Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Heres and theres

Here's Alaina's time-out pose:
There's Ryker's I-fell-asleep-on-the-floor-with-my-light-on-and-my-hat-down pose:
Here's Alaina's I-got-a-gummy-bear-treat-for-going-pee-in-the-potty face:
Here's Landon's I-love-my-mommy smile (at least, that's what Brice calls it):
There's Russell's I-think-it's-hilarious-when-my-mommy-blows-in-my-face look:

(Taking suggestions for this picture's caption)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Landon's baby blessing

In our church, infants receive a blessing in which their name is announced before God and witnesses and they are given blessings as the Spirit directs. Usually it is the father who gives the blessing (with other worthy Priesthood holders assisting by standing in a circle with one hand on the baby and the other on the shoulder of the man next to him) and he announces the baby's name and then blesses the baby with things like health, spiritual strength, desires for worthiness and service, to be a good example of Christian living, and things like that, according to what he feels God has in store for the child. Landon received his name and blessing yesterday.

Such a great day! The weather was beautiful, family and friends came from near and far, and the baby blessing Brice gave Landon was especially tender.

After church we went to our house and cooked up some delicious food! The fajitas were a hit! The chips and fresh salsa and bacon wrapped jalapeƱo poppers were scrumptious as well. And, of course, more cupcakes! I think I've eaten at least a dozen cupcakes this weekend. That's just wrong.


My grandparents, bless them, changed a ton of their plans to come out for Landon's baby blessing this weekend. We are SO glad they came and we had such a great time with them! They had a LOT of family to visit in their short stay in Utah, so on Saturday we met up with them and my cousin and her kids at my parents' house for a 4 generation gathering. The grown-ups all had a great time visiting and the kids had a great time running amok. ("Who, me?")The grandparents were in baby heaven! I always enjoy watching my Grandpa Tom (Landon's middle name is for him, by the way) with the kids and especially with the babies. He always takes a few minutes to hold them quietly and get to know them. He has a sense for the spirits of babies and it is so sweet to watch him tune into them and love them.There was Landon (2 months), Rachel (3 months), Russell (5 months), Alaina (19 months), and Gracie (a little over 2 years). The big kids (Raelin-6, Ryker-5, and Blake-4, I think) had fun going to a pond with my dad and picking apples in from a tree nearby to feed to the horse. They also climbed trees and played on the trampoline. Ryker got stuck in the tree and my grandpa climbed up to rescue him! I was going to, but he insisted. Christa and Gina and I (all the little mommas) had a great time chatting and laughing. Christa has the greatest sense of humor! We missed her husband Ryker (that's where we got our Ryker's name--isn't it such a great name!?), but he was busy working. Christa, if you're reading this, Gina and I decided we have to hang out more! We had SO MUCH FUN! And we ate LOTS of cupcakes. Mmmmm. And the kids ate lots of Ranch. Carrots and celery to toddlers are just orange and green spoons.

1st day of school

Back to school... Raelin's in second grade and Ryker's in kindergarten. I had mixed feelings about it this year. We'd been making SO much progress on all sorts of things that we've been struggling with. The kids had been getting SO much better about doing chores and we were working on routines and habits. We were doing lots of sensory stuff with Ryker and working on teaching Raelin about having a better attitude. Raelin's just like I was--always feels like she's the victim and takes things WAY personally. It makes for a pretty sad childhood and I really want to teach her about agency and how to choose to be happy so that she doesn't have to learn it in her 20's like I did and waste all that time worrying so much about what people think of her. Through all of these efforts, I was enjoying my kids more because I was spending more time with them instead of only interacting with them when they needed something or were fighting. They were also fighting less because I was present to intervene and redirect sooner and they never got to the fighting stage. Well, I shouldn't say never; but a lot less often!
Raelin has a really loose tooth and she likes to poke it out between her lips--it makes her look like she has buck teeth!

And my handsome Ryker. He is just the cutest guy! Always full of smiles. Ryker loves life and you can see it in his face. I admire his ability to just be happy.

I couldn't decide between these two pictures because I like Ryker's little head tilt in the first one and Raelin's smile better in the second one, so I had to put them both up.
By the way, Ryker (in kindergarten) started a week after the rest of the school. That's why Raelin is in a different outfit in the pictures of both kids than in her first day of school pics.

You know what else I was thinking about that kind of strange? (Musings of a sleep-deprived, postpartum mother with rapidly depleting brain cells... Don't mind me) It's going to be FOUR YEARS until I send another kid into the school world! That's a long time. I mean, Raelin started school last year and Ryker, this year and I won't send another one off until 2014! I wonder what will happen with the babies in the meantime. It's like starting over kind of. I have 4 years where I'll spend substantially more time with the littles than with the bigger kids. And then I'll send the littles off boom, boom in a row too. It will be interesting to see how the two "sets" of kids turn out; I'm a much different mom than I was when I started out. Okay, I should stop rambling. Sorry! The end.

First Smiles

It's been so funny to watch Landon learn how to smile. It's like you can tell he wants to but trying to figure out how to control the muscles is throwing him for a loop and he ends up making all these goofy faces! He's pretty much got it figured out now, but it's also dang hard to catch on camera. I might have better luck if someone else was behind the camera and I was soliciting the smiles. At any rate, here are the many faces of Landon as he learns to smile:

Long overdue baby shower post

So I've been putting off this post because I don't have very many pictures from it--Gina took most of the pictures from that day and I was hoping to get them from her but we keep forgetting. So I'll post anyway because I am SO grateful to everyone who participated!

I got the crib I'd been coveting!!! Gina was going to have it be the group gift but my grandma decided to get it for us! And my sister-in-law got the mattress. I LOVE THIS CRIB! It makes me happy every time I see it! Isn't it pretty!
Right now it's turned 90 degrees from where it is in the above picture (like this:) so that the mattress of the crib is the same height at ours and it's like an extension of our mattress. It's a perfect cosleeper! It's like Landon is sleeping right there with us in our bed, but he doesn't take up any room and I don't crowd Brice for fear of Landon falling off the edge. I hardly notice waking up in the night to nurse him (but don't tell Brice that! I need him to think that I have good reason to sleep in! ;) Heehee!) When Landon is older and not needing to nurse in the night, we'll put the other rail on and move the crib away from our bed.
So, with the crib taken care of, Gina was wondering what to do for the group gift! She had a few ideas and she ran them by me and Brice and I talked. It worked out really well to not decide until after Landon was born because my post-baby body is just not cutting it and it's motivating me to want to get fit again. With the older kids in school and old enough to ride bikes a long way, a double jogging stroller was the perfect thing! I probably wouldn't have thought about it before the baby was born. And I also realized after having two little ones for a couple of weeks, how much a double stroller would be an asset. I've been out with it almost every day since I got it and I LOVE IT! I haven't noticed much improvement, but that's okay. It'll come. Maybe if I ate less sugar?
Alaina loves it too and she'll get all excited and say "buck-oh" (buckle) when she wants to go for a walk or a run. I've learned something about myself in recent years: I don't do well with goals. I tend to set unreasonable goals and then when I can't meet them, I bail on them entirely instead of modifying them or just doing my best. So my only goal for exercise has been that I'm not allowed to set any goals! I don't even allow myself to evaluate how many times per week I go out because then I'll start thinking about whether it's enough or not and whether it's more or less times than the week before. (Dang that competitive spirit of mine!) It's actually been working out quite well! I go out a lot and I really enjoy it. When I have a goal to meet, it sometimes (usually) becomes a chore, but so far, I don't feel like it's a chore one bit! I love it and I look forward to it and I end up wanting to just keep going and going. So a BIG thank you and a BIG hug to all of you who participated in the baby shower! The gifts were awesome and the party was lots of fun! I wish I had pictures of all the cute decorations Gina and my mom came up with, but I'll post them if I get them. Oh, one of the decorations is the string of baby onesies on the wall over the crib. Such a cute shower idea!

Stuff I've made

So, I had this idea when Alaina was using a pacifier, but I never found stuffed animals I liked for a reasonable cost. But this time, I just wanted one for Landon, so I looked up online where I could get Beanie Babies. Walgreens was the answer. I went to get one, expecting it to cost about $5. But Walgreens had some knock-offs for $1! Yeah! So I bought three. Gina was over when I was making them into Binky Buddies and I convinced her to go get some for Russell. And here they are:
The boys both LOVE them! They just cuddle right up with them and Landon, at least, goes right to sleep. I've noticed that Landon falls asleep faster if he has the guy to cuddle AND the binky than if he just has the binky. Russell loves to cuddle and chew on his. They're so cute!
They're great because the binky doesn't get lost as much and the baby attaches to the toy and the binky, but when the binky has to go, they still have the toy for comfort.

I should have posted these a LONG time ago, but with the holidays, they kind of fell through the cracks. These are the things I made for Christmas gifts this last Christmas:
I bought a wood lathe for Brice a long time ago and it just sat in the garage. When Christmas was coming we were pretty broke and I was trying to think of something I could make for people for free. I remembered the wood lathe and I got on youtube and learned how to turn. This was my first bowl made out of some cottonwood I found up the canyon.

The next one I made out of the other half of the same cottonwood log, but I was a little better and this bowl is thicker and bigger.

I'd gone to a woodworking shop in Provo (they are awesome!) to ask some questions about the first bowl and the guy gave me a piece of honey locust wood. With it I made this bowl:

William let me have a couple pieces of walnut from their tree and I used it to make a birdhouse for Brice's mom. I used cottonwood for the top.

With another piece of walnut I made a box for Gina and Toby. This was a fun gift because I used it to announce to them that I was pregnant. I labeled the wooden box "the oven" and put two little dolls inside. One of them said, "Gina's bun" and the other said, "Morgan's bun." Gina's face was priceless!

This is a WAY fun hobby and I need to spruce up the lathe table so it's more sturdy before I turn on it again. I've been wanting to get to it this summer, but haven't yet. I'm getting more motivated with the weather getting cooler. I really want to make some more stuff! It would be nice to make another batch of Christmas gifts before it gets cold because last year I was pretty freezing making these things in the cold garage in December!