Sunday, October 28, 2012

Picture this!

So, my cameras are working great and I have taken tons (and tons) of photos but I can't find my card reader just now so I haven't uploaded them. It's probably not even that hard to find, but we just stay so stinkin' busy all the time I haven't taken much time to look.
   In my last post, the kids were just starting school. We're a couple months into 1st grade now and all is pretty well. The boys don't try to get out of going by pretending to be sick each morning and have lots of friends. I just went to parent teacher conferences and they are both doing fine. Right on track for their age and grade. I would say "average students" but considering the challenges they have to just sit still and learn being average is above average in my book. I am glad we spent so much time on workbooks over the summer so they had a head start though the class instruction is well behind what we were working on. And I am quite frustrated that Carter was graded at a reading level 1 less than the end of Kindergarten. I think testing technique probably plays into that because I think he is reading at least as well as then. It has been rough that his regular teacher had her baby the day after school started and won't return until next month. I have met her and she seems very capable and good with the kids but I don't think the substitute is the same. After all, subs don't have the same training. I just feel my C slipping compared to his brother and it is so frustrating. Here's hoping for changes next month.
   We just went through all our birthdays! Claire is Sept 20, the boys Oct. 6, and Lowell's Oct. 13th so I knock out the whole family in a few weeks. It was not a particular great few weeks I realized later because my stress to get everything just right took away from my normally fairly pleasant mood. My husband said he missed me. I hope I'm back! The parties did turn out well though and we had a lot of fun. The kids were thrilled with them and their presents so mission accomplished. Here's a little bit about all my growing monsters.
   Claire at 2! I can't even believe this little girly is 2 already. She is such a busy big little girl. She has developed much more rapidly than her brothers, partly because she was full term I would guess but I think more so just because she is a girl and girls are different! This girl is opinionated and knows what she wants, she can also voice what she wants much more than her bros could at her age. For instance, she'll want a drink (grink), she'll choose juice, and she'll point to the place on the table she'd like it delivered! She has a whole collection of bedtime pals (I'll put her in bed and she'll say, Hi guys!) and has names for each one. So when you take her out, she'll rattle off all the friends that need to come too, Dada, Mama, and Cute (pillow pet family), and blanket are the most popular. Plus a collection of babies, Minnie, Daddles, etc. She got a fun crib, feeding station from Aunt Sina and Uncle Mike for her bday (Cute the must have bedtime accessory was from grandma) and she has fun putting her babies to bed and feeding them, Baby night night, baby eat, etc. She likes to watch shows, Daniel the tiger, Doc McStuffins, Octonauts, and of course Bubble Guppies are hits with her. I started her watching some Disney in preparation for our surprise DL trip in December and she is obsessed with Nemo (Elmo-fish) now. It's hard because she has an Elmo app on the ipad as well as Nemo movie but she calls them the same thing and is not happy if you get it wrong. She is 60th or so for weight and 98th for height, my giant child (bros have always been more like 15th for height). She has had all her teeth for a long time (working on 2 year molars) and lots of long curly hair. She looks a lot older than she really is from that. She speaks well too so that doesn't set off the age thing, but her fits are fitting a young 2 child. They make me laugh though, I am so much more patient with 1 naughty silly child than I was with 2. I guess 2 is just too overwhelming, there wasn't a chance to sit back and laugh about it. The other day at the corn maze Claire decided she wanted to go one way and the rest of us chose another. She wasn't going to budge and just stood there and stomped her foot and then jumped up and down. Finally she gave in and joined us saying, "I the baby!". Yes, she knows her place and what that means. She also just learned to say Princess, something her brothers taught her not me. They really give in to her a lot, they love her and are so patient with her. I see through her though, she still fits her nickname of Beast! With the boys in school all day she's been my little buddy. Most mornings we'll drop the boys off and then bike or jog to a park. We go to the park almost every day. Winter will be a bummer, I'll tell you that! She loves the park and it great at climbing all over and going down the slides. And she LOVES swings. She's very persistent when she wants something, "swing swing swing swing swing" is often what I hear while I am trying to make lunch. And first thing in the morning it is always "canny (candy) canny canny canny". I fold too often too--she was easier to ignore when I didn't know what she was saying. Everything is also pretty, hair things, bracelets, finger polish and she likes to have them on. Such a girl. But she is also dirty 98% of the time so not all girl. Mostly she wants to be in everything, doing everything, and having all the attention to herself. And most of the time, that is what she gets.
    Carter and Davis at 7! I still can barely write that, it seems impossible that they can be 7. Or that in 1 year they will be 8. I can hardly stand it. They continue to love to ride bikes and come up with new tricks. Davis can now ride almost the whole block without hands. They just finished a season of flag football that they enjoyed. I think the play was a little more confusing for them, so I am leaning toward a different sport next year. They like to play soccer at recess at school, so that may be it, we'll see. They are fine with growth, still short and average for weight. They are very into Legos right now and that is one thing that will really hold their attention. Carter especially is very handy with building. They like to look at books too and read fairly well but it isn't something they seek out at this point. Friends continue to be a bigger and bigger part of their lives with them frequently asking to go play and even choosing that over fun family activities (to my distress). They have made a new little friend, D, who lives just across the street but isn't in our ward so we didn't know him. He's a nice kid so it's nice to have him around. They love playing wii and jumping on the trampoline, and throwing the football around. Lucky for me they still like to snuggle with mom and will sit in my lap to read or we'll all pile on the LoveSac (bean bag chair) and watch Netflix. Given their preference they would have a tablet each night with them, but they usually only get them on Friday nights, as Sat is the only day they don't need to get up early. They play app games and website games and watch Netflix. They have discovered a lot of new shows this way and are into things like Dirty Jobs and old cartoons. They spend so much time at school I don't get to take them near so many places. I miss them.
   So that's an update on them. Here's a few things we've been up to. We had my childhood BFF Kris, that I've kept in contact with through the years come to visit with her 4 kids. That was lots of fun and I love seeing how her kids have grown. And new this visit the kids are all old enough to really play together and have fun. My boys can't wait to see them again, I love that they are forming friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime as well. We've done more hiking and biking. Claire and I have been to the zoo and the aquarium and shopping. I went with the boys to their zoo field trip and have been taking them on date nights to the movies, dinner, and BYU games. We got a pass to Cornbelly's (Halloween place) and have gone there a lot this month. We've also used our Thanksgiving Point pass a lot going to to gardens, children's garden, dino museum, and farm. I just got back from a week in Dallas training on a new analyzer for work. It was hard to be away from my kids that long and to be alone, but it was a relaxing break as well--not being on call at work,  being fed constantly, and spending a lot of time socializing with other Med Techs. It reminded me that I have a mind to be used and has me thinking about new directions for my career. Most not until my kids are bigger but some changes I want to make now. It also made me realize just how fuzzy and tired I am usually as I now feel how it is to be well fed and rested, if briefly. And we're coming up on Halloween, we'll be carving pumpkins tonight, making caramel apples this week, and Trick-or-treating on Weds. Very exciting time of year. I will be disappointed to see it go and with it our mild fall. Winter is my low point in the year, there are still fun times to be had but I miss my outdoors time. Plus 2 year olds have to run and snow is not conducive to that.
   So there you have a bit of an update on us. There's more to be shared but I will do so another day, hopefully when I actually look for my card reader and you can see what I am talking about. :) Much love!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Summer Time, and the living is Easy!

This post is almost the whole summer! Finally adding it all on here, then I can remind the boys just how much we did this year. With school looming (approaching doesn't sound ominous enough), I am looking back at these pics and checking off my summer bucket list. We have done pretty much everything I wanted to. I would have liked to have gone rafting again or to the rodeo, but prices just weren't good this year. The must do still on the list is a campfire--we have that planned for tomorrow. Would also like to do to aviary (Monday) and Grotto Falls--next weekend perhaps. Just because school is starting doesn't mean all my outdoor fun has to end, but it sure will put a hamper on it :(. Good news is, Claire is getting to be really fun and she is ready to have all the attention for herself during the day. I am very NOT ready to relinquish my boys to school 6 hours a day but to cheer myself up I have planned to go to the zoo the first day and take sis to see her favorite movie the 2nd day (Pooh). Hopefully next week isn't too hard. Anywho--not thinking about that--here's what we did this summer!
Big Carter with his sweetheart of a K teacher, Mrs. M. He sure loved her, we'll see her Monday at Back to School and he can't wait. This was after their end of the year program. Carter had a part as the Big Bad Wolf and he did great.
Davis and Mrs. W, he can't wait to see her either. They sure did love school, their friends, and their teachers. Helps me feel better about them going back, knowing they are excited to be there. Davis did well in his final program too, lots of great singing. He broke down in tears at the end, so sad to be leaving. I bawled too of course.
After the programs we hit the Eagle Mountain carnival. They have a $1 night which is the amount I am willing to spend on a carnival ride. It was a big hit.
My Davis and I on the ferris wheel
And my Carter, we were all 3 in the seat, just hard to get the shot.
Fun house
They barely made height on this one, it went so fast but they were laughing and cheering.
Oh, the gravitron! I used to love this ride as a kid but rode it once as an adult and was so sick. The boys decided to go 3 times! I got sick just waiting for them.

The next day was the last day of school, I'm not sure where those pictures are, I'll add them later. I had candy leis for the kiddos as I picked them up (they loved it) then we had friends over for water fun in the backyard and to make pizzas.

With school out I had tons of plans for these guys--play dates, camps, lessons, etc. We had something nearly every single day for the whole summer. Let's see--reading class, library class, art class, cooking class, swim lessons, day camp, sports camp and then twin playgroups. Plus out other normal activities, hiking, Thanksgiving Point, the zoo, etc. And we went to Classic waterslides each week if they finished their workbook pages (3/day). It was a lot, probably too much as I always do, but I can say, they never said I'm bored! Hooray!
Claire bum at the Highland Splash pad with friends
Boys at Classic, this ended up being one of my favorite activities, the boys are big enough now to play independently with minimal supervision (plus good life guards) so I got to sit under an umbrella and read a book. Plus $1 snow cones. Lovely. We brought Daddy and Claire 1 time, sis loved it (me too). And T&L joined us a couple times too.
Camping in the backyard--sis doesn't do well overnight so the boys talked me into tent camping in the backyard one night. It turned out pretty well.

Silly billy girl loves her sunglasses
Davis at the children's garden
All 3 monkeys coloring
During the boys' art class on several days Claire and I joined gma to walk the gardens. Such a beautiful way to spend a day.

Tie Dye shirts from art camp
Mowing the lawn with Daddy

Beautiful girly!
Stick horses from art class

Carter making bead bracelts
It was our ward's turn again to be in the Lehi Miniature Float Parade. The theme was Angry Birds and since we had the costumes for it, the boys got to ride on the float. I followed behind them. It was hot, but fun.

That afternoon I had a groupon expiring for a jumping place in Lehi. I was just going to take the boys twice, but since it was the last day, we all played. Worked out well since Claire and Daddy enjoyed it that way as well. Jumping into the foam pits was different and fun, I couldn't get brave enough to really jump in, but Lowell rocked it. All 3 kiddos really had fun.

The zoo finally opened their new exhibit! We went a few times to see the seals, sea lions, bears, etc.

On the 4th of July, my parents' neighborhood has a big party. We were lucky enough to garner an invite and had fun playing there. The boys especially loved the dunk tank, it had the longest line oddly enough.
My Dad and Claire! This is a very rare glimpse of my dad smiling in a picture. He loves his granddaughter!

 That evening we had the Penrod clan (Becky and Dylan too!!) over for swimming, BBQ, and fireworks. I think everyone in attendance really had a blast. These kids are a riot.

Lowell and his siblings
 Off for a hike (with hats from Day Camp)--first around Silver Lake and up to Lake Solitude. It was a lovely cool hike (103 degrees in the valley!) though the lake was kind of puny at the end. Lake Mary is more impressive. Always good to try a new hike though.

My hiking fam
 I saw a deal for a free tumbling lesson, so we jumped on it. The boys really loved it, but it seemed to me their attention span isn't quite ready for it. The trainers were real sweethearts with them though.
 2012 Foam Day! Before
 For AF's steel days, there was a lovely firework show that was shot just behind my husband's uncle's house. So we took that chance to let Bean relish in her new love for fireworks. She really loved it.

 The boys' new obsession--Lego's! They can now build them pretty much all on their own and will truly focus for hours on it. Too bad the pieces are so easy to lose and not at all cheap.
 We added a new toy to our family line up (shared with Lowell's family), a paddleboat. We took it out on the Jordan River and had a nice little float. Next time we'll paddle up and then float down though, the return trip was hot and tiring. It was peaceful and pretty however.
 Play date at Alpine splash pad
 Silly Claire (yeah for mastering the American Idol game at Classic--I can routinely empty it of all the prizes now. :)).
 Sweet Miss waiting for the boys at swim lessons, what a trooper just hanging out through 8 lessons!

 Another new summer toy, a bike trailer. :) Now we can do family bike rides. Claire only does ok with it so far, I am hoping to have her warm up to it a little more as it is a good chance for exercise for me. This day we set out a little late and had all sorts of troubles (flat tires, trailer fell off . . .) so it did not turn out to be the best day. Actually the 2nd time I used it I chose poorly and went too far when it was too hot without eating and almost passed out. Here's hoping we find some better luck soon!
 Another Children's Garden visit

 We took a quick overnight to Bear Lake in August for Lowell's week off. Hillary came with us and Claire did better than she ever has sleeping there, but not great still. She got a terrible burn on her bottom that made the rest of the trip not great for her. We did love hanging out at the beach though and in the warm water.

 My handsome boys ready to Jet Ski! All of their favorite parts of the trip (Carter has decided that is what Santa should bring this year). I had fun until Lowell would go too fast or take a quick turn then I was just plain scared!

 North Beach was my favorite part of the trip, lovely sand and a great warm shallow area for Claire.
 Sand fight!

 We're switching cameras here, so a bit out of order. For the 24th of July my family came over for a bbq and fireworks (2 July holidays works really well to hit both families, plus double the Jello pops!).
 C checking out the new boat
 I think she's gorgeous!

Carter and Cyndel are so photogenic!
 So glad Uncle Rob could come hang out, Claire hasn't spent much time with him.
 Here's some updated shots of my puppies, post hair cut. They all just had birthdays.
 Maxwell, 9
 Oscar, 9
 Maddy, 8
After Bear Lake all the kiddos came down with some ick. Davis had it worst but they were all a little sedate. Such an utterly odd concept at my house! So unusual to have all 3 curled up watching a show, so I had to take a picture. They bounced back quickly.
Claire is just such a crack up! She keeps us entertained. Her vocabulary is blossoming and she says things with fun intonations as well. She loves to Hi to everyone a lot, mostly to get a response I think. Her favorite things right now are Buppies (Bubble Guppies), Elmo, and Pooh. She has stopped eating so well but will still request "canny" any time she can.
I finally got my trip to Timp Falls in. The boys' friend T was able to join us which was fun--they hiked better than usual that way too.
I sure love Timp
Handsome honey and cutie baby
Big C
I'm surprised T's mom wasn't upset at how late and dirty I returned her child! Eek!

So there's a lot of our summer. Of course just since I uploaded these pics and then commented on them I have more to add and say. The boys are 1 week into school now and doing well. Harder for me, but that's a topic for another day. I hope you are all well and enjoying the last dregs of summer (it's still 90s every day here, doesn't feel like summer is ending!).