Monday, December 17, 2012

Buddies

I remember learning we were pregnant with baby #2 and secretly hoping that the child would be a girl because Addie and #2 would only be 20 months apart. I figured that being so close in age- they would get along better if they were both girls. I'm so glad Dallin wasn't a girl (not that we don't want any more girls)! Addie and Dallin play so well and both their personalities and gender inclinations balance each other out and make them best playmates!
 Don't get me wrong- we definitely have tough times where they're taking toys away, screaming, arguing (or at least Addie is lecturing), and wanting to play balls vs. barbies, but as I remember- that sort of just comes with having a sibling.

They are partners in crime, pals, and the cutest things to watch when they're playing nicely together. This morning when Adelyn heard Dallin talking from his bedroom, she told me, "Dallin's awake! Dallin's my friend, mom...I like playing with Dallin!" which could possibly be on my top 5 for "make you feel good" parent moments.
Despite their polar opposite personalities: Dallin is easy going, lenient, patient, flexible, a sympathetic crier, and people pleaser. Adelyn likes things her way, routine oriented, kind, possessive, chatty, persistent  and has sweet thoughts and is forgiving. Even though they have many differences, I found as I was typing this that they actually share more qualities than I originally thought....well they get along and that's what I love most! I'm so glad Heavenly Father sent them close together so they can learn from each other. I often think how smart Heavenly Father was to organize families the way they are. I strongly feel that our siblings give us the opportunity to get along with different personalities, learn from one another, which help us to be better people. I am so thankful for my family, extended family, and the family Jared and I have started together!

Something I was okay with Dallin not learning from his sister: haha :)


Friday, November 30, 2012

inGRATTITUDE

Last year I did this post about turning things you grumble about into reasons to be grateful. I know it's past Thanksgiving time (which Addie reminded me when I tried to give her leftover turkey for lunch) but I'm having a hard time feeling like it's Christmas with it being the 80 degrees. So forgive me for being a little grateful for a little longer!

~I'm grateful for the amount of time Jared has spent working this year because it means he still has a job and is able to provide for our family.

~I'm grateful for yard work almost every weekend, because it reminds me that we actually have a house to live in and maintain. Also, it gives me the chance to be outside and see the wonderful and beautiful things God's created for us.

~ I'm grateful for the nasty grub I found in my garden yesterday...now I can stop teasing Jared that he was just making it up about grubs eating the grass' roots. Guess you were right, Babe!

~I'm grateful that the house has been extra messy lately, because the kids are playing with the toys they have instead of laying on the couch watching TV.

~I'm grateful that we have a ridiculous amount of flies in our house lately, because I have become extremely grateful that I didn't live in a time period where there were no window screens and so bugs, varmints  and nasties were in the houses constantly.....I am so thankful!!! I think I would literally go crazy- I feel like I already I am with just the flies to kill!

~I am thankful that it is sick season because we live in a time where a flu or a cold isn't very worrisome, and so I don't fear for my kids' and husband's life when they get ill.

~I am thankful for preparing preschool lessons because it gives me the opportunity to teach Adelyn and her friends something- it also gives me the kick in the pants I need, because otherwise I probably wouldn't do any sort of preschool stuff with her. So I guess it also makes me not lazy :)

~ I am thankful for the body I have and all the things it does. There are many people out there with health problems and missing arms or legs, and I know I should be more grateful instead of complaining about petty things.

~ I am thankful that our car isn't the latest or greatest vehicle out there- because it performs well and gets us where we need to go- which is all anyone really needs anyway.

~ I am grateful Jared works late sometimes, because it makes the kids and I so much more excited to see him the next time.

~ I am grateful for our neighbor's loud barking dogs....I sort of rely on them when Jared's gone to tell me if anyone is sneaking around at night. They would certainly let the whole neighborhood know!

~ I am grateful my kids throw tantrums sometimes and that they frustrated the heck out of me because I'm pretty sure that's normal so it means they are developmentally where they need to be! :)

I'm grateful for a lot more things, I just didn't want my list of things I grumble about to go on and on...so a few more things that I truly love are my sweet, forgiving, and compassionate husband, the best kids I could ever ask for, the greatest parents in laws out there, wonderful family, extended family, and in laws, and lastly a Heavenly Father who loves me and listens to my prayers.




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

there's a first time for everything...

We've had a couple fun "firsts" this last month that I wanted to record!

Dallin's first hair cut! It had been long overdue, but it just got more and more difficult for me to cut it because the longer it grew, the curlier it became! And I've heard from several moms that once you cut it, the curls don't come back....Arg! So it took me a long time to want to cut it for that reason.....even so, I really hope they come back!! 
Before:
Dallin did really well (I did it while he was eating) but that also made it difficult because he was in his high chair, which was hard to get the back of his head. This was my first time cutting boy hair, and I didn't do a very good job because I was blindly trying to cut the back, make it even, and do it as quickly as possible. After I was done I just wanted to shave the whole thing- I thought he looked silly- but Jared said to let it grow out so I could try again.
After:


Addie's first was going to the dentist! We started talking about the dentist visit weeks prior so that it wouldn't be a scary experience and she'd know what to expect. Considering how tough new environments can be for Addie- she did awesome! Only once did she slightly start freaking out, but it was only because they were trying to do x-rays and trying to adjust the thing in her mouth 500 times. She also wasn't crazy about wearing the heavy vest. We decided to try next time! She got to pick a couple of toys from their treasure chest and she still excitedly tells friends, "I went to the dentist!" so I guess it was a successful first exposure to dentistry! :)
 Of course Minnie and Blanket had to accompany her with all this new stuff going on!

Yay for new things!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jared's Hunting Trip


A couple weeks ago Jared left from Tuesday to Sunday to go hang out with his brothers Eric, Kyle, and TJ and his dad in Tennessee and Missouri. Every year they get together for a hunting trip, but for one reason or another (usually finances) Jared hasn't ever gone in our 4 years of being married. It was definitely time he went!  I made sure he brought our camera along so that we could see what they did and have record of this fun event! I have to say, I was impressed that Jared took a lot of good pictures- I was worried he'd only bring back one picture or something ;-). 

His oldest brother, Eric, shot a buck, which was unfortunately the only luck they had. Jared actaully saw a 10 point buck (something very rare- for those of us who don't speak hunting lingo) but didn't have an opportunity to shoot. I love the picture of Jared with Kyle, Eric, and his Dad- so cute! (ahem, i mean manly.... :))



They also went golfing, out to eat, and saw the new James Bond movie, and of course spent quality time together hanging out! It sounded like a lot of fun and I know Jared loved seeing all his family that he hasn't been around for awhile- everyone's kids are getting so big! I'm so glad he was able to go this year!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Glued to the Tube

I don't think it's a big secret that Addie loves her movies. It's just how she's been since we started watching "Baby Signing Time" and it evolved from there. Weirdly enough, before I let her watch those shows, I read a book on how TV effects children and basically vowed that my kids wouldn't be watching shows until they were at least three. Right. Well that didn't work because I found out how easy it was to have an electronic babysitter while you are making dinner, cleaning bathrooms, or just need a break. The movies were an easy option, she loved them, I liked watching some too, and it was an easy fix for most things and tantrums. Win for everyone, right?

Well this week I'd been thinking about when we'd gone to CA and how we hadn't watched as much TV and how nicely she'd played and how interesting it was that she was a NORMAL KID. As weird as this sounds, I think Addie had become an addict to the TV. I've been noticing for awhile how she hardly read book, or played (like she used to) and that all she wanted to do was watch TV the second she woke up, ate meals, returned home, went down for naps, etc. It was becoming ridiculous  And as much as I'd tried to say no- her tantrums were not enjoyable, and I'm ashamed to say I gave in a lot because I just didn't want to put up with it.

So this week I decided enough was enough. She didn't need to watch a show she needed to be a normal kid! So Monday I just decided I was going to drastically reduce the amount of TV she watched. Talk about withdrawals! The first 3 days or so were terrible all she did was whine, cry, scream and beg to watch something. I really wondered if it was worth all the effort and annoyance of it all. But I tried to keep us busy and out doing things and going places so we weren't at home and available for watching movies. It was worth it! Two days this week she didn't watch a single bit of anything (which is HUGE) and I've only let her watch something once (man I'm such a bad parent!) on the other days. 

I could have never predicted the results......She has been a completely different child!! Hardly any tantrums or fits (besides those initial few days) and NONE on the days where she watched nothing. She is a better listener, more agreeable, plays much better with Dallin, less irritable, happy, plays willingly, and is frankly so much more fun to be around! I couldn't believe it! Granted, it's been about 3 days of this, so maybe it won't last- but I'll take it! She still asks to watch shows a lot, but I just tell her not now, maybe later (which I feel bad for keep blowing off her questions like that) and mostly she is okay with it. I try and engage her in something else if she starts getting upset about not getting her way. I came to the realization that it is so much easier to say no and get a minorly annoyed response, than a full blown tantrum because she watched a movie and wants more and is then grouchy the remainder of the day.

Pretty interesting, and so far we've had so much good come from avoiding TV that I am all fired up and almost ready to throw the screen into storage! haha Though don't know if that would be such a good idea with it being football season and all ;-)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween fun

There are a lot of opportunities to have Halloween fun here in AZ (maybe to compensate for the fact that it isn't even cold yet and still feels like mild summer???) and we tried to do all the fun things we could. Jared and I both love the "fall" season and Addie has really enjoyed and understood Halloween better this year too. She was really good at saying, "trick or treat" and "thank yous" and Dallin even caught on to the idea with grabbing a handful of candy and knocking on the doors. It was pretty cute to see them enjoying themselves!


Addie really loved riding this "train" and seeing as we had an extra ticket, Addie got to go by herself after Dallin and I rode behind her. Lucky girl got to go twice! It was pretty crazy seeing her go off on the train by herself. It rattles my brain that we have a 3 year old now!! When did she get so grown??
That is a corn box Addie is playing in- cute idea instead of using sand!

 Before Halloween itself we attended Disneyland's costume party, our ward trunk or treat, carving pumpkins, Halloween playgroup party at the park, and a local pumpkin patch. Whew! I also have to put in here that Jared is the best pumpkin carver EVER! Addie decided she wanted a Minnie Mouse carved in her pumpkin and Jared was so good about doing it for her. Not sure if you can tell by the picture- but it was a very detailed beast of a thing to carve. Jared is the master carver and never complained (like I would have....artistic things are not my strong point . So way to go Jared! He did a ghost and I did a cat (that he outlined for me) pumpkin. Basically he did all of them haha :)

Look how cute the kids look in their costumes! If only they would have worn their ears for longer than it took me to take this picture.....

Monday, October 29, 2012

Adelyn's Third Birthday!

Addie turned 3 on the 22nd which was exactly one week ago- I am a little behind! We decided since we'd just gotten back from California the day before, that this year her birthday would be low-key (okay, I decided). Addie didn't care and it was still exciting and fun for her. We had my family over for waffles for dinner (her choice) but what she really wanted for dinner was cake. I kept asking her what her she wanted for her birthday dinner and she'd tell me, "uhhh...cake! Let's have cake!" and I would reply with something like, " No, we will have cake for dessert- cake is a treat. But what do you want to have for dinner? Hamburgers, Torillas, Soup, waffles?" and she would still tell me, "...................CAKE!!". Haha she finally told us waffles, although she was dying to eat her cake. And who wouldn't when it looked like this! Doesn't that thing look amazing???? I wish I could take full credit for it (especially when I first showed it to Jared- he was like, "WOW! You made that??!!") but my good friend Kiya- who is good at EVERYTHING and who took Dallin's 1 year pics- made this whole thing! She only came over to help (which was enough considering she has two girls the same age as ours) and made the entire thing instead! How nice is that?? Anyway, I thought it looked so amazing and Addie loved it too! She got a big grin when I brought it to her :)

Adelyn got some girly things for her 3rd birthday including, a princess Minnie Mouse from Aunt Kara, dress up princess figurines, a wooden dress up doll for church, a book from my parents, money from Grandma and Grandpa Steve, lots of neat cards, and a pink pony. This girl was in heaven this year! 

We love our Addie girl so much! She is really into pretend play, and loves playing mother and daughter with her toys. Adelyn is so kind to Dallin, and is getting good at including him in her play lately-which he loves. She LOVES watching movies and is so good at knowing movie titles, movie songs, lines from movies, and is basically a genius if you ask her anything about a movie.  She is always asking me, "What movie is this from?" if she hears a song off Pandora she doesn't know. It's probably my fault- I have a useless talent of memorizing movie quotes and I've passed it onto her. We will often start reciting scenes from a movie or song- and she is right there with me- jumping right in when it's the child's line. For instance: In the sound of music when the VonTrapp family singers are singing their "so long, farewell" song, Addie can sing the whole thing but will ask me (just like in the movie/song) "I'd like to stay, and taste my first champagne. Yes?" and will wait until I respond firmly, "No!" :). On the way to California Jared popped in The Sound of Music soundtrack and we were singing along- I was singing Fraulein Maria's parts and Addie sang all the children s' parts. I never taught her- she just did it! Funny girl! That's just how she is- always a lover of the theater!
Addie is really good at sharing with other kids (generally speaking) and lately is very concerned as to the whereabouts of all her friends. I am always getting questions about where they are at. She really loves her friends and talks about them constantly. Lately Addie has gotten more independent and likes to tell me when she's done something by herself. She finally knows and recognizes the letter "A" (we've been working on it for awhile) and is somewhat acquainted with other letters- but we have a start! Addie loves nursery and we are always surprised at the songs and stories she learns from her teachers. She still loves books and gets pretty interested in the stories. Adelyn is 100% a daddy's girl and loves Jared soooo much! I really love watching the cute relationship they have and the fun way they interact together. Addie is a good listener and has yet to run away or not obey an important command, like staying close to the car / grocery cart which I SO appreciate and love so much about her. Adelyn is such a sweet individual and it is crazy seeing her develop, grow, and mature in ways I didn't think she would at an early age. We truly love our Adelyn and are so grateful she has been in our family for three years! Happy birthday my sweet girl!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Balboa Island Trip

We took a short trip to spend time with our friends who have a beach house on Balboa Island- Newport beach, CA. We stayed there with the Fremming and Jacobsen families and it was a lot of fun! I am writing this all out so I have a record of it, but mostly so I have a hard copy to remind myself of how difficult vacations tend to be with our children (ahem...Addie).


We drove the 6 hours and the kids did pretty well considering they both took short naps each, until we were on our last hour. So we stopped off at Downtown Disney instead of heading straight into LA (where my sister and her hubby live, which was where we were staying the night). Fortunately, it was a great break and the kids were ready to get back into the car to see their aunt and uncle. We were relived because Dallin was hysterical in the car before we stopped and was trying to break free of his car seat like he was superman or something! haha We were worried he'd be traumatized and not want to get back into the car!





It was great hanging and eating with Kara and Garrett and they spoiled me rotten for my birthday! It was so nice to see them and we wish it could have been longer.

Wednesday we hung out at Downtown Disney again until we met up with Natalia and Ellie at the beach house. Ellie and Addie instantly clicked and basically played together rather nicely the entire time we stayed! I was glad they were good friends! We did a lot of walking around and going to parks, seeing shops, and relaxing but what I really want myself to not forget is how sleeping went. Addie has always had a difficult time with simulating situations and being out of her element. When my sister got married, she did surprisingly well and so we didn't think she'd have many problems this vacation- or better yet, that she'd finally grown out of it. YEAH NO! Adelyn did well during the day, but every nap and bedtimes she flipped and refused to sleep. She kept crying that she wanted to sleep in her own bed and that she just wanted to go home. It was like this the whole trip unless she fell asleep in the car or when she zonked out at Disneyland. When she would finally go to sleep, she would wake up every hour or so and freak out and start all over again.......it was like having a newborn again. FOUR. DAYS. STRAIGHT. Which may not sound like a big deal if you have a newborn, but keep in mind that Addie just turned 3 so this was something we finally thought we'd gotten past. It was rough.




This is supposed to say "Newport '12" with our footprints...curse Pintrest for making everything look so perfect!

Friday night we went to the Halloween Mickey's Party at Disneyland. It was so nice to go back again, although we were so sleep deprived and exhausted (not to mention lacking some patience) that we really didn't go on many rides and I kinda felt like we didn't take advantage of the time we had there. Granted, Adelyn was having a difficult time wanting to go on most rides and therefore kind of killed the hype for us. Oh well! We got lots of candy and had fun being with Kara and the Jaccobsens! Dallin was an angel and fell asleep at his bedtime and slept the whole time. Although, he did pee in his mickey costume an hour after we got there, so that was a bummer. It was cute on him while it lasted!








Saturday morning we rode the ferry over to the docks so we could go on a boat. Addie was really wanting to ride a boat, and I thought it would be nice and relaxing. It was, and could have been the entire time, had Addie not flipped about wearing the life vest. She screamed almost the entire time (Sleep deprivation probably didn't help either). Only until I could get her caught up in wild and dramatic tales of beauty and the beast meets Addie and Jared, did we have a peaceful boat ride....but then it was nap time for Dallin. Actually, that was probably my most favorite thing we did. I liked seeing the houses on the shore and the interesting boats. But I felt really bad for our friends who were stuck in a boat with our screaming children.





I make it sound like it was a horrible trip- but actually, besides sleep times  it was rather nice and enjoyable. Jared and I love that atmosphere and hoped our kids would too. They really liked the beach and Disneyland, so I suppose that it wasn't a complete failure of a vacation. Just difficult when you are exhausted. We actually came home Saturday night instead of Sunday morning because we didn't want to suffer through another grouchy night. Thank you Jaccobsens and Fremmings for covering the cleaning so we could go!



Oh! And neither of our kids peed on the sidewalk at Disneyland like last time- so for that reason , I suppose the trip was a complete success!!