Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pancake and Pajamas Birthday

Mariah and Zach are both "one year older and wiser too!"  Mariah turned 5 and Zach turned 3 last week.  The night before Zach's birthday I asked if he wanted to say prayer for the last time as a two year old.  He started off normal but then said "thank Thee that tomorrow is my birthday, thank Thee that everyone is going to sing 'happy birthday to you, happy birthday..." and he proceeded to sing the ENTIRE SONG before saying 'amen'!  Adam and I were cracking up and it may be the most adorable prayer I've heard.  The next morning he woke up and Mariah said "Zach it's your birthday!  Stand up"  Zach stands and Mariah gasps as she says "you really do look taller today!"  Zach grinned from ear to ear and once again, I couldn't help but laugh.
We didn't make him wait long to open his presents.  Mariah got dress-ups at 3 years old.  There haven't been too many days in the past 2 years that those dress-ups haven't been used.  When friends come over they are pulled out every time and she is often seen wearing one around the house (even before 7:00 a.m.).  Zach has started to be the same with his super hero capes.  Every day, at some point, he's got them on.  I figured it was time to add to his collection.  They have already proven to be money well spent.  
In fact, even Mariah has enjoyed being Superman or Spider-man this past week.  Zach is also holding his bat and baseball which he has been wanting for months!  It came with a tee-ball but sometimes they opt to not use it.  Watching them try to pitch it to each other and swing is priceless.  Zach usually swings about the same time the ball is on it's second bounce behind him.  He doesn't care.  He's totally content and non-frustrated. 
Later that day we had a birthday ice cream cake from Dairy Queen (amazing by the way).  I made him and Mariah share.  They were totally fine with this as long as they both got to blow out their own set of candles. 

Two days later we celebrated again for Mariah.  She's been waiting soooo long to be 5.  The day finally arrived.  She got Elsa and Anna everything (dress-ups included) and was giddy about it. 

Adam and I bought her roller skates per her request.  After about 10 minutes I thought they would sit in a closet for the next year until she was older.  I was glad I bought ones that changed sizes and that she could grow into because she was not liking them one bit.  Way too nervous and wobbly.  Then we let her practice on the carpet where she didn't roll much and wasn't afraid of falling.  She basically didn't take them off the rest of the day that we were home.  She still isn't close to "skating" but boy is she having fun...If you hold her hand.  We've only ventured outside in them one time and she didn't last long.  I'll have to take a picture and post it tomorrow because she's way to cute with her pads and helmet (which she doesn't wear around the house but is sure going to need outside). 
The following Saturday we had a 'Pancake and Pajama Party'.  The entire idea was Mariah's.  We got on Pinterest and my little party planner put together the entire thing with very few tweaks (and a lot of 'no's') from me.  I started off making her pick a gender neutral theme for a joint party.  Then I asked Zach who he wanted to invite.  I first suggested Vance and he said 'no, what about Grayson' (Vance's older brother and MARIAH'S friend).  Me: What about Sawyer? Zach:  Maybe Saidy (the older sibling and MARIAH'S friend).  Me: Graham?  Zach: Maera? (older sister) get the point.  Basically all the kids his age are still pushing, hitting, and taking toys and he has much more fun with the older kids who, well, play better.  The only name he came up with was Josh who is still older but has no older sibling.  At this point I decided it was dumb to do a joint party if all he wanted was Mariah's friends so to make it easier I just stated "no presents" on the invitations so that he wasn't left out and we proceeded to have an all girls party despite the "gender neutral" theme...Maybe next year it wont look like I have a favorite child this time of year. 
Onto the Party:

Fruit Loop necklaces
Painting pillow cases
The party favors
The birthday cake pancakes (made with cake batter and frosting)
Making pancakes and being an awesome dad with his "real" pj's and all
See what I mean about being awesome?  This produced A LOT of giggles
They both loved it and I loved how simple it was
 Happy Birthday to my two kiddos.  They seriously are the best and make my life so much better and a lot harder all at the same time.  I wouldn't change it.  Not even for a second.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Family of 6!!!

Coming mid-March we will officially be a family of 6!  (I secretly hope it's on 3.14 so we can celebrate "pie day" in style each year...yep I'm a math nerd like that.)  I can hardly believe it myself.  I mean after all, just 6 years ago I was still single...barely.  I was technically engaged at this point but I was only a family of 1.  Simple math says that means I added a lot of pretty important people to my life in not a lot of years.  Four kids!  Seriously, I don't think I fully comprehend it yet but we are excited for the little one to arrive and I love that my kids will be so close in age and enjoying the same stage of life together. 
When I had recently found out I was pregnant a friend asked if I would be interested in watching her son while she works.  I confessed to her that I was basically treading water because I was very nauseous and tired.  I could hardly keep up with my own life and was not even going to think of taking on more as my house was probably growing mold in the toilets as we chatted (confession: I didn't tell her that part).  The next day she showed up to my house with a gift basket of bubble bath, lotions, scented candles etc to help me feel better and say congrats.  While at the door her daughter said "congrats on your new baby".  Mariah laughed and said "there's no baby".  The mom gave me wide eyes and quickly left my doorstep.  Afterward, Mariah explained how silly that was that they said congrats and proceeded to ask why they thought their was a baby in my belly.  I danced around answering with vagueness like "I don't know why do you think?" but eventually Mariah recognized my technique and got to the point and in all seriousness asked "Mom, are having a baby?"  Well I gave her the honest answer and she freaked with excitement!  I pulled out my camera and snapped a few shots of her face.  Classic I tell ya. 

The nervous part is most of these smiles came from squeals followed by "I'm going to have a sister?!!!"  I kept warning that maybe and maybe not but she just KNEW it was a girl.  That night she prayed for a girl and upon saying "amen" said "God answers prayers ya know, I learned that in the Book of Mormon!"  This wasn't the only prayer for a girl she said.  No matter what we said, Mariah had no doubts. 
So with Mariah knowing our "secret" I was convinced the whole world would know by the end of the week.  Can you believe a four year old actually kept a lid on it and didn't tell?  Shocking, I know.  In fact, she even said she wouldn't tell Dad until I let her know he already knew the secret :)   
When we delivered the news to Zach the reaction was a little different. 

His response was "but I love Clay!"  I explained that we could still love Clayton and the new baby but he said "we already have a baby!"  Wise boy I tell ya.  If only Mom realized this very important truth her life may be a little easier.  We do have a baby and now we get to have two.  Breathe!  Just kidding, they will be nearly 2 years apart by due date. 
Fast forward to the gender reveal.  My appointment was during preschool so we got our news sans Mariah.  It's another BOY!!!  Not going to lie, my heart broke a little and it took me 3 days to get up the courage to break the news to Mariah.  When I finally did, her reaction made me cry.  I said "Mariah we went to the doctor and found out if we are having a boy or a girl."  She interrupted and said with an elated face "it's a girl!!!" I said, "no, it's a boy" and immediately her face dropped.  I explained how that means that she will be the ONLY PRINCESS and she didn't buy it.  In fact she ran from the room to be by herself and I could hear her say to herself, "I just really wanted a sister".  Seriously heart wrenching.  Especially because I really like having my sisters in my life but I also realize that she's not the only one to have to deal with this [not so big] trial in her life. 
She actually got over it pretty quickly and something tells me she will be just fine.  In fact, one of my best friends, Danielle, just had a baby boy and I took Mariah over to meet him with me.  She was in seventh heaven...boy and all. 
So there ya have it.  I'm glad that first 3 months of torture are over.  I swear my "all day" sickness gets worse every time...Or I just forget how things really are but I don't like that first trimester at all!  We are back to feeling 100% and getting more excited by the way. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Happiest Place on Earth

When we walked into Disneyland a sign said "The Happiest Place on Earth Just Got Happier".  Upon walking through the park for a bit Mariah said, "I know why the sign said it got happier.  It's because they added SO much stuff since the last time we came!"  No Mariah, you just must not remember the last time as well as you think.  But it is a pretty happy place.  Zach and Mariah both made it 12 hours in the park with no naps and no resting.  We packed in a lot for 2 little kids (Clayton stayed with Adam's sister, Penny).
Before we started our adventures, I painted Mariah's toes to look like Minnie.  She showed them off a lot, including showing Minnie Mouse herself and I'm pretty sure Mariah got the reaction that she wanted.  

The day before we went to Disneyland, we actually scheduled a "character breakfast" at the Paradise Pier Hotel.  We had heard they were a lot of fun and then we figured we wouldn't need to spend so much of our time in the park waiting in a line to see Mickey etc.  Totally worth it!  The kids got to really interact with the characters and spend some time.  I am in love with our pictures from the breakfast.  Each child's face tells the story so well.  Mariah in seventh heaven, Zach timid and refusing to take his eyes off a potential danger, and Clayton terrified beyond belief.

How can you put a price (and yes it is way over priced) on those smiles?  Having kids is sooo worth it, just in case you were wondering.  And I needed to remember this the morning after a long day at Disneyland.  Why do they have to wake up at 6:00 am no matter what???
The next day we woke up and said we were going to Disneyland.  Zach said "it's my birthday?"  He was so confused!  We kept saying we were going for his birthday which isn't until next month.  However, October is a lot more crowded so we went early.  He doesn't get why he's not 3.  We even got the happy birthday pins that they pass out and people kept asking how old he was.  He didn't know what to say.  If you ask him right now, he may not know how old he is.  You may get two answers.

Of course, the first thing we had to do was to head to Dumbo.  It was what Zach was most excited to see.  And he did love it.  He even got a blue one.  Heaven right there. 
 His other favorite ride may have been Mariah's favorite as well.  They both loved driving the cars at Autotopia.  In fact, they are convinced they did such a good job that they are
ready for the real thing.

After being on several rides and hitting the "must do's" we asked Mariah what she wanted.  Her response was "all you've wanted to do is ride rides the whole time!  I don't want any more rides!"  Granted this was after Pirates of the Caribbean, which scared the pants off of both of them.  What did she want to do then?  Walk around and take pictures.  Seriously?  I had to laugh but that's exactly what we did.  When she saw something she thought was cool, we stopped and took a picture.  I will save you from seeing a bunch of nothing but post a few of my favorites. 

Other highlights included Fantasmic and the parade.  Especially the Frozen float.  By especially, I don't think you can begin to grasp the excitement that came from seeing the REAL ONES.  
And to meet the real Tinkerbell.  Mariah even asked if she can REALLY fly and guess what?  She can! Cue wide eyes:  
One of my highlights was Splash Mountain with Mariah.  Soooo funny.  I wish she wasn't ducking in the picture because I would have loved to see her face.  She was all talk until we started going up that big hill.  When we go to the bottom she was freaked!  By the time we were off, it was awesome.  So of course, we asked if she wanted to go again....NEVER.  But if she tells you the story, it will be told like she was so very brave.

We also took the kids to the beach while we were there since the water was so great. Zach was running as far away as he could and Clayton running right for the water.  Add this to Mariah loving it but rough waves knocking her over = Adam and I having a very hard time with 3 kids by ourselves.  We didn't make it long.  Mariah and Clay cried when we left and Zach cried until we did.  My blissful life.   
We also went to Griffith Park with Nana and Pappy where we rode the train and carousel with a picnic on the blanket.  Loved the beautiful weather after a long AZ summer. 
Clayton had a blast playing with Nana.  How can you not love that face?  It's the simple pleasures for this little kid. 
And all 3 were spoiled with presents.  "Mom, take a picture of my new Elsa dress" then she proceeds to pose differently until I take a half dozen pictures and told her that's enough.
We ended our trip by attending the baptism of my nephew Calvin.  It's a terrible picture but the only one I have so there you go.

A very fun filled 4 days and a vacation they will remember.  I'm tired :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Our Month of August

We often try and get out on a morning walk before it gets too hot.  Unless we go to the pool, it's the only fresh air we breath for the day.  The one rule Zach has for our walks is that you CANNOT finish without first stopping at the grass and finding pine cones first.  Seriously, he's got some weird fascination and obsession with pine cones and acorns.  My house is FULL of them.  I even find them in the laundry as he stuffs them in his pockets.  They never cease to get the most giant grins you've ever seen.  It kinda makes me happy. 
Nanna and Pappy came to visit early in the month.  They stopped by just for a night on their way home from Tammy's house in Missouri because my nephew, Frankie, got home from his mission.  It made the kids giddy!  It was unexpected and sudden and better than Christmas.  Of course Mariah weaseled Pappy into making her his famous popcorn while they watched Wheel of Fortune.  
Clay indulged.  He was all in and ate soooo much.  A true Cuppett for sure.
Football season is here!  We scored free tickets to the first pre-game for the Cardinals this season.  Just me and the hubs.  Plus nothing beats watching a professional football game in an air conditioned building. 
Adam is over the primary for our stake.  This means he helped out a lot for the daddy daughter dance for activity days.  Yes, that means it was for girls 8-11 years old but we were able to sneak Mariah in for an hour.  The theme was "Daughter of a King" and so Mariah picked out a princess dress to wear.  She said that 'everybody kept telling her how much they loved it!'  Oh the humility.  But seriously, the stake went all out for this night and she had the time of her life.  When she got home I asked her about it and she wanted to show me a dance that she learned.  She had me turn on the music and then said "hit the beat" and went nuts.  I couldn't stop laughing!
 Speaking of dance.  She started up dance class again.  It's tap and ballet.  When she got her new tap shoes she danced in the kitchen the rest of the night with those things.  Yes, they get completely annoying! Little Miss Independent says she's big enough to stay all by herself and that I don't need to watch her so although every other mom waits for their daughter, I head to the grocery store because my daughter is too old for her own good and doesn't want my support!  However, we usually get there before it ends.  I took this picture mostly of Zach and Clayton looking on with admiration.  Mariah is the little girl in the corner.  She dances her heart out...until she catches you looking at her...then she's frozen.
Speaking of independence.  Today was her first day of preschool.  She was beyond ready.  All her friends started kindergarten a month ago.  Because she's one of the younger ones she was feeling very left out.  She's been waiting for preschool daily!  Of course today she didn't even want me to get out of the car and walk her to the door.  She can do it!  P.S.  Love the over sized backpacks.
 Zach and potty training...sigh...  He does good at not having accidents and I guess for that I should be grateful.  However, he doesn't do good at getting it all in the toilet.  In part I guess that's just boy problems but a girl was certainly easier.  I swear I clean up more pee on the floor that I should have too.  I've taken all the rugs out of my bathrooms for now because I don't want to add laundry to the hassle.  This picture was of Zach trying to wash his hands afterwards.  He couldn't find the step stool so he climbed on the toilet to reach the sink.  Not sure what happened but he ended up in the garbage can, stuck!  Boy was he upset and I had to leave him a little longer to get a quick picture ;)
 And finally to the runt.  He started saying a few words.  One is "mamma" and "dada".  Melt my heart.  He also makes a monkey, snake, cow, and lion noise.  In other words, eveything he knows doesn't really help us to communicate in the least.  He loves Kids Club these days.  Too bad we don't have a schedule that allows us to go more often.  He doesn't however, love the carousel ride afterwards.  He clings on for dear life but doesn't make a peep. 
And that's our August in a nut shell.  September should be interesting since we found out we will close on our new house on the 26th!!!  Just over 3 weeks left and we will be first time homeowners!!!  Can't wait!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Random Ramblings

I spent some time deleting pictures off of my phone today.  Most of the ones I deleted looked similar to this one.  I'm talking over 100 pictures of Zach's little finger blurring out basically nothing.  It bugged me and made me smile at the same time.
My big project of the year is finally finished.  I made a denim quilt for Zach's bed.  It was a LOT of pinwheels to sew.  It took me months but I'm in love with my final project.  I did a denim quilt with the anticipation that Zach and Clayton will eventually share a room, so in the future I would make a different patterned quilt for Clay and they would coordinate.  After completing this one, I'm not sure I'll have it in me to do another.  Stores prices suddenly become very inexpensive all things considered :)  A special thanks to my mom for helping me tie it while we were in Utah since she had the quilting frames.  We did a special "dimple stitch" so that you can't see any ties on either side.  Now all it needs it an actual bed so that it doesn't sit on the floor.
The big news around here is that we've got a walker!!!  Clayton took his first steps over a month ago and has gradually been getting more confident and steadier.  He is still not walking exclusively but is pretty close.  He's yet to learn how to stand up in the middle of the floor though.  He still has to pull up on something to get going so once he falls he just crawls.  
 My favorite part is how proud he is of himself.  Mariah and Zach may be equally proud.  They tell everyone.
When my mom watched the kids for a week in May she had a Marry Poppins party which included a tea party.  After that Mariah really wanted to have another one with her friends.  She planned the whole thing and they had a blast.  Each friend brought a bite sized treat (her idea) and played with a pretend set while they ate off of a real one. 
She is a girlie girl I tell ya!  Zach was more than happy to participate as Batman. 
Lastly, I came across this gem while cleaning out my phone.  Penny and two of her kids came to stay with us a few days while Abbie took some tests for school that were offered in Arizona.  Penny was reading Mariah a story and I had to smile that Mariah had her arm around Penny.  Just a happy moment in her life right there.