Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Times They Are A Changin

I swear that my kids grew up in one month.  All three of them.  It's as if someone put something in the water.  April 2014 has been quite the big deal around here. 
Starting with the littlest munchkin.  At the age of 11 months Clayton finally learned how to crawl.  I'm not going to lie, I kinda miss the little worm that he did to scoot around.  It was completely adorable and made everyone laugh who saw it for the first time.  BUT, I'm glad that eventually he learned the regular way to get around as a baby since it is developmentally appropriate. 
 A few weeks after he started crawling, he then learned how to pull himself up to a standing position.  This has opened up a whole new world of exciting things for him and a whole new realization that we aren't baby proofed very well.  Like today when I was in the shower and Clay got a hold of Zach's Easter egg gum and had four of them in his mouth with the dyes all over his face and shirt.  No worries, that's not a choking hazard at all!
 He's also on day 2 of not nursing.  I'm basically having to go cold turkey since he wont take sippy cups well.  If I had to summarize how the morning has gone it would be with the word "miserable".  He is very mad about it all and crying a lot!.  Heaven help me.
Moving onto Zach.  Zach moved from a crib to a big boy bed last night and did awesome.  Didn't get out of bed even once!  We went to the store and he was so excited to pick out his own sheets (I'm still working on finding a comforter).  I don't know why he loves Spider man so much since he's never seen a movie or read a book or anything but he is in love with his new bed!  Getting the bed was like Christmas morning. 
 We also started to potty train the guy a couple of weeks ago and after about 3-4 days of a lot of accidents it clicked.  He's good to go and doing so well.  Of course the underwear he picked out was Spider man underwear.  I must say that underwear may be the ONLY thing that is cuter for boys than girls.  His little bum is adorable in those undies :)  No worries, for his sake there is no picture. 
Tarp was laid out in living room to quickly clean up the many accidents
Once Zach filled up his potty chart he earned a his first ever Lego set.  How is this guy already into Legos, an overly expensive toy?  He loves his new helicopter and is quite proud that he's officially a big boy.  And I love only changing 5 ish diapers a day now.  Just sayin.
 Lastly, the little miss.  Mariah told me that she wrote a letter for Nana and Pappy for when they were going to come visit.  She wanted the letter to be about Frozen and stuck the picture in the envelope and brought it to me.  Um seriously?  What 4 year old can spell Elsa?  And that penmanship may be better than mine on many days.  It's complete legible!
 Yep, all my kids grew up this month.  And in all honesty, it's been fun to watch.  Except for the weening from nursing part.  My boobs hurt.  Bad.  TMI?

Nana and Pappy Visit

The kids love having visitors.  It's no wonder why since they seem to get spoiled each time someone is in town.  It seems somehow Mariah always talks the said visitor into taking her to Red Robin and they get countless books read, treats given, late bedtimes, and a whole lot of attention.  Nana and Pappy were no exception when they came 2 weeks ago.
Pappy reading book after book after book
Nana even showed up with some "magic jelly beans" for the kids.  I think Zach was a little confused.  He kept saying they had to put the jelly beans in the dirt and pour water on them but they couldn't eat them.  The next morning when each jelly bean sprouted a lolly-pop, he suddenly was okay with having to plant his candy.  They were pretty ecstatic. 
How can you not love grandparents that not only allow pillow fights BUT initiate them.

We also took Nana and Pappy to see the Easter Pageant at the Mesa Temple which is always an enjoyable experience and so well done.  The highlight/lowlight of the trip though was that they were able to see Mariah in her first ever performance.  Mariah has participated in choir for the last 4 months with Millienial Choral Organization (MCO).  This choir/orchestra is a BIG DEAL around here with 1200 members all professionally trained.  Starting at age 4 they allow children to participate in a couple of numbers.  It was a struggle the first few rehearsals for Mariah to have to leave mom and go somewhere strange all by herself but she quickly adjusted after many tears and really started to like it.  The day of the performance we purchased 4th row tickets (which were almost the price of your first born) so that we could see Mariah up close and cheer her on.  The performance started with the adult choir and it was so amazing that I was almost brought to tears (I know shocking).  After a few numbers our little Mariah came waltzing out...and then she spotted us and stopped dead in her tracks, paralyzed with fear.  Her hands immediately went up to her face and her lip started quivering.  She almost burst into tears in front of 20,000 people.  My heart had been completely ripped out.  I wanted to run up there and grab her off the stage.  I think everyone in attendance did.  Instead, I sat and watched with a giant smile and thumbs up.  It was miserable.  At the end of "My Country Tis of Thee" someone had to guide her off stage because she was still paralyzed beyond ability to move.  I was certain she wouldn't come out for the next song.  I sat with anxiety the next several songs wanting to go backstage and rescue my baby.  The next song she came out and still didn't sing a word of "You're Grand Old Flag".  So painful!  But she didn't cry.  In the words of Adam "Well that was a waste of a lot of money and she's not doing this again".
 After the show we went home and Adam stayed back because she had one more show to do.  The poor girl wasn't through.  He asked an usher if he could just sneak in the back without a ticket as he waited for his daughter to finish and the usher obliged.  When it was time for Mariah to come out again she had her hands up above her eyes, searching the audience for us again.  After not being able to find us, she put her hand down and sang her little heart out!  Both songs!  It's as if we were the ones to make her nervous!  She then walked off the stage skipping and Glenn Beck (the narrator for the show who had his eyes on Mariah the first concert) then reached out his hand and with a giant smile on his face patted Mariah on the head.  I like to believe that he remembered the shy little girl who wouldn't sing and it's as if he was saying "Good job!, you didn't give up and you did it!"  Adam said he just couldn't help but cry as he watched her.  She came home happy and feeling successful.  Whew!  But we still aren't doing that again, at least not for a few years. 

Hippity Hop

We had a lovely Easter.  I'm so grateful that we have holidays in place to help us remember the Savior and that provide opportunities to do fun things together as a family.  I feel like each holiday I'm overwhelmed with how lucky and blessed I am and I go to bed a little exhausted and a lot in love.  I mean just look at these kiddos on Easter Sunday.  You can't help but love all three and love how much they love each other (except for Clay does get a little bugged by there smothering sometimes).

 I love seeing how small traditions and activities make them happy.  Especially at this age where Easter and the bunny are so magical, fun, and terrifying all at the same time.  We dyed our eggs and thanks to Pinterest it was a clean experience.  Egg in a whisk, genius I tell ya.
 We had an Easter egg hunt with our HOA.  As we were waiting I told Mariah that the trick is to run to the middle when it's time instead of going for the eggs close by that every kid goes for.  They then said "on your mark, get set..." and before it was time to "go" she was off into the middle picking up as many eggs as her basket could hold.  We just had to laugh.  I think she officially got greedy this year...luckily her basket was small and only held 10 eggs max.
Zach on the other hand enjoyed a Saturday morning stroll, content as can be.

 I sat all three down at the end for a picture.  I took about 10 pics because it takes a lot to get them to pay attention (and as you can see, I never succeeded).  However, in every single picture, Clayton was holding one of his legs up like this.  I don't think he liked the grass pricking his skin.
The Thursday before Easter, Adam and I were able to attend our first ever Seder (Passover) dinner with some of the Stake leaders.  It was a fascinating as well as an incredibly disgusting experience.  I'm so glad that my Easter traditions consist of much better food then mazta balls, unsalted crackers, and no diary.  The four glasses of wine (we opted for grape juice) to drink each time is however, a part I'm sure they tolerate just fine.  It was fun to experience a real Jewish tradition from a rabbi in our neighborhood.  We recited their sacred prayers and learned things from the Bible that I'd never thought about before.  I love that we can come together in unity, respect and increased understanding with these sorts of activities.

And for the picture that takes the cake and makes me smile every time--Our own little bunny munching on his morning snack.
 Happy Easter to all and may we continue to remember the power of the atonement and gift from the Savior year round.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Renissance Festival

I think we found ourselves a new annual tradition.  A neighbor of mine had some tickets that she couldn't use for the Renissance Festival on Adam's birthday.  We decided that it was worth a try but didn't have high hopes.  This place was legit!  I felt like I was at an amusement park it was so big and well done.  It goes for several months each year and we caught it on the very last day.
They had several "rides" at the festival but all of them were man-operated to stick with the times.  I may have just gotten a little sick on the giant swing, and Zach may have been shaking the entire time but at least Mariah enjoyed herself.  
 Once again, the flying saucer ride was operated as they turned the wheel. 
 They sold all sorts of fun food as the vendors carried it around like this. 
 The buildings were awesome and so well done.  They really made it feel like a different time period. 
Unfortunately, we couldn't enjoy it too much because we had 2 sick and cranky kids that didn't appreciate any of it and just wanted to go home.  Even Mariah fell asleep in the car on the way there which NEVER HAPPENS.  We were only able to stay a couple of hours and so we missed most of the shows (hypnotists, magicians, knighting ceremonies, sword swallowing etc.). 
 They even did elephant rides for $5.  I was soooo excited.  But we couldn't convince Zach to do it.  He said it was scary.  We also couldn't get him to stop watching through the fence though.  So much better than the zoo.  They were spraying themselves with water, flapping their ears, and the highlight--peeing.  Man do they pee a lot of liquid.  The kids...and Adam talked about it for days. 
 The big event was the jousting.  If you've ever seen A Knight's Tale, it was JUST LIKE THAT.  They had "cheerleaders" to pump up the crowd and everyone was sectioned off into teams for a real competition. 
It was a true treasure that we just happened to luck out on.  Next year will be even better as we will plan ahead and find our costumes (yes MANY were dressed up) and be able to spend all day that wont be the hottest day of the year yet. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

35 Things We Love You MORE Than...

1.Playing outside
2. Flying in the air
3. Joy School
4. Charlotte
5. Elephants and carousels
6. Home Depot Kids Club
7. Relaxing (this should be a picture of me)
8. Daddy-daughter date nights
9. Eating the toes
10. Reading books
11. Bathtime
12. Princess crowns and carnivals
13. Going to the park
14. Painting
15. Spider Man
16. Going for a walk
17. Playing with the door stop
18. The sand box

19. Bedtime (the kids REALLY love you more than bedtime)

20. Hanging upside down

21. Being tickled

22. The blue blankie

23. Dress-ups

24. Sleep (barely)
25. Chicken eggs

26. Mallow corn
27. Milk
28. Stretchy pants (just for fun)
29.  Being held
30. Being naked (and that's saying something)
31. Licking the bowl
32. The doggy pillow
33. Hide and seek

34. The Exersaucer
AND 35. An empty sink

In fact we may just love you more than anything in the whole world.  Happy 35th birthday to the best dad and husband that we could ever ask for!