She was pretty clear about that.


Carson really wanted to be an angry bird, but I didn't order it in time and by the time I started looking they were 'sold out for the season' at every imaginable place.  Maybe next year!  He settled on the ninja and sweet-talked his dad into the matching sword.

This little guy picked from the over flowing costume box and settled on the cowboy costume.  My mom made this for Carson when he was 3.  Still looks adorable! 


And the cutest costume of all time:  My baby lobster in a pot!  I have wanted to do this costume for a couple years after I saw it on-line somewhere.  But Ry was too little in October when he was a baby.  You really have to have a baby right in the 4-6 month range to make it work (sitting up a bit, but not mobile enough to climb out).  Oh man, he was adorable.  I still can't get over it.

And he stole the show at the ward Trunk or Treat.  I had several people I have never even met taking his picture.  So amazingly adorable if I do say so myself.

We usually have some cousins with us on Halloween night, but the school night prevented anyone from coming.  So I tried to do a few unexpected things for the kids that night.
They came home from school to the porch looking like this:

And we had our traditional yummy dinner of chili and cornbread and hot cider.

And I added in these cute mummy juice boxes.

And spider jello.

And force fed them the good meal before they left trick or treating. 

They each have two gallon ziploc bags full of candy.  I hate being the candy police every year.  But they are actually losing interest in it all ready.  I guess since mom we have candy around here all the time, there isn't a big freak out when they get a whole bunch. 

Miles and I passed out about half of the candy I bought while Trevor took the kids out trick or treating. We were really surprised by our lack of trick or treaters.  I guess we are down in the part of the neighborhood where there are more....er... retired people. We aren't in the hip section of the neighborhood down the block where more of the kids live, but that's ok.  It was a peaceful and fun night.  

October was busy and so much fun!  Onto Thanksgiving festivities!! 

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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion pictures...it is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

Currently I am trying to focus on my photography skills...reading, reading, reading, and taking pictures when I can. Then edit, read, read, read some more. I finally feel like I have a basic understanding of exposure...hooray! I updated my blog template so I can display larger photos because...aren't pictures better than anything I have to say anyway?

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