Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy happy birthday children dear . . .

I am sure we did more stuff between the last post and this, but I didn't take many pictures. We had a play date at the children's garden with T&L I know and have had Friday Fun day each week but a lot of that has just been going to the park, it has been hard to find time to play a lot before school starts each day. Anyway, work in progress.
Back to the fun--Claire had her first birthday! My teeny baby is 1, I can't even believe it. Seriously, I refuse to call her a toddler, she is still my baby. Although 1 has sure brought some attitude with it, sheesh little miss. Someone is discovering how to exert herself on her world and is using her independence to be awfully demanding and loud. Little stinker. She is so busy and into everything already! What have I done to breed such busy kiddos? Cute little thing too though, she always has us laughing. Here she is on her big day: We had her favorite foods for lunch, macaroni and cheese and cheetos. She chowed it! Then Lowell and I took her out on a date with just Mommy and Daddy (thanks Dinda for watching the boys). We took her to the aquarium and let her run and explore. She loves fishies. Then we took her to Sweet Tomatoes (soup/salad buffet) because there is so much for her to munch on there. She had quite the feast, and ice cream too of course. She also shared a lot with the floor (at our house that's not a big deal, 3 little scavengers circle her high chair at each meal wating for such an opportunity). Some random photos between her birthday and the parties: Jammin on their PaperJamz Sissy loves books, and loves to make the elephant sound with this book particularly. And isn't she just so dang cute in a hat?! Last ride on the old bikes, sporting some Green Lantern prizes they had picked up. We took these out to ride and the chains kept falling off, etc. They are 2 years old, too small, and barely functioning. But all their friends play out in the court on their bikes, so that day during school Lowell and I went and picked up new bikes as an early birthday present. I kept trying to wait but there is only so much good weather left, we just let them have them early. Yeah, they were thrilled! And Claire still likes to rock her car. :) And size 18 month jammies, who said you could get so big?? So on to the big parties. Let's just say this was a huge stress for me. It was the 1st and 6th birthdays and I wanted to do it up right. We plan to do Disney for their bday next year and by 8 I don't think they will be as into parties like this. Last year Claire had just been born so I went pretty easy then and the year before we had done Disney. So, this was the year. But I still think Chuck E Cheese would have been immensely easier and less stressful, not to mention cheaper. Oh well, I am happy with how the carnival birthday turned out, even if I didn't sleep for a week and felt like a Mack truck had hit me the next day. If you could see how the kids reacted to it all, it was all worth it. They flipped for the cake and loved all the games and attention and having friends over. And I'll do anything for my kids, so there you have it. Here we go, drumroll please, the cake! 1 12" chocolate, 1 12" vanilla, 1 10" vanilla, Wilton carousel kit and a great new marshmallow fondant recipe that was really yummy. Maxwell starred in our petting zoo There were 10 stations, 7 games plus face painting, cotton candy, and balloon animals/hats. All the games were marked with bunting and had prizes associated with them. Lowell helped me decorate the deck with tulle and more bunting. So much of my family came to help, they are so wonderful! I put everyone to work running each station, here's my dad with L playing Balloon Pop. My nieces H&A playing Hit the bottle My soon to be brother-in-law Todd and our little friend T playing Cup Toss My mom helping J with golf My sister Cyndel painting A's face Carter displaying her talents, roar! Table wear and fresh popped popcorn More pics of the cake, with the addition of chocolate letters/number Homemade corn dogs, thanks to my Dad and Hillary. We also had hot fresh pretzels, cotton candy, lemonade, watermelon, carrots and dip (had to have something healthy!), chips, and soft serve ice cream (I just love our soft serve machine, I could eat it everyday, especially the raspberry frozen yogurt--I can serve that to Claire as baby food frozen or not.) This was the popcorn game, or just how many kids can jump with balls at one time. The after picture of the cake, always a little sad for me. We're still eating it, it is seriously yummy thanks to my friend Kris for the recipe. Mmm, cake. Then they opened presents and had a few more minutes of loud craziness that only 12 4-6 year olds can produce and the non-family members went home. Then we jumped right into Claire baby's birthday party. Here's her cute hair for the event: We played a Who Knows Claire best game that my mom won. Then Claire ate her cake while we watched her first year video. Cutie girl in her pettiskirt: And with her smash cake Here's her big cake, yea that was a lot of star tip piping. But I truly love it! The letters are chocolate. She loved it too!! Then she opened some presents: Had a sugar coma and went down for her nap! :) Rob and Cam stayed to play a little longer, but I crashed! The boys broke out their new scooters (thanks gma and gpa) and had some fun: After her nap sis was busy with her new baby and stroller: And I repurposed the cake's tutu for her new baby. The next day we all felt a bit better and were able to unwind while the kiddos checked out their new toys: These were the goody bags: And here's a few videos to enjoy:
Claire walking on her birthday:

Singing Happy Birthday to Davis

And then to Carter

And silly Claire dancing with her new toy:

Phew! There you have it! It was exhausting but I think it turned out pretty good. Almost pinterest worthy ;). Next we have the boys' actual birthday with a few surprises up my sleeve for that (Cornbelly passes, breakfast with a witch), plus birthday photos, parent/teacher conferences (praying that goes well!), the boys' dr appt (Claire had hers and everything was good, 20.5 lbs (40%tile) and 29.5 inches (60%tile), doing fine developmentally, ready for cow's milk [made it to 1 with just breastmilk, woot!], peanuts, etc). So, more to come! Loves to all, I hope the lovely fall weather we are enjoying here you are enjoying wherever you are. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

End of summer, sob!

I can't believe my summer is coming to an end already. I swear it just started. I was refusing to believe it since the weather has been quite warm still and I haven't seen a lot of leaf change yet but it's there. In the darkness falling so much sooner, inching into my walking time every day. And the little bit of chill in the air as I walk to my car after work (5 am). I knew summer was coming the opposite way, the nip in the air receded, and now it's back. It's not that I don't love fall, we're football fans, love Halloween and everyone's birthday is in the fall except for mine. I just love summer too. I have so much more hiking and outdoorsy stuff I want to do. And so many more hours I want my kids to be outside, not inside going crazy! Oh well, it will come like it or not. Here's how we finished out the summer.
The boys playing with little battle bugs:

And Claire eating one, no fear with this one!

And Claire was kind enough to drive us to the aquarium, good job sis. One more place checked off my to do list in the weeks before school started. Thanks to Hill and Todd for coming.

Claire baby loves popsicle (hey, it was sugar free!) and her little car. She likes to get in (all on her own) and then close the little door. She always has to be sitting in it with the door closed. She makes me laugh.

Hill and Todd also joined us for a trip to see the Dinos (and notion of motion exhibit). Carter was thrilled, he'd been asking to go for a while. Another place checked off.

They had a fantastic time at a friend J's birthday party. Oh my, Star Wars theme, life if wonderful! Chewbacca was there and they got Jedi capes and light sabers. That mom rocks, just gonna say.

And Claire's first time with bubbles :)

Grandma was kind enough to join us to check another place off our list, the zoo. The dinos were just about to leave from there, so it was good timing. Everyone had a good time, even if it was pretty hot.

Tried double teeny buns on Claire, love this picture of her, especially her eyes! She is happy at the zoo, I think we may take her there for her birthday.

C man on the carousel (he always picks the preying mantis)

And did I mention it was hot? I got the kiddos some ice cream to help with that problem and Claire begged her way into the rest of mine. Oh my how she loved it. She was sticky from head to toe!

We lost one son that trip . . .

Oh wait, he's okay. Silly boys.

Davis and the prarie dogs.

Grandma had some changes to her schedule which has allowed her more time to spend with us. And I love it! She also joined us for a $2 Tuesday version of Trilobite Treasures. I didn't love it. So much less help/attention (busier) meant we found so much less. It was super super hot and we just hardly found anything at all. Sure it was cheaper, but kind of a bummer. At least Carter has stopped asking about it.

She also helped us check another long awaited item off the list, the Gardens. I can't believe how little I have made it there this summer. Darn right depressing. We were just so busy. Well, 2 more months to enjoy it, I need to catch up!

Davey boy

And Carter cutie

Watching a frog (we found 4 that day)

Just so beautiful I can hardly stand it!

Funny baby (who no longer participates with photo time, sigh)

Love this one!

And time for 11 month pictures, holy cow this girly is growing! And no, she will no longer lay down for pics, smile, or look at the camera.

Back to our checklist, we celebrated the last day of summer (i.e. day before school started) with a trip to Trafalga. Okay, it started as a trip to Classic fun center but unfortunately they were closed for remodeling. So we didn't get near enough use out of that pass. Boo. Next summer, a few less classes and more free time to play! Although I don't regret this summer, they definitely had a lot of fun. So Trafalga-

Laser Frenzy (what a blast, they climbed over and under lasers like spies and got lots of tickets for it!).

Air hockey


Mini golfing

And laser tag. Plus picking out prizes with their winnings. It was a nice way to wrap up the summer.

Just in time for the first day of kindergarten! Aaah! Lowell took a half day so we could take them to lunch before dropping them off. That's probably why I didn't cry, Lowell would have made fun of me. And Carter seemed a little anxious and I didn't want to make it worse for him. But I did have to take a deep breath after my voice cracked. They're my babies!

New Star Wars watch was their first day of school gift

Carter's back walking in, doesn't it just make you bawl? His backpack is as big as him!

Good news is, 2 weeks in now and no complaints from teachers! I can hardly believe it. I was hoping they would do well but still wondering if some of their behavior issues were really off for 5 year olds or not. Not saying they have been perfect but so far so good. They have been happy to tell me about their days, their new friends, what they are learning. Carter would be happy to count to 100 for you. Davis has surprised me the most, adjusting so well. Carter has struggled a little more, just acting out, being overly emotional, etc. as the school day approaches. I've tried to give him extra cuddles and Lowell is giving him extra play time, so hopefully he'll get through it. It hurts me that he is feeling anxious, even if he won't voice that to me. I asked Lowell if I could pull them out of school and he said, well, it's a law now that they go so I guess I am out of luck. Gonna have to let go a little and let them grow up. Sigh. They have been having play dates with kids from the ward/their classes which thrills them to no end and have some friends from t-ball, summer camps that they see at recess. They haven't had any complaints about being in different classes and simply say they see each other at recess. A couple of times I have watched them playing and Davis will get "caught" in a game of tag and Carter will run from the other end of the playground to rescue him (Let go of my brother!). I love it. And they have played together better away from school. So all in all, it is going well so far. For them. For me, I miss them. And I still am so busy. I thought I'd be getting more done with the time I have. Claire and I have gotten more naps which is very nice though.

For Friday Fun day last week we went to play at Carl's Jr (I've been working on getting a better schedule so we can get out more).

And while they were in school Lowell helped me with Claire's birthday invite pics, it is a Claire Bear birthday after all (this will be her Halloween costume as well)

That afternoon she and I went with Hillary and grandma to shop for wedding dresses. And she found one, yeah! It's gorgeous of course, but you'll have to wait and see the fantastic finished product. We also had dinner with Cyndel and had a wedding planning session. Claire had fun with a girl's night out.

So Monday was Labor Day and we celebrated it with my grandma in Ogden. There was a bit of family drama involving the boys but I don't want to get into it right now. The kids loved seeing Oma and their cousins and that's what mattered. And a trip to Beus's pond, it's right by my grandma's house so I have memories there from when I was little too.

Yeah, she still loves her Daddy! And you think he likes her too? Just a little?

We finally made it to one of the hikes from my book that I have been wanting to do and it didn't disappoint. Lake Mary up Big Cottonwood Canyon near Brighton ski resort. I was huffing pretty good getting up the steep parts (out of shape!) but the lake at the end was certainly worth it.

Oh yeah, and it was actually cold. Haven't been cold in a while. It was kind of nice. Bless Carter's heart he shared his coat with his little sister on the way back. Mom was not prepared for cold.

Same face! :)

See the video at the end for my new happy place. It was just so peaceful and lovely there. We were the only ones at the lake (plenty of people on the trail though) and you could just hear the quiet lapping of the water on the rocks. There was a moose grazing on the other side of the lake (we saw a fox on the way up too). Heavenly!

Just some cute kiddo shots

Wednesday we took the dogs to the groomer so we played at CJ's again and Claire climbed all over that playground. We were the only ones there so I took her up and she had a blast. And the boys had a blast showing her around. It was really fun.

Wednesday night (after a 3 hour nap, bless you Lowell) we went to the Children's Garden, finally, it has been forever. And though the kids resisted on the way over, we all loved it. We were the only ones there and the weather was perfect. Such a lovely lovely evening.

And that about catches me up, whew! Today for Friday Fun Day grandma joined us for a trip to the farm (Claire loved the pony and wagon ride) and then to run some craft related errands. I am deeply entrenched in a triple birthday party. It's gonna be a big ordeal, wow lots to do still. I think it will turn out amazing though. Then onto Lowell's bday, Halloween, Hillary's wedding and maybe a work trip. Lots coming up!