Monday, September 30, 2013

Cute Clips and Some Random Cuteness!

Cute Clips
Over the past few weeks Liam has gotten so chatty! I LOVE it! I posted a little clip of Liam jabbering on facebook but here is the extended version and a clip of him with his new toy (which by the way has been the greatest thing I've bought thus far for him!).

Since these clips he's already grown and learned so much! He is a bouncing pro now! Before he liked to sit in it to look around and he'd occasionally bounce or  he'd lose his rhythm and get out of control but now he's got it down!

His hand eye coordination is improving now too and he can actually bring things to his mouth.It's so fun to watch him learn and grow!
Enjoy some baby cuteness to kick off your week!

video

video

Some Random Cuteness
In my last post I put a picture of Liam sucking his thumb. He discovered this new trick at pack meeting a few weeks ago and now he does it all the time! I have a lot of people telling my I should pull it out when he puts it in (and I probably should) but I think its so dang cute I just don't care and I let him suck away!

More yummy thumb

He LOVES his bath! When I don't let him chew on a wash cloth it's back to the thumb :)
Lastly we took all the kiddos to a Halloween shop and came across a cute little Jack Skelington bib and hat. My sister is obsessed with Tim Burton and the Nightmare Before Christmas so we took a pic in the store with it just for her.
After the Halloween shop we went to the Cracker Barrell and had a great family outing! Karson ordered breakfast and the butter came scooped into a little ball. He picked it up with his hands and said "Look! My pancakes came with ice cream!" Oh my goodness I almost fell out of my chair laughing! We also let the the big kids order big meals (instead of kids meals) and Logan had probably 5 plates of food with his and he of course ate every bit of it! Love all my cute boys! Here are a few more cute pics.

Just for you Aunt Emily!

Justin and Logan playing checkers

Kaiden and Karson playing Checkers

Liam relaxing in an itty bitty rocking chair (still WAY to big for him)

Happy boy with his toy

Space Derby, Football and a GNO

Space Derby
My cute little cub scouts had a Space Derby about 2 weeks ago and it was so fun!
The boys each had to sand the rocket down to the size and shape they wanted and then assemble the rubber band motor. Grandma Allen loaned them some paint to decorate them with and then all that was left to do was race!

I'd never heard of a space derby but it was actually pretty cool! They attach the rockets to a line strung out across the gym so they can fly and race.
Kaiden's went SO far his first run and then Justin broke his rubber bands trying to help him get ready for his next run. He then broke a dozen more trying to fix the motor. Poor Kaid was finally able to race again at the end of the night but he just had all kinds of issues once dad got involved! He was given the "Mechanics Dream" award haha.
Karson's did pretty well most of the runs too and at the end he and Kaiden had to race each other one on one for 3rd place. They went back and forth winning a couple times and finally Karson took it.
Grandma Allen and Great Grandma and Grandpa Young popped by to watch the kiddos at the end of the night and the boys were thrilled to see them. Overall it was another successful pack meeting! I love the kids leaders!

Kaidens first race

Woohoo! Went the farthest!

Karson's red rocket in the lead

Woohoo he won his first one!

Brother vs. Brother

Some of their spectators

Logan being gross funny

Liam discovered his thumb while at Pack Meeting!

Giving out awards

Karson's 3rd Place

Kaiden's Mechanics Dream
Flag Football
Karson has had 2 flag football games now and I'm happy to report he's doing really well! Justin said he's a great defender (or something like that) and a great receiver but not so much with the quarterback position. They rotate through all the different positions and are figuring out who is best where.
Karson's first game he caught the kick off and ran 20 yards or so with the ball. They lost the first game but it was fun to watch them find their groove and we learned a lot about the rules (which I guess are kind of goofy compared to tackle football rules.)
His 2nd game I actually missed because I was setting up for a Primary function at the church but they won and Justin said the team as a whole did so good! They are gelling better and are figuring out who should be where.
This is the first sport we've played that has practice. T-ball and basketball they just had the games but he has practice and was even given some plays to take home and study. He is really loving it even though it's taken a big chunk of his time. I got a few pics from the first game but not very many because I was so focused on trying to figure out the rules. Here is one just so you can see him in his uniform. I'll have to get some betters ones at the next game.



Girls Night Out
Lastly I had another GNO finally! We were doing them about every month or so for a while but 3 of the 5 of us got pregnant at about the same time and then all kinds of crazy life things happened and we weren't able to make a get together happen with ALL of us until now.
Which is amazing considering 3 of us spent the day at Primary's (one works there, one had a little one that needed to be up there and I was there to be with the one who's little one was having issues) I'm happy to say that we ALL made it to the girls night though! And we definitely all needed it! It was so great to spend the evening building each other back up to face the world and laughing!
Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of all us like normal :( but we did get a pic of the babies who are all the same size but range in age from 7 weeks to 3 months to 4 1/2 months. I think there is 6 weeks between mine and Tecia's (hers is just older) and 6 weeks between mine and Sarah's (hers being younger). It was fun to see them all side by side and I can't wait to watch them all grow and have fun together!

Wa'akea, Liam and Carson


They are all SO cute!

Tecia trying to measure them

Lindsay with a couple of the babies




Monday, September 23, 2013

Thoughts and Timing

Last night I couldn't sleep.
My mind wandered making to do lists for everything we have coming up.
Then of course I'd pause every few moments to listen for sweet sleeping baby sounds. For some reason Shawn popped to my mind. I don't think a day has gone by since his passing that I've not thought of him but for whatever reason I was especially sad thinking of him last night.

My mind raced through all the things in the past 6 months (still can't believe its been 6 months!) he missed. Liams birth, Liams blessing, Karsons first football game, slurpee day, summer camp outs, the list goes on and on. I can't help but wonder what he'd be doing and saying at each event. Or I catch myself imagining his laugh or the proud smile he'd have.

Then my mind went to all the upcoming events that just won't be the same this year. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, All of Liams firsts (first word, first steps, first tootsie roll that grandpa would already be trying to sneak to him I'm sure haha).
I really try to push those kinds of thoughts from my mind when they come because I get so frustrated and it literally makes my heart ache at times that both he and Liam will be robbed of the memories the other grandkids have. Last night I just couldn't help the thoughts from pouring through my mind though.

When we found out we were having another baby boy, 7 years after our then youngest, I really struggled with the timing of it. I questioned God and wondered why. I still don't have all the answers as to the timing and the why of how things are. Maybe I never will.
I did have one tiny good thought come to mind though.
I thought that during this tough year of firsts without Shawn it is really nice to have a year of happy firsts with Liam to distract us.
Maybe that is part of the why in all this timing.
Maybe we needed this cute little baby to breath some fresh life into us all when we get down.
As we try to make a new norm without Shawn its nice to have such a squishy cute addition to the family. Emily is such a help with him and I love watching her be such a good auntie to him. RaeLene is the best grandma I could ever ask for my boys to have and seeing her snuggle him warms my heart. Justin is amazing with babies and loves to try to make him giggle.  Liam really is such a blessing and makes my heart want to burst with happiness at times.
Maybe he knew we needed a piece of joy to celebrate at each milestone and that Liam having his firsts along side the missing grandpa firsts would ease the pain a little and balance each other out in sort of a bitter sweet way....
Just some thoughts from a sleepless night.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Yellow belts, Baseball and other randomness

Yellow Belts
Guess who got there yellow belts?! :) My cute big boys all passed both their written and physical test and were promoted to yellow belts. They studied and were able to get high scores on the written (over 95%) which was a huge relief to them. Here they are in class right after putting on the new belts!
doing the physical test

Promoted to yellow belt :)

The boys are all still enjoying Tae Kwon Do and so they are going to continue for another year with it, which means, another year of being busy Tuesday and Thursday nights and the occasional Saturday but they like it and are learning a lot so we'll keep at it.

Other Activities
On top of Tae Kwon Do Kaiden has started piano again (which is also on Thursdays). He's really getting pretty good and I love to listen to him practice and sing. I wish so badly I had some sort of musical talent like him. It's nice to have somebody who can fill our home with music.

The twins both have scouts Wednesdays and they still love it! They ride their bikes to the church together and are always early because they get so excited to go. I'm so thankful that they have good leaders who make it fun so they gain a love for scouts now and will hopefully continue to love it as they get older.

Justin is still working 2 jobs at the moment which means I get to do all the homework and running around to extracurricular's by myself. Its not a huge deal but Tae Kwon Do gets out right at Liams bath time so he's usually fussy when its time to pick up the boys and I feel bad for him. I don't think Justin loves working 2 jobs (who would?), just because he's gone from us so much, but it hasn't been too bad until today. Today was Karson's first day of flag football practice and Justin had to miss it and it killed him! I think Karson did pretty well but really I don't know much about flag football rules so it's hard to say. And since Liam went with me to practice a good chunk of the time I showed him off to the coaches wife and chatted with her. I think we must be crazy for adding another activity to our already crazy schedule! Karson will have practice Tuesdays and then games on Saturdays. Justin will for sure be able to make it to the games though, so once he see's Karson play I can give a more accurate report on how he's doing :) I'll post pics after the game too.

Justin is still in the young mens presidency and I'm still in the Primary presidency. I have definitely been a slacker in my calling the past few months but am finally feeling rejuvinated and rededicated to it. I love the primary kids and the fun we have each Sunday in Primary. I never didn't like it I was just a slacker. I guess that happens sometimes when we've had a lot of physical and emotional draining things going on. Not that any of that is an excuse. Just something has to give sometime and I'm lucky enough to serve with amazing women who pick up the slack and didn't mind me being a slacker while dealing with everything else going on in life.

Baseball
Justin and I got to go out on a double date with some friends to the Bees play off game. We got a sitter (thanks Joanna!) for the big boys but took Liam with us. He did great and slept most of the game and even slept right through the fireworks at the end of the game. We always have so much fun with these friends and this night was no exception! Lots of laughs and lots of great quotes we'll be talking about for quite some time! Thanks for the awesome night out Linz and PJ!
We were able to get a picture of Liam with the Bee at his first baseball game!

Liam at his first baseball game
Other Randomness
I felt oh so productive today because I was able to blanch and freeze 3 batches of squash (so I can have my favorite casserole in the winter) and since I was at it I went ahead and made 4 meatloafs and 2 lasagna's to freeze. I love having freezer meals (especially since we're gone from 3 till who knows when on weekdays) and I really love when Liam lets me be productive.

Casserole guts and meatloaf. Didn't get a pic of the lasagna's
The big boys are all getting into a good groove at school and getting homework done at home. I'll start volunteering in a week or so and am so excited to see them during the day again. Choir is also starting in a couple weeks and I'll be helping out again this year which means Liam will be hanging out at school a lot. Wish us luck!
 Liam is just cute as ever! I love his schedule! Who knew switching nap time and play time could make such a difference! He's getting to be a pro in his bouncer and he even talks now! He says Ah-goo, geee, razzes and has even started to squeal. I LOVE it! Baby sounds are the best! When I get all the video loaded onto my computer I'll have to post it to share his adorable smiles and squeals :) Here are a few adorable Liam shots from the past week or two.

Looking sharp in his new church suit!

this one makes me giggle. Such a funny look and pose

We got a new sling and we love it!

bouncer+outdoors=Happiness!

getting so good at lifting his head and chest up at tummy time


mama and da baby

He seriously LOVES his jumper!

Lastly Liam has been able to play with a couple friends while the boys are in school and I of course snapped pictures :) Here is some cute baby playdate pics! The last four pictures are with Becca to show how much he's grown in just a month. It's crazy how quickly he's growing!

Liam and Carson

Liam and Carson again

Liam and Oliver

Liam and Oliver...probably looking at Korben :)

Becca holding Liam

little Liam with Becca

catching up to her!



That is the latest in our world. Wish me luck in keeping my sanity as Halloween and all the other crazy holiday madness begins on top of the circus I'm already in :)



Monday, September 9, 2013

Best $3 spent in a long time



Have you heard of Baby Wise?
It's a book.
The book claims it will teach you how to "give your baby the gift of sleep".
Well I read it and actually it teaches a lot more than how to give your baby the gift of sleep.

I saw some people talking about it on Facebook and then it just so happened that somebody was selling it on one of the yard sale sights I go to on facebook. Seriously so worth the $3.00! I loved it!
After reading it, I've mentioned it to a couple people with babies this past week, and a couple have told me that they read it already and their babies have been sleeping anywhere from 8-12 hours a night since 8-10 weeks old! WTH?! Why didn't anybody tell me about this sooner! It's a quick read and it really was good!


Now that I've sung its praises let me go on to say it obviously isn't for everyone. Everyone has their own style and personalities. Whatever works for you and your baby is fantastic.

For me a lot of the information I was getting about breastfeeding was coming from attachment parenting methods and I didn't even realize it. If you are an attachment parenting style parent and it works for you and your baby then good on you. I hold no judgement. Really. I hate how up in arms people get about different parenting techniques. As long as you are doing your best (which I think we all are) and aren't putting your baby in danger then I think we should all be more supportive and understanding of one another.

I personally am not a person who can wear my baby 24/7 or nurse for hours on end and nurse sporadically (sometimes 1 1/2 hours between feedings sometime 20 minutes). We were doing that for the first 10 weeks or so but I couldn't plan my day, was completely exhausted, had a tired fussy baby a lot of the time and it was becoming detrimental to my relationship with my other kids. I needed to find a way to get some routine in our lives and this book definitely helped. We are not on a rigid 3 hour feeding schedule (which would be the opposite of attachment parenting IMO) but we have found a happy medium and do have some order in our lives now. Sleeping through the night was just a perk :) and now not only am I well rested (making me a better mom to ALL my kids) Liam is well rested, well fed and so happy!

Sooo for any of my friends who might be exhausted or want a few baby tips, in my opinion Baby Wise is worth a read. And to my friends who already knew about Baby Wise...no more holding out on cool baby finds! :)



Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cascade Springs

All my boys at Cascade Springs

Justin has been working a ton lately now that he's working a second job (I'm not complaining..it's been nice having money again after it being so tight the past few months) and on top of that he's been helping out some friends and family members with car repairs and house projects on the weekends. Throw that on top of school starting which means homework, the kids extra curriculars, and a baby and we have been VERY busy to say the least!
Justin decided, after working 15 hour days this past week and working all weekend the past two weekends, that it was time for some family fun time away from the city!

So we headed up American Fork Canyon and went to Cascade Springs! If you've never been you really should go sometime! There are three loops (trails) that you walk and they go over and around waterfalls, pools of water and all kinds of vegetation. The water is so clear you can see straight to the bottom and see the fish perfectly. The trail is paved or board-walked the whole way so its an easy hike/walk for small kids. Outings like that are perfect for our family because we all love the fresh air (especially Liam), the kids can run and be wild, and Justin always comes back home feeling refreshed and happier after a nice outdoor activity. Now we'll be ready to get back to our hectic life come Monday. We packed a picnic to enjoy while up the canyon (you can't picnic at Cascade Springs though, so plan on eating else where on the way up or down the canyon).
Here are some pics from our fun outing this morning and afternoon.

My little boys in front of the sign at the top of the trail head

One of the waterfalls

Playing by the water

family photo

Going over one of the many bridges




One of the trees with berries

First sign of fall! My favorite season!

This is the water! So clear we can see everything at the bottom perfectly

One of the fish we spotted

Logan and mom

Liam loving the stroller

Kaid and dad playing in a tree

Kaid LOVES climbing and hanging in trees

Karson helping push Liam up the hill


Me and my babies!