Sunday, May 22, 2011

My baby is growing up

You can see more photos about this little monster here.

Not my current baby. My first baby.

Samuel reached two major milestones this week and I'm beginning to feel like Claire on the latest episode of Modern Family. Like I might just freak out after trying to contain the emotion. Well, actually, I'm not quite that dramatic.

Friday was his last day of Kindergarten, except for a single test this week. They had a little program with all 3 kindergarten classes. At first they danced a little square dance. The photos I took were very low quality so I won't share them. But just imagine Samuel dancing every movement with precision. Can you believe it? Mine and Tyler's child dancing knowing every dance move? That nearly brought tears to my eyes.

Then each kid (all 90 of them) stood in line and said a little something like, "I didn't know how to read before I was in Kindergarten, but now I do." That almost brought on tears as I thought about it. How much Samuel has progressed. He did not know how to read before kindergarten. He could not count to 100. He could spell his name but not very clearly. It's been so comforting to see how much he's learned. Though he's had some behavioral/social challenges, he's had a successful year. He will miss Mrs. Murray. He will miss his classmates. He will probably miss his little girlfriend. But I look forward to a fun filled summer with him and then a fresh start in the fall. He's scared of going to 1st grade because his buddies siblings have told him that it's hard but I am pretty sure he'll do just fine. Sigh, my first born is done with his first year of education. At least he held my hand after his T-ball game on Saturday while walking to the car. He initiated! That melted my heart!

The second milestone was losing his first tooth! He's had three loose teeth for a long while. About a year ago he bonked his knee and his front tooth became loose. He had another loose tooth on the bottom. But then yesterday he bit down into an apple and yelled, "Ow!" He had a third loose tooth.

So he jiggled it and tickled it with his tongue all day. It was just hanging by a thread. I told him we'd better get it out so he wouldn't swallow it in his sleep. Is that possible? I think I've heard of that happening. It scared him that he might so I reassured him it wouldn't. He wanted me to call a dentist to make sure. I told him the Dentists were closed but that I'd look it up on the internet.
But I was too scared to pull it out myself remembering how painful sometimes it was. So I let him sleep on it. The next morning it wasn't much looser but he wasn't eating breakfast and complained of it tickling and irritating him. So I got out the pliers and was ready for operation. And he was really brave too. The pliers didn't grip very well so Tyler suggested I just use a kleenex. That worked great! It came right out with no tears! And he was so gitty and proud!

After this great accomplishment I decided we needed a little something to put the tooth inside for the tooth fairy. I've seen these little pillows around the web and though it would be fun to make one. The way Samuel sleeps with pillows on all sides I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find the tooth.

So the tooth monster joined the family. The kids helped me whip it up before Samuel's T-ball game. Samuel was the head designer. He described what he wanted and we traced it out sewed it together. Fun times! And lucky for him the tooth fairy came in the night and left him $1.

I thought was a fair amount. He told me kids at school were getting $1. One of his cousins got $5 but I can't justify that much. Tyler thought $1 was too high. haha. But I told him I got like .25 to .50 cents when I was a kid and with inflation his should be increased to $1. How much did you get? Or how much do you give your kids?

Now, I expect the rest of his teeth will start following suit. And hopefully this summer will not be too painful, full of bickering and boredom. I have a lot planned and I am excited about it! I'll blog about it as soon as I make the final list of activities!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day Brunch

It's okay if you think I look like a monkey. Because my family and I already know that truth. My mother looks beautiful, even in a handkerchief.

I love my mother and grandmothers. I love my mother-in-law too! It's so wonderful to be able to have such loving, supportive and helpful women in my life. I am proud to be their daughter. To show them my love I decided this year I would give them a special brunch. I wish my MIL and Tyler's grandma's could have been here too!

After I had seen this lovely brunch set-up on a favorite blog I realized that I could create a simplified version! My mom was already in town for the weekend to arrange flowers for my cousins wedding. It was perfectly timed. And I already live next door to my grandma, like across the driveway! Here is a photo from our adjoining yard. Sadly this lilac tree is no longer here. The roots weren't strong enough to handle my 6 year old monkey.

I quickly ran to Sunflower Market to buy some fresh fruit on Friday night. I asked my mom, who was quietly reading a novel, if she could watch my two oldest while I took the little one to the store. Sadly, though, I didn't think I'd be gone more than 40 minutes while the make-ahead manicotti was baking in the oven. My mom had no idea it was in there and in my haste I forgot to look at the time when I left so I didn't call her to check on it. Needless to say now we're stuck eating dried up crusty leftovers. Such is life.

So anyway, back to the brunch. I invited my mom and grandma over (sorry Aunt Claudia, I'm afraid we had while you were in Church. Jocelyn specifically asked for you!) along with Jocelyn. Cecily was sleeping.

I loved the citrus theme. It felt so summery. I gave up the idea of sleeping in and woke up and got to work. This day is a day I wished I had two ovens. I thought about using my grandma's but I didn't want to to spoil any my surprise!

The menu consisted of homemade quiche (and I made the shell this time!), orange rolls (Rhodes with zest and glaze added), poppy seed bread and citrus drop cookies.

We ate outside on my Grandma's patio. It was perfectly warm and we had a lovely and brief time chatting and eating. Two of my favorite things to do! And with some of my best friends!

All in all, my Mother's day was grand. After this brunch I managed to quickly (and not very motherly-like) get the children ready for Church. They were pretty well behaved. They both came home from Primary with two cute cards. The men served us ice cream too! That was fun and different. Then Tyler made dinner and cleaned up. He even mopped! You can hardly tell now but it was a much needed (and avoided) task by me! I've been reading a book called, I am a Mother and I am loving it. (Thanks Lori!) It's nice to hear a true perspective from a woman who, in some eyes, "had it all" with a very successful career in TV but gave it all up to be a mother. Honestly, some days are a struggle for me. I wonder why I chose this path. And some days I am NOT very good at it. But the few moments that my children give me hugs or write me love notes or say they don't want to go to an orphanage (gee, I wonder whey they would ever think of that??), makes up for the harder times. I think one day I will miss the crumbs underneath every kitchen chair, or the smudge marks on all the walls and surfaces. At least they are there. It means that none of us are perfect, and it's a good reminder that I have the blessing to be a mother.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

April in review

Wow. April is over. What a busy month for us! Ready for a re-cap? Nothing dramatic or anything like that. Just very busy and eventful. Here's the journal log. Take a breath.....


It started with General Conference. Wait no! It started with this! April fools! I drew mustache's on them in the night ;)

April 2nd & 3rd: Okay, back to Conference. What a fabulous time. I always feel renewed afterward. We stayed in P-town for the Saturday session and went to Mt P for Sunday. And I was so proud of my kiddos for sticking it through the morning sessions each day. We did not make them sit through the afternoon sessions....that would have been ineffective for everyone. But they were present which, at their age, I think is just right. During their viewing/listening sessions we played LDS bingo. It certainly had them listening!

Some of my favorite talks:
**Quentin L. Cook
** Dallin H. Oaks
**Lynn G. Robbins, He had me at "To be or not to be."

Sometime in the month of April our bunny rabbit, Otis, had quite the eventful time. First, he nearly got ran over by a car. Luckily, the driver stopped, pulled over and brought him home. It seems nearly impossible for a pet rabbit to be struck by a car, doesn't it? Well, the kids like to take him outside when they play. However, Jocelyn had forgotten that he can jump off slightly high spaces. So she left him on a play chair, came inside and forgot about him until the driver brought him home. Poor little bunny! He was so scared!! Luckily, his life was spared because he was in a photo shoot the next week! By one of my favorite photographers. If she posts some photos of him, I'll share them!

April 9th: Heidi's wedding.
Heidi married Dustin. Heidi is Tyler's sister. What a happy couple. I had the privilege of making their wedding video. I spent countless hours (you don't want to know how many hours it took us....Tyler helped in the end with the final edit/ technical stuff) looking at those two faces and I know that they are happy. (Steph, your copy will come in the mail once we have the wedding portion edited!) We had a great whirlwind weekend in Denver. Then the kids and I stayed for another week. Samuel was on spring break and Tyler had to head home to begin finals.

Jocelyn did not have the same fierce jealousy of the bride at this wedding like she did two years ago at Rose's wedding. But she did get a chance to hold the bouquet for a little bit.

Can you tell which is the cardboard cut-out? They had their sister Stephanie, who is currently serving a mission, in attendance. haha. She looked so real!

Heidi with the kids! Cecily's dress is from the Gap, Samuel's first suit was $10 on clearance at Macy's, and Jocelyn's dress is a women's skirt from Down East Outfitters that I turned into a dress! Luckily, our outfits were taken care of for Easter too!! Wahoo!

Tyler, his brother Troy and Samuel.

Troy took the rest of these photos for us. Thanks Troy!

April 15th: We drove back home to Utah and brought along my sister Jennie and her two boys Warren and Luke along for the ride. Actually, they came out for a bunch of other activities. Our car was full. 5 kids and 2 mom's. We were outnumbered....but we survived.

April 16th: My cousin David's wedding in SLC. Another lovely couple.

April 22nd: Carnival party for my niece Anna and nephew Warren in Mt Pleasant. You can see more photos and details here.

The best entertainment. A cardboard box. My nephew Owen sat in this box while we cleaned up forever! He just kept opening and closing the flap. Easily entertained.

Look at these pretty girls!

These two little guys are just months apart. Two of the three grand kids born in 2010 (Cecily is the 3rd at the beginning of the year). They sat here for a long time, just happily hanging out while set up.
Jennie making homemade corn dogs.

Some of the photo booth pictures. Cecily missed the mustache memo. Tyler wouldn't let me post the photo of our family because he's wearing a funny wig. He has to be "serious" now that he's on track for the professional world. haha.

April 23rd: Egg dying and hunting.

The oldest participants. Cecily was happy walking around shaking her filled eggs until she knocked them together and they cracked open she discovered they had candy inside!

Samuel and his loot. Each kid got 16 eggs (except Cecily, she got something like 6). Grant hid them all over the studio and it took them a good amount of time to find them!
Jennie and Warren.
I think it's hilarious that he wanted to sleep with his winnings.

Egg dying. We included Otis, see him? Jocelyn had a hard time eating that one.

Cecily's first time egg dying.

April 24
: Easter Sunday.
We tried taking family photos the morning before Church, and actually succeeded. Well, just as I was going to gather our little families outfits (the same from Heidi's wedding) tragedy struck. I realized they were not in Mt Pleasant, but left on our bed in Provo!!! I was so mad!!! So much for coordinating! I ended up wearing one of my mom's dresses. Jocelyn wore the same dress she wore the day before. Cecily wore a dress that my mom had in her closet for another future granddaughter. Tyler brought his suit!! And Samuel.....well, the poor child. He had to wear jeans, with brown shoes and a long sleeved shirt and a sweater from my 16 year old brother's closet!! Oh my word!!! This will be one family picture that will not be on a Christmas card. In fact, we didn't even have a family photo taken because it was so painful to see our unfortunate twist of fate. Ah. But everyone else looked good and I love the one of my mom with her grandkids! And the weather was fun for photos too! And I can laugh about it now.

Love my sisters! (but not this picture...) Sadly, the two on the ends (Marci and Jennie) will both be living in Denver by August. Jennie already lives there but Alex and Marci and their children will be moving there soon. Fewer large family gatherings but one more reason to visit Colorado!

Easter dinner. Fabulous! My mom made her yummy funeral potatoes, in addition to ham and asparagus. Marci made these cute napkin bunnies for the kiddos.

Dessert--just simple sugar cookies. But these penny sized chicks are to die for. My mom used to buy us these mini chicks when we were little. But these are so small! And they come in the coolest colors now!

Then after Easter we went back to Provo. Tyler finished up some grading and Samuel some school. Then we turned back around and dropped them off in Green River, 2 1/2 hours away to meet his Dad en route to Lake Powell. Samuel and Tyler helped him paint the houseboat and were able to fit some fishing in. As I nearly drove off the side of the road from fatigue, I headed back to Mt Pleasant to stay with my parents while the boys played/worked at Lake P. I was able to get some work in, relaxed, attended my mom's 4th/5th/6th grade Shakespearean play, and ate waaaay too many mint, chocolate covered oreo's (better than thin mints!).

April 30th: St. George
Then we headed down to St George to visit Troy and Jana for the blessing of their newest addition, Trent. We also celebrated Tyler's birthday at Red Robin. mmmm, love that place! I won't go into details about his birthday because Tyler honestly does not like to celebrate them. So I try not to make a big deal because he doesn't care! Except the times that I want to celebrate his life. Ugh, big dilemma every year. And sort of ironic that I am in the birthday business.

Samuel made a new friend with Troy and Jana's nephew, Karter. Once they overcame their initial shyness they were best buds. Good times.

Notice how Samuel is absent from this photo. He was on a pancake protest. He claims he doesn't like them until he tries them (and they cannot have oatmeal or whole wheat in them...dang). Silly picky eater!

And this concludes our April!! Did you make it through? Tired just from reading? Yeah, me too. With General Conference, wedding, Easter and a blessing in there, I think we attended our homeward once the entire month. I am tired of traveling and party planning...for a while anyhow. It's good to be home :)