Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to All!

For a long time I have mourned the passing of a timeless tradition...the sending of Christmas cards. Each year I notice fewer and fewer cards stuffed into my mailbox and it's made me sad. I love getting those cards in the mail, especially after moving so many times and missing old friends.

In spite of those sentiments, this year I made a conscious decision...not to send Christmas cards. I don't know why it happened. Something was different about me this year at Christmas. I took it slightly slower and I enjoyed it a lot more. And Christmas cards were just one of those things I cut out.

But I knew that I could post a virtual "Christmas card" on my blog for all to see. It's sweet, it's simple and it does not include the yearly Christmas poem written by Josh. I asked him to do one, but I guess he is cutting back on his Christmas activities too. So we'll just stick to a simple update.

He's 18 months old now. He is *almost* walking finally (as in he'll walk halfway across a room if you are holding an M&M for him but he's not so sure if he is interested otherwise.) He's had some digestive issues for the last month or more that are finally getting cleared up and it's honestly like we have a new kid on our hands. He is so happy and so sweet (when he's feeling good). He *talks* quite a bit though he doesn't articulate super well so me and Josh are probably the only ones who can understand most of what he says. He is still obsessed with Ducks and he got a lot of them for Christmas. As he opened each one he gasped, then kissed it on the beak and sang "duck duck duck" while rocking back and forth. (This is his attempt at singing "Do the Rubber Duck" from Sesame Street.)

Dallen still spends most of his time upside down...and he's getting even better at it. We've got him enrolled in a tumbling class and, I'm going to brag a little here, they made a very rare exception for him to go up to the beginning class instead of the preschool class because he is so good. He's learning back bends and hand stands and pike jumps. But when he is left to his own devices on a trampoline he can now land a back flip. He'll be 5 in three weeks. He is WAY too much fun to hang out with everyday. Other than the battles over what to wear each morning and which person should wipe him after he goes potty (me or him?), he's an easy to take care of little guy. Some words of wisdom from Dal before bedtime recently..."go to the bathroom once, pee the bed. Go to the bathroom twice, pee the bed. Go to the bathroom three times, don't pee the bed."

This has been a great year for Jack. He is in second grade and has a whole crew of friends who live in the neighborhood, go to school with him and go to church with him and he has a fantastic teacher at school. He is in the middle of reading the Percy Jackson series and absolutely loves it. He's already worried about what he's going to do when he is done reading it. He's still my snuggle bug although his idea of "snuggles" lately usually involves me giving him a back rub or a leg rub or something. His big thing right now is Bey Blades-they're little spinning top things that battle each other and are all the rage with second grade boys. Jack got so good at soccer this year-scored a goal in almost every game-and also likes to do handstands with Dallen.

Nathan's also in the middle (or should I say near the end) of the Percy Jackson series and is so worried about finishing it that he only reads it a little each day instead of racing through it. He loves to draw his own comic strips all the time and got a magic set for Christmas so he's spent the day learning now to do magic tricks. He also is loving having good friends in the neighborhood who are also at school and church. He and one of his friends have a very similar sense of humor and start laughing the minute they are together. Nathan is very "punny" He likes to find plays on words and make them into jokes and he's really pretty good at it! Our ward split in August and it took a while for Cub Scouts to get up and running again but it is now and he loves that!

Josh just finished his second semester teaching Organic Chemistry and went a little easier on his students this time. The average on his final was in the 70's instead of the 50's this time. Still, he's breaking a few hearts of students with dreams of med school. He got a HUGE telescope for Christmas and will be learning to use it in the coming weeks, so if you ever want to have a gander at the night sky, he's your man. He's also completely obsessed with root beer. If you want to win his heart over, must buy him some root beer.

Other than being a mommy to 4 wonderful little boys I keep myself busy with my business (which I am completely sick of and ready to sell this year) and my craft blog-http://www.crazylittleprojects.com (which I just started in March and completely love and spend way too much time on. I also do all the typical busy mom things like volunteering at the school, helping with homework, getting to know all the new people in our neighborhood and all that jazz. I have a great life.

And with that I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mean Old Mom

Do you see what a mean mom I am? Dressed him up all fancy for church.

Oh the devastation:

 Complete travesty:

Huge frustration:
I told you. I'm just plain mean.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Feed the Ducks

Adam has a new obsession. Ducks. He was first introduced to live ducks about 1 month ago and hasn't stopped thinking about them and loving them since. He loves ducks. (And loves to say "duck.")

So, being the wonderful mother that I am, I took him and Dallen on a beautiful Fall afternoon to a nearby park that has a great duck pond and we fed the ducks. We had so much fun, in fact, that we did it two days in a row.

Here are some pictures to document our trip:

Adam checking out the ducks (and pointing at them and saying "duck")

Did you know ducks like popcorn? My grandpa taught me that. Here's Dal  mid throw:

Dallen was very worried that Adam was going to fall in. So he held on tight:

We throw a little, we eat a little:

Can you believe how pretty this park is? My very favorite park in the area and it was a perfect Fall day:

Then we played on the playground. We did the swings:

Slid with big brother for our first time:

And of course had to spend some time upside down:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Adam's Woes

Adam is a pacifier baby. He LOVES his pacifier. For some reason he calls it his "Ba."

We have a new favorite activity with him and the ba though. If we pull out his ba, his response is always "uh oh!" Cracks me up. I pull it out all the time just to hear him say "uh oh."

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Monsters and Big Cats and Greek Gods, Oh My!

I'm feeling pretty great that I got all 4 boys costumes done by the middle of October this year and took pictures of them so when it comes time for parties and trick or treating I am not frazzled.

Want to see them?

How about a darling little monster??
How to make a monster costume for baby
So cute and so snuggly! That's the softest fabric in the world. I am going to be squeezing him constantly. Plus, he'll be nice and warm. I plan to use that as his snow suit this year too.

How to make a cheetah or leopard costume
They're fierce. And they haven't taken those costumes off since I finished them about 10 days ago. I love that. The cheetah even wore his to a college football game last Saturday. Definitely a hit with the coeds.

How to make a poseidon costume
I love that Nathan wanted to be Poseidon. So cool! And easy to do. I sewed a simple toga type thing, bought a crown and glued seashells on it and bought a devil's pitchfork and spray painted it gold and Viola! Poseidon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Miniature Fire Fighters

This past week we had a preschool field trip to the local fire station where they were having an open house. The kid got fire hats, free popcorn and cotton candy, saw a helicopter land, watched them put out a fire, went inside an ambulance and saw other demonstrations. It was so much fun that I took my two littles in the morning with the preschool group and then headed back after school with all 4 in tow.

Here's the preschool group. This is actually 3 groups worth of Joy School kids. We meet for field trips on Friday. Dal is on the far right:

And here's my little fire fighter who I caught playing with the hose to put out fire's that afternoon:

And the world's smallest Fire Chief:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lucky Lady

Tonight I had 6 of my Laurels (church girls) from San Diego over for dinner plus 1 of their husbands and 1 of their boyfriends. I can't believe the luck that 6 of them were in the area and could come all on the same night. One more was supposed to come and bring her baby (!) but she ended up not making it.

I worked with the same 11 girls the whole 3 years that I was in YW in San Diego because first I worked with the Miamaids (14-15 year olds) and then with the Laurels (16-17) by the time they were that age. I LOVE these girls. They are so neat. I feel like they are just my good friends. It was so much fun to see them. I am a lucky lady to have worked with them. And I might still be just a little bitter that I got released from working in the YW here in Utah this August.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall Foliage Tour

We have a tradition. Starting now. It's our Fall Foliage Tour. We decided to make it a yearly tradition. The first weekend in the fall we will drive to see the beautiful leaves. We did it this week and it was literally unbelievable!

I knew it would be pretty, but I wasn't quite prepared for just how pretty. Unbelievable!

And the best part was that the boys really enjoyed it. I thought they might moan and whine and complain but for most of the drive we had happiness. Most of the drive.

We stopped at an overlook. Our house is way down there in the distance. We are about 9,000 feet high in this picture:
Love those crazy boys. Love our new tradition!

Friday, September 28, 2012

My Life with Boys!

Here's what moms of boys do:

We catch bugs with our cute little guys. Oh yeah. (And then we take them with us to the French Bakery where we are meeting a friend for eclairs.)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Little Man

When I look at Nathan sometimes lately I realize that this kid, this little baby who made me a mom, is not so much a little kid anymore. We have definitely passed into big kid phase. Weird.

Nathan is so Nathan. He always has been. There are things he loves and he is so completely in Nathan world when he does them.

He loves to draw. Spends hours doing it every week and he is SO creative! He was writing and drawing comic strips this week about El Loco Senior and other crazy characters. He's a very good writer and a good drawer.

Tonight he spent the whole evening doing "Tasty Science" and food related science kit he got a while back. He just gets involved in a project and doesn't stop.

He also loves to read. He reads and reads and reads.

He's got a new gang of friends which makes me so so so happy. Last year was fine. He started at a new school, kind of sort of made friends with some 3rd graders but mostly hung out with Jack and his friends. This year 2 new boys moved into our neighborhood and he is buddies with both of them and plays with them at recess. So happy about that.

One really neat thing about Nathan is that he is friendly and kind to everyone. He doesn't pay any attention to the typical things that kids his age judge others on. I recently mentioned a girl in his class and said she could sure use a friend and his immediate response was "well I'm her friend!" and he proceeded to tell me all about games the two of them have played and things. Last year he was friends with the kid in his class who was most likely to need someone. I love that about Nathan. I hope he will always be like that.

In soccer this season it's like watching a different kid on the field. Last year he was so timid and hardly touched the ball. This year is completely different. He even scored a goal...the game winning goal! And got a penalty called on him for knocking a kid over when he went for the ball. (Proud mama moment even if it shouldn't have been a penalty since he was really just going for the ball. Still, Nathan was going for the ball!)

He got to go the Brigham City Temple dedication with us today. Pretty neat. Like I said, my baby is growing up. 

Love this crazy man!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hat Trick

It's a proud day in a soccer mom's world when her boy scores a hat trick (3 goals in one game). Saturday was a proud day for this soccer mom.

Jack is a maniac on the soccer field this season and I LOVE it! We are talking about a kid who last season just kind of ran along and pretended to be in the action. This year he is right in there fighting for the ball, scoring goals and making his games so much fun to watch. He scored in every game this season but one. Proud mama.

He also lost his 2 front teeth. Finally. And not without a lot of yelling, screaming, and clawing. And Jack was worse. :) I had to pull them both. I LOVE toothless faces.
 Wish his new teeth weren't growing in so fast.

I already mentioned in another post, but Jack has a whole crew of friends this year and I love it. A few months ago he was the only boy in his class at church. Now there are a bunch of cute little boys. So wonderful.

He is also loving his bike lately. A while back he had a bad fall (parked car) and wouldn't ride for a long time. Finally, with a little peer pressure from his new friends he got back on and has barely gotten off since. Fun.

He is as wiry as ever and eats next to nothing. Sigh. Someone should feed that kid.
He's my snuggle bug and I love it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dream Boat

I think I have mentioned before that I am in love. Totally head over heels smitten in love. With this little fellow:
He's so sweet. Here's what he is up to lately.

He's 15 months old and just had his checkup 2 days ago. He hit the 9th percentile for weight! Yeehaw!! This is a big deal because before his 12 month checkup he had not only never been on the charts, he had never even been close to being on the charts. At 1 year he hit 4% and now we are up to 9%. Moving on up I tell you. Height wise his in the 2% (first time on the charts) and his head? 87%. We make smart kids. What can we say? :)

He isn't walking. My other boys mostly walked at 15 months and so I expected he would be closer to 16 since he was a preemie. He is just this week starting to show a little interest in standing and things. We are trying to push him a little.

We discovered that he doesn't tolerate whole milk well. He was spitting up all the time a few months back and I had the feeling that the whole milk might be doing it, so we cut it out of his diet and sure enough, it worked. I wish he was getting more fat in his life though. Dr. gave us so pedia sure to try so we will work on that, but the first night we gave it to him he barfed in his bed. Not sure if that was the culprit?

His favorite thing to do is go "up" meaning up the stairs. And he says "up" as he crawls towards them. I think the kid probably says between 20-30 words but not if you ask him to. He is NOT a performer. Won't do anything on command. Words he knows include mama, dada, hi, bye, hat, up, pacifier, bottle, book, cracker, etc. He just learned this week what a dog says and does it every time I start to change his diaper because he know's I am going to ask. (OK, so maybe he performs occasionally.)

He had this hat on tonight and I was trying desperately to get a picture of him in it but he would not cooperate so they are all blurry, moving shots:

 Love, love, love, love, love!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Upside Down Dallen

This is the view of Dallen you are most likely to see if you visit our house:

Or maybe it will be this:

Or this:

He is almost always flipping, head standing, cart wheeling, back walkovering-you name it. He's usually upside down.

And he is GOOD at it too. I don't know any 4 year olds that can headstand nearly as long as he can. He can land a flip on the trampoline and he can just about land a backflip too. (Mama's not so sure she likes him to do that trick.) He can do cart wheels and his own form of back walkovers.

When I come into the bathroom to wipe his little bum-he's in a headstand. Every single time. 

We went to the library and checked out 7 gymnastics books which he carries around with him and reads all the time. He can name many famous gymnasts-just ask him about Keri Strugg or Gabi Douglas. He loved gymnastics before the Olympics but now? Forget about it. Obsession. Watch for him in 12 years. Someone's got to sign this kid up for a class!

Oh, and his secret dream? To wear a leotard. Of course when I told him I used to wear one when I was in ballet he said "gross!"

Dal is such a fun kid. He is in a good mood 95% of the time. He helps me so much with Adam. I honestly can leave Adam in Dal's care sooner than I can with either Nathan or Jack. He is always watching out for Adam.

He is loving preschool and all his friends. Knows all of his letters and the sounds they make and could probably easily be in Kindergarten but has to wait another year!  So basically he is mostly just bored at home with me, though I do try hard to keep him entertained. Love my buddy!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Back to School

Hmmm, I think I didn't post about back to school because I didn't want to think about back to school But, here we are well over a month into it and I guess I better post our back to school pics at least.

We had a great summer but it felt like it went by SO fast! I think the highlights were our trips to Yellowstone, Flaming Gorge and Denver and swimming at the Scera pool. We bought a punch pass to the pool along with many of our friends and spent wonderful summer afternoons with the moms sitting in the shallow end chatting while the kiddos played. Perfect. We will definitely be doing that again.

But alas. School started.

Jack's in 2nd grade, has Mrs. Frost for a teacher and has his newest best friend, Caden, in his class. Caden moved in just this summer and lives very close to us and is wonderful and adorable and I couldn't be happier that Jack has such a great friend. And it's not just Caden, he has other great friends in the neighborhood, ward and at school too. Very happy mama. Prayers have been answered.

Nathan's moved on to 4th grade, has Mrs. Pitardi and HE has a new best friend in his class, Sam, who also lives very close to us and is also a wonderful kid. Did I mention that mama's prayers have been answered. Loving this! Great kids in our neighborhood and school and church.

Dal is doing Joy School (moms taking turns teaching preschool in their homes) again this year. I taught for the first two weeks and it was wonderful. Good group of kids this year. There are 6 of them-4 boys and 2 girls. Dal has buddied up with the boys and is actually having "friends" for the first time. Very wonderful. We have joy school 2 days a week, field trips every other Friday and we get together with 1 of the moms, Danetta, and her son, Logan, once a week, so that's keeping us pretty busy.  (He dresses himself. Hence the non matching clothes for his first day.)

Here's some pictures of some of our first day back to school festivities:

Breakfast muffins:

Back to school pencils filled with treats and fun things:

Snack for their lunch boxes:
Grandma P-if you are reading this you are in for a surprise. Expect blog posts most days this week. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Flaming Gorge...or Nathan discovers his personal heaven

I have been called out on my lack of blogging lately. Sorry Grandma P. Very sorry! :) I will try to catch up a little this week. Let's just say that me and my boys packed in a lot of fun this summer but I didn't take a ton of pictures because sometimes it's easier to just have fun rather than be connected to the camera.

One major highlight of the summer was our first ever Allen family trip to Flaming Gorge. We went from a Wednesday through Saturday in August with all of my family and camped. (For a girl who doesn't love camping may I just just say that I did a lot of it this summer. There was also girl's camp and an overnighter with some friends.)

The boys were in heaven though. This guy in particular:
He fished (caught 7), he tubed, he tried water skiing, he jumped off cliffs, he literally was in heaven. I have never seen him so happy.

 We also got to play with cousins:

Go on a "Snipe Hunt" planned by Grandma (those are Kevin, the "snipe" from Up.

And of course, eat Smore's. We even tried out some fancy smore's combos like putting a Reese's PC cup on them or a york or milky way sandwiched between two chocolate cookies with the marshmallow. Adam was a fan: