Sunday, August 31, 2008

Preston Walks

Sunday Afternoon Walk

Our walking machine

Biking speedster
Scooter stunt girl


It's uncanny how much babies love real gadgets.
How do they know the difference between a cell phone that has service and one that doesn't?
Toy cell phones or keys don't hold the same fascination as the real thing.
They are also lightening fast. Preston can change the screen settings on my computer with one flash into the keyboard.
Remote controls? Same thing.
So, if your caller ID identifies me as the caller, but I don't say anything, it's probably my baby showing off his expert phone skills.

Happy Birthday Doug!

Between a birthday and an anniversary, August is ode to Doug month!
Happy Birthday honey! Maybe someday you'll catch up to me!
I'm so grateful for how hard Doug works for our family, for how well he provides for us, and for how much he loves me and how much he loves our children. He has a great sense of humor, he is so patient with me and with our kids. He is wise as we decide how to discipline and raise our children. He is willing to compromise and has a strong sense of what's right and wrong. He leads our family in righteous way, and I love him so much! What an amazing husband and father and friend.

my bathing boys

Happy Anniversary to us!

We celebrated the big eight... doesn't that sound like a long time?

I feel like a common theme among my blog entries of late is the quick passing of time.

It's been an amazing eight years. I love how we're even more in love now than when we got married. I love how we work together, how we feel like we're on the same team moving foward together. I love how Doug shows his love for me and how much he cares for me and how he supports me in my hopes and in my goals. I know he cherishes me as a wife, a woman and a mother.

We celebrated our anniversary by getting away to a bed and breakfast in Fredricksburg, a small, German influenced town in the Hill Country.

We had such a great time. It was so nice to get away with out our cute kids and to just be a couple again.

Our bed and breakfast was very secluded and private in a beautiful part area. It was so nice to be so close to nature and to be refreshed and recharged by the beauty surrounding us. It was amazing how the concerns that plague me at home left me as we drove farther and farther away. Out of sight, out of mind, I suppose.

We hiked to the top of Enchanted Rock.

We went country dancing often as we were dating, and Doug discovered a town called Luchenbach that features Country Dancing. The pavilion hosting the live band is open most nights, the dancing is free, although they request a donation for the band. The people there dance, as opposed to watching everyone else dance. There were lots of old couples out there twirling around. Apparently Luchenbach is quite famous. We had no idea until we returned, but the town is mentioned in several country songs.

We stumbled upon the bat caves just in time to watch all million plus of them exit the cave at dust. It was amazing to watch. We learned a lot about bats.

Thanks for planning such a wonderful getaway Doug! When do we go again?

Birthday Celebrations!

Happy Birthday Sweet Sophia!

What a fun day! We met Porter for lunch, went shopping for mermaid polly pockets and swimming flippers. We also went for a quick swim before the thunder rolled in and we watched the new Ariel movie. Sophia requested favorite dinner for dinner which we followed up with cake and presents. She was delighted with her whole day.

She was so easy to please. Four is a great age!

Sophia loves mermaids. As I was looking online for a cake idea, we saw a Barbie mermaid cake. After the sighting, no other cake would do. Thanks to a cake pan from my friend Eliza and to my resourceful sister-in-law Erin for an awesome marshmallow fondant recipe, I was armed with all I needed to create a Barbie cake. As I was working on it I wondered if it was worth the effort. But seeing Sophia's sheer and utter delight in the finished product made it all worth it.

poison oak

Avoid this plant at all costs!

While searching for cicada bugs, Porter brushed up against some poison oak. By the time it was all said and done, he was covered from head to toe.

This happened the Friday before school started. On Thursday I started to get worried, while the majority of his body was clear, his thigh was getting way worse. Then the deep, scaly red started spreading to the other side of his body. We're not sure why. It almost looks like he get reinfected, so I wonder if I missed washing a pair of poison oak oil tainted shorts.

I felt strongly like I needed to take him to the doctor, called the nurse, and after talking to her decided to give it one more night. On Friday, I took him in, and left with three prescriptions, a steroid (for swelling), an antibiotic (for infection), and an antihistamine (for swelling/allergic reaction). Of course I felt guilty because I hadn't taken him in earlier. As soon as the medicine kicked in he was visibly more comfortable.

Moral of the story, never, never, never get poison oak. It makes one unbelievably uncomfortable.

These are Porter's legs on Sunday, one week and two days after exposure. Four days after the flare up. You can see the difference between a healthy leg and an irritated leg. His legs looked much, much worse on Thursday.

Seven kids all called me Ma...

From Wednesday evening to Saturday afternoon...

* I didn't sit down to eat a meal, not once...

* I woke up many times during the night to attend to various children's needs... (six was the max one night)

* I learned what it felt like to care for twins (one 14 month old and one 16 month old)... wow what physically exhausting work. I have even more respect for Audra! It's also so rewarding to watch the little buddies, the partners in crime play together and speak their own little language

* I was emotionally taxed keep Porter and the little girl his age happy. Porter prefers to play with the 8 year old boy, which causes hurt feelings. You can only imagine.

* I totally enjoyed watching Sophia and the girl her age thrill at having constant play mates. I didn't see them much between dress ups and polly pockets.

* I hosted a primary board meeting and dinner at my house a few short hours after the kids returned home.

* I took a three hour recovery nap the next day.

But it was totally worth it!

We watched our friends kids for a long week-end and they returned the favor the following weekend. I just love how when you live far away from family your friends become your family. How wonderful it is to have friends that we could trust with our kids and who could trust us with theirs. We will definitely be trading again!

Hello First Grade.

I have been unable to both keep up with blogging and to wrap up the summer with a big bang. So now I'll attempt a little catch up!

Porter started first grade on Monday. How can it be possible that I have a first grader? Time seems to be accelerating at an alarming rate. I feel like if I blink I'm going to miss something big.

Porter's transition to first grade seems to be going just about as well, if not worse (if that's even possible) than his transition to kindergarten. He does well during the day with his teacher, but unleashes all of his pent up energy, emotion and frustration immediately upon arriving home.

I just keep reminding myself to breathe. If I can't model anger management how can I expect him to behave appropriately. But let me tell you, it is not easy. Especially when he starts chucking the Value Tale books over the balcony from the second floor to the first floor because I sent him to his room for a ten minute cool down period.
He sure is spending a lot of time cooling down. And I don't know how many more things I can take away.

I keep thinking I need to praise him more, and catch him being good. I am going to have to get very creative I suppose.

Every morning this week he has insisted that he's not going to school. I love fighting that battle every morning (not). It's a non-negotiable thing... so I don't know why he has to inform me every morning that he's changing the rules. He's also getting bigger and stronger. Physically assisting him to do something doesn't happen it's all about subtle coercion.

I love Porter so much, and when he's in good spirits he is such a charming and pleasant person to be with. I hope as the shock of starting back into such a structured environment will subside quickly and I'll see my sweet Porter more and more often. Although I hear from more experienced moms that the year before baptism is a beastly one. If this last week is any proof of this, I am not looking forward to the upcoming year.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Taking a Break

My brother Paul inquired about my mini hiatus from blogging... There have been several reasons...

1- We've been living up the last days before school starts...

2-We've been swimming and checking out the new jumpin joeys and playing with friends

3-Doug and I escaped for a childless getaway

4-In order to have a place for the kiddos to go, I watched my friends four kids for 3 days...

getting up 6 times in one night with different children...

not sitting down to eat one meal in three days...

Shucking Corn

They're actually really good at it. The best part is, it really helps me out and it keeps them busy!

First Haircuts

....well, technically I guess this is Preston's second haircut, we had to trim around his ears when he was ten months or so... but Doug did it when I wasn't home, and we didn't get any pictures... so here is a documented hair cut... still nothing too big, a little trim around the ears, the neck and the forehead...

Rag Quilt

In June my sister-in-law Erin showed me how to make these adorable rag quilts.

It sounded like a great idea to make one for Doug's sister's new baby Tatum, due the middle of July... right...

It was way more detailed and time consuming than I had imagined. Yeah, those seams are sewn every inch... and each strip then had to be snipped so it would fray properly in the dryer

Soooo almost a month after our little niece was born, I finished up the blanket, vowing that this was my first and my last!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Another tooth down...

The White Shirt

What is it about white shirts?

No matter how many I acquire I feel like am continually questing after another perfect white shirt.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

another lost tooth ... tonight!

Baby Tatum

This is our newest niece. Doug's sister's baby. Isn't she a cutie!

When I was in Utah, a friend, who doesn't blog, but who does watch the Good Morning America Show, told me about a blogger who was recently featured on the show.

How did she make national television?

Now, I'm not endorsing her blog, but she's an ex-Mormon who lives in SLC, and who makes $40,000 a month from her very liberal and kind of crass blog... yes a month, not a year... She gets over 5 million hits a day, and she makes the money from advertising... Maybe I need to make my blog a little more edgy...

Here's a little more FYI. If someone says they got dooced, it means they lost their job from something they put on their blog or other online site. The above mentioned blogger lost her job because she made fun of her boss after she was stuck with an overdose of botox. She started blogging, and made a name for herself. She also created a new word... dooced.

Summer Crafts

I have a fun craft book for kids, we made a list of supplies we needed to do the crafts that looked interesting, and headed to Micheal's to stock up.

Ideally we would do one craft a day, yeah that hasn't happened. But we have made some fun things, and we have lots more to do!

I love summer.