Sunday, March 30, 2008

We're back!

Well, we're back. We've been back for a couple of days, but I'm just getting a chance to post. And I will post more later in the week. I think it's safe to say that overall we had a good trip. The Spring Break crowds at Disneyland were totally insane, but I think we still had fun. The weather was gorgeous (mid to high 70's all week!) The boys both did really well - and I think the only temper-tantrum that was thrown on the fit was me...(that is often the case - I have to have at least one fit on vacation). We had fun at Disneyland, California Adventures, and my sister Julia and I even ventured into Hollywood and saw the play "WICKED". It was fun that we got to be there when my parents and sister were there, and we appreciate all their help with the boys. I'll post more pictures and what all we did later this week.

I am excited to do some fun Disney scrapbook pages. Here is a link to a super cute Disney digital scrapping kit - and it's free! (The actual DISNEY kit is free. The other kit - "Leave the World Behind" - isn't free - but great for Disney pages, and super cute too!)

We are looking at buying a new car in the next week or so. Cory (once again) sold my car out from under me. (For those of you who don't know Cory very well - he would sell his first born if someone would give him a good offer. EVERYTHING in our life is for sale - whether I like it or not). We are driving a car from a dealership here in town that we thought we were going to buy (It's a 2005 Yukon) - but we're not sure now...It's a great car in great shape, with low miles, but we just got looking online and wonder if we can find something else we'd like better. We don't love the color of this Yukon (it's a cranberry/burgundy dad's favorite color - but not ours....). We have our eye on a Yukon XL for sale up in Bountiful, and we're hoping to get a hold of the dealership it's at tomorrow morning. I'll post pictures when we decide what to get.

And lastly, I just wanted to take a second and tell everyone how much I love my family. Really, I am so lucky to have an amazing extended family, immediate family, in-laws - the works. I don't know how I got so lucky, but I feel more blessed than usual, and want any and all of my family to know that I love them! Throw your arms around your family today and give them an extra big hug. Family is what it's all about! And if you have any extra prayers to send out - my grandma could use a few extras this week...

Hope you all have a great week!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Oops - the Easter Bunny

Here's the picture with the Easter Bunny. Cute boys huh?

a few fun days

We've had a fun couple of days. I've wanted to focus more on enjoying life, and less on schedules and to-do lists. I want to enjoy the kids while they're little and still have no choice but to spend time with me :). We didn't really celebrate St. Patrick's day other than the boys wearing green...Next year I'm planning on doing the whole visit from a leprechaun and a green meal or two - but for this year we didn't get too festive. However, here are some of the fun things we've been up to:

  • Saturday I told Gabe I'd take him on a "date" - just the 2 of us. I want my kids to get to spend time with Cory and I individually - one-on-one time. We talked about it for a few days and he was really excited. We were planning on going to see the new movie "Horton Hears a Who". But then we had things come up and the time we were going to go to the movie didn't work out. Then the next showing was sold out (hence the crying picture - Gabe's calling Cory to tell him that the movie was 'broken' and we couldn't go then.) so we had to get tickets for the evening show. And then we ended up on a little trip to Walmart and he rode the mechanical "Pumba" from Lion King, got some movie treats. Then we ended up going to Wendy's for dinner - and to to eat inside (a big deal - we always get drive-through). Lastly we headed to the movie, got our pop-corn and treats - it was a FULL day! But it was sweet, fun, and I love that kid to pieces!
  • Today the boys and I went to St. George. There was some shopping I wanted to do, and I thought we'd have some fun going down during the week. (We often go on the weekend with Cory - but rarely me and the boys.) So we did some birthday shopping for Cory (his birthday is Saturday). some miscellaneous shopping for us, and then we headed to the St. George temple visitor's center. Gabe wanted to see the temple, and so we walked around, enjoyed the spring weather (it was GORGEOUS!), talked about our Savior and the gospel, and had a beautiful visit. The drive to and from St. George was relaxing, and a nice trip all around. I'm glad I get to enjoy my boys - they are really sweet, and I love them so much.
  • We also caught the Easter Bunny at the mall. I have to say - this Easter Bunny gave me the creeps. He didn't talk, but when Gabe would ask questions he'd nod, or give him a thumbs up (Gabe wanted to know if the Easter Bunny was going to bring him treats). All the while he just had that dumb look on his face. I was anxious to be done....Gabe was not even remotely nervous - he ran right up to the bunny and was ready to hop up on his lap. It scared me a bit that he was so willing to run up to this creepy character - but I guess it will be good for our trip to Disneyland that is coming up - he should be great with the characters.
  • Tonight for Family Home Evening we made sheep with paint, our hand-prints and cotton-balls. It's a super easy, but cute craft - and Gabe really had fun. When we finish up Gabe's sheep (the paint was still wet when he went to bed) - I'll post a picture of our creations in the morning.
I hope you all had a great St. Patty's day. And whether or not you celebrated - I hope you felt at least a little bit LUCKY!

Gabe funnies

I'm pretty sure that you all have been waiting on baited breath for some new Gabe comments. I wish I had captured even 1/4 of the things he's said in the last 3 or 4 days. He has had me laughing like crazy. Some of the things are sweet, some are funny - but overall I just love this kid.

· Gabe said, "I'm tired. I'll just sit on your lap and take a nap when we get to the theater" (We were going to a movie.) I said, "I'm tired too – can I take a nap?" He replied, "Yeah – but you're going to have to sit in your own lap".

· We passed a couple school buses when we were running errands and he pointed them out and counted that there were two. Then we passed the school bus yard, where all the buses are parked for the weekend and he said, "Look at all the buses! I said, "How many are there Gabe?" He looked really concerned and said, "Oh mom, there's just too many!"

· We were going on a "date" to the movies – just Mom and Gabe. But when we got to the show it was sold out and so we had to buy tickets for the later show. When we were going back to the car Gabe just fell apart – SO sad because he couldn't go on our date. He called Cory to tell him that the movie was broken. It took quite a bit of bribing to convince him to settle down and that our date was still on.

· When we got back to the later showing of the movie the line for concessions was SO long. I asked Gabe if we could skip the popcorn (what I had bribed him with previously) since the line was so long. He said, "No mom, I want popcorn. I'll just have to wait and get it myself."

· Our older next door neighbor Lois recently had a stroke and just returned home this week after being in a rehabilitation center. We went over to their house while Cory helped build a wheel-chair ramp for her with one of our neighbors and we were eating some hamburgers that her husband made for all of us. Gabe looked across the table at Lois and scrunched his face up and said, "Lois – are you still not feeling very good?" I wish I could have understood what her response was (her speech has been really impaired by the stroke). I am glad that Gabe was excited to make her a sticker picture this afternoon, and that he's been so concerned about her. He's made sure to bless her in his prayers, and it's so sweet. When I've told him that Lois hasn't been at home his answer is almost always the same, "Yeah, Lois is feeling sick".

· He kept telling all of us to eat up our hot-dogs because they were "Re-wee YUMMY!" (really yummy)

· We were playing toys and Gabe didn't like something I did. He said, "Mom – STOP! Stop being….stop being a…..a GIRL!"

· Gabe's latest phrase is, "Mom, I need some-fing…" – referring to wanting more to eat, wanting something at the store, wanting me to help him with something – it doesn't matter – he just "needs some-fing". Tonight we were leaving Wendy's and as we were going out the door Gabe said, "Wait mom- you need some-fing!" I asked him what I needed and he said, "Some-fing…." And then yelled (so the rest of the restaurant could hear) "You need to go to the potty Mom!"

· The last few days when someone asks Gabe a question he says, "Mom, you tell me". Like someone asked him what movie he was going to and he looked at me and said, "Mom, you tell me". Or I asked him what he wanted to eat for lunch and he said, "Mom, you tell me" – which meant – give me a list of my options.

· Gabe has told several people lately, "That's my brother Hunter. We bought him at Mom's doctors". So true….(and he wasn't cheap to buy either!)

· Gabe asked me to do something for him and I didn't immediately respond and kind of looked at him like 'wait a minute'. He looked at me and said, "Mom, just hold down your horses"

· We're getting ready to take a trip to Disneyland soon. I was explaining to him that sometimes on the trip we won't ALL be together (we're going with my parents and sister Julia) - we'll go different directions and on different rides. He said, "But please mom. I want to ride the rides with Gramma, Grampa, Aunt Julia, Hunter, Daddy and YOU!" So I tried to explain that sometimes Aunt Julia might want to go on a big kid ride, while Gabe goes on Winnie the Pooh or Buzz Lightyear. He said, "But I'll tell her I love her, and give her a hug and kiss, and ugga-mugga. Then she'll want to go on the Buzz Lightyear shooter ride with me. He was pretty sure that his kiss would seal-the-deal with his Aunt Julia!

· I had a sweet moment with Gabe today at the St. George temple visitor's center today. When we walked in he was so excited to see the Christus statue (smaller than SLC). And turned to me and said in awe, "Mommy - that's Jesus". Then we sat down and listened to the little presentation. He wanted to get out of the stroller and sit by me. So he did and as soon as it started he looked at me like, "woah", and then folded his arms - like he could just tell how special it was. (He NEVER folds his arms anymore....even for prayers lately!) It was really sweet. We talked about temples, Jesus, Easter, missions – and it was a neat teaching moment. I don't know how much he got of it - but it was super sweet.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Our (attempted) photo shoot

I tried taking some pictures of the boys this afternoon. HA-HA! Getting a good picture of them seperate was impossible, and trying to get a good picture of the 2 of them together - not happening..... Here are some of the out-takes.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kids say the darndest things!

I know you all enjoy hearing the little things that Gabe says (or maybe you're just humoring me....?) So here's the latest installment. Having this blog really helps me to record the little things he says - otherwise I know there's no way I'd remember any of them. There are actually dozens more, these are just the ones I remember to write down!

· When we were leaving to drive up to see family this weekend we stopped to say a prayer before we left. I suggested a prayer and Gabe announced that he wanted to say it. So he started right out and said, "Dear Hefenly Faver". Then without any hesitation at all he confidently and sincerely said, "I love you". It was one of those moments that brought tears to my eyes immediately. I felt so grateful that Gabe felt he could tell his Heavenly Father that he loved Him. I felt so wonderful that Gabe does love his Heavenly Father, and I prayed at that instant that Gabe would always feel that way. I hope and pray that Gabe remembers to love his Heavenly Father and that he can start every day out thanking our Heavenly Father for all he's given us.

· We had told Gabe he could go swimming at the hotel swimming pool after his dinner but were encouraging him to eat his dinner. Someone at dinner said something about swimming and Gabe responded with, "You can't go swimming until you eat 2 bites of macaroni and cheese!"

· I was changing Gabe's diaper and I said, "I will be so excited when you wear big boy underwear all the time and don't need diapers! Are you excited about that?" He responded with a strong, "Yes!" I asked, "So Gabe – when do you think that will happen? When do you think you'll get potty-trained?" He thought for a minute and said, "Hmmm….I think in 2 minutes!" (don't I wish….)

· "Oh look mom – our mushkin is sleeping" (I had no idea what he was saying until I realized that he was talking about Hunter – and calling him a "munchkin")

· "I can't member" (Gabe says this all the time. Whether he can't remember where he put his toys, the words to a song, or someone's name)

· I asked Gabe where he got his new socks. He said, "Old Lady" – (Old Navy)

· I asked Gabe if he was spoiled. He said, "No, I'm not – but daddy and I like to eat spoiled eggs" (he meant hard BOILED eggs)

Hunter - growing so fast!

I have been really hit lately at how fast Hunter is growing up. I think part of it was that last week was FULL of milestones, and it just kind of freaked me out. Some of the things that happened this past week:
  • Hunter started eating much better. He tried (and enjoyed) squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, pear and carrots! He also wanted to eat when we were out to eat with Cory's family on Saturday and we fed him some baked potato. He did really well with it - better than Gabe does with potatoes at 2 1/2!
  • Sitting up - and he enjoys sitting up a lot now! Playing with toys and everything has a new perspective when sitting up. He's also enjoying sitting in his high-chair when I'm cooking, or getting things around the kitchen done.
  • Moved to a "big boy" car seat. He's still rear-facing, but he is in a bucket car seat rather that those darn carriers. We're trying it out for now, and we'll see if we revert to the carrier - but for now it's working well.
  • Rolling EVERYWHERE - He is getting all over the place lately - rolling. He gets himself into the funniest and most uncomfortable positions when he rolls.
  • Getting his haircut for the first time on Friday (March 7th).
  • BOOKS. One thing that's kept him very happy is board-books. He kind of likes reading them with me - but mostly he loves eating them. That's why I have a HUGE supply of board books for him to enjoy.
My mind is a bit blank, but it seems like there were a few other things too...I'll have to think about it.

Oh - I remember - Hunter is also the grabbiest baby on the planet! He grabs EVERYTHING, and has made life tricky. The one that drives me nuts is how he grabs my hair. I constantly have to wear my hair in a ponytail (which it's kind of too short for....) and he STILL pulls it. He pulls it out of the ponytail but worse than that he pulls the little hairs at the base of my neck. And he pulls at them so that there is NO way he's letting go. He's brought me to tears more than once. My hair looks horrible 99% of the time anymore because he just messes it all up. He also grabs my face, pinches me when I'm nursing him, and gets really frantic grabbing at whatever he can get his hands on when he's hungry.

But here are a few pictures I snapped of him after dinner. I found a spot in my kitchen with some good lighting. I didn't have time to play around with camera settings much, but I think I will try to set up a little 'photo shoot' later this week and try to get some pictures of both of my boys. Hunter was so serious when I was taking his picture today - I could NOT get a smile out of the kiddo.


Last week we got Hunter's haircut for the first time. He did really well. He was wiggly - as was to be expected - but he didn't cry even once, and we got a pretty good first haircut. It was reassuring when she broke out the clippers and he didn't scream. Gabe still cries and gets upset when we try to use clippers. His hair isn't nearly as thick as Gabe's was at this age, but it has just as many cowlicks and is still super fine. I also think it has a bit more red to it (I LOVE red hair!)

So here's our little guy - growing up right before our eyes. I think the haircut really makes him look a bit older.


Here's a couple of layouts I've worked on lately. As always - nothing too exciting, but feels good to have them done :)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A good day

Do you ever have those moments when you just think to yourself - this is a good day? You're productive, you have fun, you don't break down and cry because your boys are too much to handle, you don't have to take a Tylenol or Advil for the whole day, you're productive and get cleaning projects done, and you just feel HAPPY? Well that was today for me. As I was putting Hunter down tonight I just found that I was full of a really GOOD, happy energy. With out tired I've been lately from being sick and all - having this energy is something that almost feels foreign to me. But good foreign :) I hope it can keep up and we can have lots more great days like this. So here are a few things that have made me happy today:

  • To start out with Hunter learned a new trick today! He started yesterday with Cory - but he really perfected it today. LOOK - NO HANDS! He is sitting up all on his own, and does it really well! Sure, he gets a little tipsy - but for the most part he can sit up all on his own and has fun playing with toys. He's sat on all kinds of surfaces and I'm so proud of him! This is a milestone that has been a bit slow in coming, and it's a relief for it to happen. Pretty exciting!

  • Hunter also ate like a champ today. He ate 2 servings (a total of one large container) of Squash - and did SO good with it! He was opening his mouth for it - I didn't have to force-feed him, and he actually kept some of it in his mouth. YAY!
  • Gabe and I had a fun day together. We had fun playing more than normal. You know how some days are just smoother, and more fun than others? We played super heroes, we played super heroes who were also ghosts (tricky aren't we?), super hero photographers (that is what he's doing in the picture - taking pictures with his Diego camera book), legos, waffle blocks, read stories, Gabe even ate well today (another amazing accomplishment!) and we just generally got along really well. There were several moments when I just had to give him a great big HUGE hug and remember how grateful I am for him (for both of the boys! I am so darn lucky!)

  • Clean floors, bathrooms, rugs, mirrors, (some) windows - it all feels GREAT! I love the feeling of tackling a bunch of cleaning projects. Gabe kept wanting to "help" - but for the most part I managed to keep him busy and out of the way.
  • I went to a new book-store today. It's not actually a NEW store - but they moved to a new location. Man - I love bookstores (especially LDS bookstores - they are my favorite)! And I picked up a couple pictures of the Savior with children to frame for the boy's rooms, a fun YW book, a neat looking board book about Easter for Gabe and Hunter, and a neat thought book from "Time Out for Women". There is something very relaxing and rejuvinating about walking into a bookstore - I love it, and could literally spend 100's of dollars in bookstores!
  • I got to go to Roberts this afternoon too! (Cory came on some errands with me and sat in the car with the boys who were napping. Yeah - I got naps AND got to run some errands by myself - it was marvelous!) I was trying to find some Easter decorations because I really don't have anything. They weren't too helpful - but I did make a couple of bunny decorations and bought a couple of pre-made things...maybe I'll take pictures of them later. I am so lucky to have a Roberts Craft - it's a great store!
  • Sunshine - the weather today was really pretty. It was a bit deceiving - and was colder than it looked outside - but it was still pretty enough to open the screen-door while I was cleaning and running around. I love the smell and feel of Spring!
  • Knowing that I have an appointment to have Hunter's hair cut tomorrow - yipee! I haven't cut his hair yet, because he doesn't really have a ton of hair - but it has gotten long, shaggy, and he looks a bit like an orphan - especially after some time in his car-seat. So tomorrow at 1:00 - we're trimming it up. I think he's going to look a lot more grown up - I'm a bit scared....
  • Miniature Cadbury Creme Eggs - EVIL. Ok, I have always loved the big Cadbury Creme Eggs that come out at Easter. But have you seen these? YUMMO! They are so delicious, and because they are smaller - they don't seem as rich. They are really perfect. I wish I had never tried them....they are too good!

And lastly - some Gabe funnies to keep you smiling:

  • At dinner tonight Cory was making a comment about something (I can't remember what....) and said the phrase, "What the?" and paused. Gabe chimed in loudly with, "HECK?" We cracked up. We were relieved that he chimed in with "Heck" and not another alternative.... :)
  • Tonight Gabe helped me to make muffins to go with our dinner. I always sing the song "Do you know the muffin man?" - so as we were making our muffins I said, "Hey Gabe - you're the muffin man now!" He sat and thought about it for a few minutes. Then he said, "Mom, I can't be the muffin man tonight - I'm just a BOY!" So we decided that it's been changed to "Do you know the muffin boy?" I love how observant he can be and the funny things he says.
  • We washed the car today - I love a clean car! Before we went to wash it we headed to the convenience store for some treats (I have a weakness for Maverik convenience store...) When I got back in the car and was getting ready to pull out this older man in a cowboy hat walked by our car. Gabe got so excited and yelled, "Oh mom - I found THE cowboy!" He was so excited and so proud that he had spotted THE one and only cowboy we have in Cedar City.
  • A few weeks ago I was making a comment about how I wasn't loosing weight and because of that I had a big behind and tummy. Gabe looked at me so seriously, tipped his head to the side and said, "Yeah, you really do need to go get on that treadmill downstairs - huh?" Once again - incredibly observant - and VERY smart!!!
  • This morning I was working on some cleaning projects and I noticed that Gabe had climbed up on our bed and buried himself in the pillows on the bed. I said, "Where did Gabe go?" He giggled and said, "I'm hiding!" I asked, "What are you doing while you're hiding?" He popped out his head and said, "I'm reading." So I said, "But Gabe - you can't read when you're hiding - you don't have a book!" He came out from under the pile of pillows and said, "Yes I do - I am reading my Book of Mormon stories" - and held out his hands in the action from the song. DUH Mom!
  • In relation to the last one - the other day Gabe was eating a treat and his hands got all sticky. He said, "Uh-oh mom - my Book of Mormon stories are all dirty!"

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The pictures

So here are a few pictures of our last few days.

  • Hunter and Gabe - darn those two are cute! While they definetly look like brothers - I think they both have their own look too. I actually have a matching shirt for Hunter - I need to get them both in their twinner shirts to take pictures!
  • Sweet-Potatoes 101 - Tonight Hunter actually ate better than he has been. Or at least he managed to smear food all over his face better than he has been - I can't really decide which. He had a blast making a mess though, and I'm hoping it leaves him wanting to eat more!
  • Gabe loved making funny faces for the camera - I don't know if he likes the silly pictures, or if he just likes the attention....
  • Gabe wanted to have a "mustache" - on his nose. I think he was just jealous that Hunter got to rub his dinner all over his body and had to join in.
  • Here are the boys with Gramma Rhien (or Princess Orlene - which ever you'd prefer). They loved having her here (as did I). We're all looking forward to meeting up with Gramma and Grampa Rhien, and Aunt Julia at Disneyland in a couple of weeks. Should be lots of fun!
  • Hunter officially turned 7 months old on Sunday (WOW!) For some reason odd # months always make a baby sound so much older - 7 months sounds a lot older than 6....He still doesn't want to sit up on his own for longer than a few seconds (though he's getting better...), he's finally starting to eat a bit better with solid foods, he has become the world's best hair-puller (which I have yet to find amusing - especially when he pulls it OUT of my pony-tail, and pulls the little whispy hairs at the base of my neck - OUCH!), he's pretty good at scratching faces too - loves to grab our faces, and he's a terrible sleeper. In fact - he's become the first 7 month old baby I know that has given up naps completely (other than when I feed him and he falls asleep in my arms - which he wakes up immediately when I try to lay him down). He is exhausting me - but he's darn cute - which is a darn good thing or we might have to put him up for sale!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Checking in

I keep avoiding blogging because I haven't written for so long, and have lots that I want to cover. But since I've been feeling better I haven't had time to just sit down and post a bunch. So I figure I should check in and at least tell everyone we're alive :)

My mom ended up coming to stay with us last week to help us get back on our feet. I just felt so run down and crummy - and so did the rest of the family. Hunter wasn't sleeping (I mean like 2 hours a night!) He only wanted to be held and felt really sick. Gabe started feeling miserable too and would just SCREAM and SCREAM, "My nose and tears" at even the slightest feeling of his nose running. He had a really hard time figuring out how to blow his nose and that didn't help things too much.

It was nice to have my mom here to help with the boys, help with meals, watch the boys while Cory and went out a couple of times (the movie Vantage Point is really good!) and be around so I could rest some in the mornings. I also love having her around to chat with. My mom is really probably my best friend, and it makes me sad that we don't live closer. In a dream world we'd live on the same street as most of our family so we could enjoy each other's company whenever we wanted instead of quick trips occasionaly. It would be so great to have Grandma's around to help with the boys when we needed - and the boys would love it too. People who have family that live close to them have no idea what it's like to be so far from stinks.

Anyway, we're feeling mostly better. I wouldn't say we're 100% - and Hunter is still having sleeping issues - but we're back in the land of the living and hopefully will be back to 100% soon.

For now I'm just running around trying to get stuff done for our Young Women's New Beginnings Program on Wednesday. I will be SO glad when everything is finished for that. Thursday morning will be a great time at our house - I'm planning a bubble bath with an ice cold Diet DP and a deep breath.

And lastly - a quick Gabe funny. Yesterday we were getting ready for church and I said, "Gabe - guess where we're going today?" He answered, "Hmmm...I don't member (remember)". I told him we were going to church and going to nursery. He got all excited and then he said, "Yeah, and then I'm going to go on a mission, and then I'm going to marry a princess!" I'm glad he has it figured out - and that he knows a mission needs to happen BEFORE he gets married :)

A few nights before he was watching the movie "Anastasia" with my mom. He told her he was going to marry a princess - Princess "Orlene" (he was trying to say Earlene - my mom's name). So cute.