Sunday, September 11, 2016


 This is completely cliche,
but I'm going to say it anyway.
How is my baby boy SEVEN years old??

Also, why does seven feel so big? It's like I could pass six off as "still sort of a preschooler" in my head, but seven? Not a chance. He's a big kid. I'm the mom of a big kid.
It feels so weird, guys.
 This seven-year-old, though, is my favorite. He's sensitive and thoughtful, often asking me "What can I do to help you, Mom?" especially during the craziness as I try to get dinner ready each night.
He's kind and friendly. He's a leader. He's silly and goofy and likes to say crazy things just for the heck of it.
The other day we were buckling the others into the van so we could go to the store, and he walked out with this amazed look in his eyes and said, "Oh, I just never thought this day would come!"
"What day??" I asked, laughing.
"Oh just this one," and then he buckled his seat belt.

 He has a great need to be loved. But as long as we remember to continually pour the love into his bucket, he shines. And he's oh-so-fun to be around. (sending him to school still breaks my heart every morning.)
 For his birthday, he requested waffles for breakfast (eggos because we're fancy like that), going to Corner Bakery for lunch, and pizza for dinner.
 For a boy who doesn't own a phone or other device, and who has only played a handful of times on daddy's phone, he's a Pokemon Go fanatic. For his birthday, the thing he wanted to do most was to go to the park with Dad and catch Pokemon.
Easy enough, sweet boy.

A few months before his birthday, he asked for a kayak. I told him that if he got a kayak, it would probably be the only thing he could get because it's so expensive.
He seemed okay with that, but asked for several other things too.

We got him lots of little things (candy, a box of his favorite cereal--Tiny Toast, a t-shirt) and let him open all of those first. He was completely satisfied and happy with all of that. The last present we let him open was a life jacket.
And then I pretended like we'd forgotten a present, something to go with the life jacket.
Kent carried his kayak around the corner.

This kid. He's the best.
There was much trauma and tears about the prospect of having a friend party  (but who to invite?? and when to do it?? and how to make it perfect??) so we decided to compromise and have a little party at the park with some of our neighborhood friends a few nights after his birthday. Our dear neighbor Erin brought her kids and gave him a Pokemon joke book, which Nick promptly declared "the Best Gift in the World." (But really---Pokemon AND jokes? What could a first grader want more?)
A couple of days after his birthday we drove up to my parents house and spent the weekend, including a trip to Bear Lake.
These summer birthdays--lucky boy gets to stretch it out over several days and several parties and you know what?
He deserves it all.
Happy Seven, Nick!

August, the rest

The end of summer came up so fast--
we soaked it all in as much as we could.

August was a month for finally seeing a full lawn, many Home Depot trips as we finished up the basement, swimming lessons and pool days, splash parks, school preparations, and late nights in the cul-de-sac with friends.

Mirror selfie in Home Depot.

Christian flushed several toys down our toilets. For a couple of weeks, both of our main floor toilets were out of order. We finally had to get a plumber to come out and actually take the toilets off their seals to get the toys out.  This child!

Christian brings me his shoes all day long, asking to go "ous!"
Hanging out in Mom and Dad's shower, just because, you know.

We've got carpet in our basement play room!  It was amazing to see that, after all the time and work and $$ we've put into it, once that carpet was laid, suddenly we had a room! A brand new room! So fun.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Christian, 17 months

Oh my sweet boy. 
I don't really know where to start. You are a little man with a giant personality. Silly, easygoing, loving, happy little copycat.

There's really no end to how happy you are.
A few days ago, you woke us up bright and early at 6:30 am, and Daddy and I stumbled out of bed to be with you. We sat in a stupor on the couch while you turned on your keyboard and began to dance circles around the living room, saying "Dance! DANCE!" and laughing with delight when you'd fall down.  

What kind of person gets out of bed at 6:30 am just so he can dance? 
We like to say that you prance around the house shooting rainbows out of your fingertips. Because that's pretty much what you do. You are unbelievably happy, constantly oozing joy and enthusiasm. A tiny bundle of sunshine running down the halls.

And I have no idea what we'd do without you, dear boy.

You are busy busy busy, always working on something, doing something, following the big kids around and trying to be like them. 

One of your favorite words is "button" (always shouted as "BUT!!!" which is super fun when you see the buttons on the card reader when we're paying for our groceries. Yes, that's my child who is screaming "butt" in the checkout line, thankyouverymuch.)
You get endless joy out of pushing the doorbell button, the garage door opener button, and the light switch "buttons."

Although you're busy, you don't much get into stuff. You're more interested in getting on top of stuff. You no longer put little things in your mouth much, and you've finally mastered stairs and the need to be careful about getting down them, so mostly I just have to pay very close attention to where you are at all times, just to make sure you're not attempting to climb on top of the piano, sit on the ledge of your high chair tray, or scale the shelves in the pantry. 

You are scary-smart, and you pay attention to what is going on. A few days ago I asked the kids in the car what we should have for dinner. Before anyone else could answer your high little voice yelled out from behind your rear-facing carseat, "RICE!"  I laughed so hard I almost had to pull over. 
And yes, we had rice that night.
Also, I'm paying much closer attention to what I say around you, since apparently you're listening.

You are the ultimate copycat. Whatever Nick and Ellie are doing, you must do too. When I take you to Primary with me on Sundays, you have me set up a chair just for you, and then you climb up into it and sit there with your hands in your lap, thinking you're just one of the big kids, and so proud of yourself for it.
You love to copy Ellie by wearing her tiara or necklaces. One afternoon you strolled into the room with her string of beads hung over your ears, unbelievably proud of yourself for managing that.
You've also learned to copycat their tantrums and tears. Which is both hilarious yet maddening. 
You're fiercely jealous of me, so when I'm comforting one of the others because of a skinned knee or stubbed toe, you plop yourself down on the other side of my lap and fake cry "waaaaaaa" while pointing to your imaginary injury in exactly the same place as your sibling's.  Ellie scratched her foot a week ago and was holding it saying "Owie! Owie!" over and over. You watched her for a moment, then sat down and grabbed your own foot and moaned "Owie!" 

You're a mama's boy through and through, and also jealous of my affection. When I give Daddy a kiss before he leaves for work each morning, as soon as we part I find your face inches from mine, lips puckered ready to give me a smooch smack on the lips as well. 

Your favorite place to be is either outside (you ask us to open the door for you by saying "doonk," which means nothing to us except it's what you always say when you want a door opened,) or in my lap reading a book (requested by saying  "gook.") Last Sunday morning Daddy read you no less than seventeen books before any of the rest of us had even gotten out of bed.

When you realize that you are going to get what you've asked for, you tip your head back and grin, slowly clap your hands, and cheer "YAAAASSSS." 
I die every time.
You stroll with your hands behind your back, particularly after you've told us a great long "story."  Your habit of babbling away, with perfectly matched facial expressions and hand gestures but not a single real word is one of my most favorite things about you. I have video after video of these stories on my phone--it's just too cute!

Speaking of cute, when you're happy to see us, you grin, tip your head back, close your eyes, and run to us (with head back and eyes still closed.) A dangerous habit, but I don't think anything else has ever made me feel so loved.

 This summer has been a summer of perpetually scraped knees for you. You're a runner and a climber and so tough--sometimes you'll surprise us with how you don't even care when you bloody your knees or pinch your fingers again.

You are a water maniac. At Grandma and Grandpa's house last month, you saw their sprinkler out in the grass, ran over to it, looked back at Jonah who was watching you out there, and then stuck your face straight into the spray of the water, letting it blast you at point-blank. 

You were using sidewalk chalk with the kids in the driveway when our own sprinklers came on. Nick and Ellie stood and bolted for the garage so they wouldn't get wet, while with equal urgency you stood and bolted for the sprinklers so you would get wet.  

I signed you and me up for a Mommy and Me swim class while the kids took their swim lessons these past two weeks, and although it was colder and you weren't really into it this week, the first week was so much fun. You kicked and splashed and reached for the side so you could climb out, count one two three! and jump back in again over and over and over again.
I really loved having that time, doing something fun, just you and me. We don't get that enough, Christian.

Because climbing on top of the table is your favorite, you often find the food that Nick and Ellie left behind. And boy what a mess you can make with it!

You found a sucker that didn't belong to you..... You also like to "borrow" my toothbrush every time you come into my bathroom. 

You've been talking like crazy lately. In the pool earlier this week you weren't having any fun and when I asked you if you wanted to swim more, you said, "It's too brrr," clear as can be. So we got out.

You've learned the word "no," and you use it freely, even when you actually mean "yes." Sometimes I forget that, and I take it as a real "no," and it takes me a moment to figure out why you're suddenly so frustrated. No means no, and yes. I'll try my best to remember that, Bud.

 other words you know:
two (as in one, two three!)
hi and bye
drink ("Deutch!")
banana ("Mna mna!")
dog (although it sounds like "woof!")
grapes ("bup")
touch (when I say "don't touch" you nod and shout "touch!")
dance (one of my favorites. You'll point to our bluetooth speaker and say "Dance!" then show me a little spin in case I didn't realize you meant you want me to turn on music.)
Josh & Alicia
dang it (yep.)
and sometimes, if we're realllly lucky, you'll say Dad. Never Mom. I think you just assume that everything you say is already directed towards me, so there's really no point in saying my name first. 
And you know, that's all right with me.

Monday, August 1, 2016

light up the night

Our city doesn't allow fireworks. (Too high up in the foothills, too dry.)
But on the 24th of July, Utah's Pioneer Day,
we wanted to have a party. 

So we invited some of our neighbors and friends over for a Ice Cream and Glowsticks street party.

The skies put on the first show of the evening as we were setting up the party.

We ate ice cream sundaes, Kent turned on some music for us,
and we began the glow-in-the-dark fun.
 One of our neighbors invented this super amazing glowsticks blaster that shot 40 glowsticks at a time about 100 feet into the air.
Like a firework.
Minus the fire hazard.

We really just love this place where we live.

Sunday, July 31, 2016


How is July almost over already?
It's been a month of swimsuits, splash pads, sprinklers. Mountains, hiking, camping, and lakes. Morning adventures and lazy afternoons reading. Homemade ice cream, street fair food, chips and salsa, frozen berry lemonades.
Just about as perfect as July gets.

We took the kids to a fair the other night, and Christian really really wanted to share everyone's food, starting with Ellie's ice cream,

And then on to Dad's street corn.

He also polished off my smoothies and tacos as well as the crumbs left in Nick's bag of doritos. 
(It was a dinner of champions, let me tell you. Ice cream, french fries, doritos, tacos, smoothies, and corn. We're great parents.)

 Summer evenings are my favorite. The sun goes down and it gets so cool and calm outside, and our sunset view is something else.

Christian has discovered the fun of selfies.
His little tongue kills me.

Kent and I have spent quite a few nights this month painting the basement. We're getting really close to getting the paint finished and then we'll get the electrical all finished up. 
 Nick and Ellie "helped" a bit too.
Ellie liked to write her name and draw big smiley faces with the paint.
I really am looking forward to these rooms not being such a dusty, paint-dribbled mess.

We've been here for six months now, and there's still those hidden spaces that need to be unpacked/organized/finished. 
The hall closet was first on my list. This closet is thirty-inches wide and five feet deep. (And if there'd been any way to shuffle this in the floorplan to make it less awkward before we moved in I totally would have!)

We definitely need to get some legitimate shelving in there, but for now, this is MUCH better.
And yes, I've caught myself opening the closet when I walk past just to remind myself how great it is to have it cleaned up.

In the few final days of July,

Christian found a precarious new place to sit.

Between painting the basement and watching Poldark (LOVE this show, by the way) Kent and I have spent all the rest of our evening time pulling weeds out of our grass. The grass is growing in and looks SO great, we sprayed the weeds and most of them died, but they still need to be removed to help the grass grow in thick and strong like it needs to.

It's an achingly slow process. Our first attempt, Kent and I spent two hours out there and only weeded a ten-foot square in the yard. 
We've spent so much time weeding this week that we're actually dreaming about weeds while we sleep at night. Not even joking.

One afternoon I was out there with the kids.
 Nick refused to help me with the weeding, but was anxious to make sure I still felt the love while I pulled weeds alone anyway.
He sat out there by the sign while I weeded and turned it as I moved around the yard, making sure the note was always facing me so I could still read it.
Thanks, Bud.

It's been super hot this week (okay, okay Texas and Vegas friends.....I know, I know....) 
But it's been too hot to play outside much, so instead we cool off at the splash pad with friends.

and this goofy baby boy found yet another unusual place to sit:

Goodbye glorious July! We'll miss you!