Thursday, December 22, 2011

Family Fotos

Can I tell you how much I D.R.E.A.D. taking family pictures? It's a necessary evil really. I looooovvveee having the pictures but I dread the blood, sweat, and tears, it takes to get them. And I fear it will only get harder as our little family keeps getting bigger. However, this time it wasn't near as painful as it usually is. Thanks to our awesome photographer, Joy, we were able to walk away with some great pictures and very little pain. The "little pain" was because it was a fairly cold day but since she isn't Mother Nature, I forgive her ;-). Addison and Jonas both let us know when it was time to give-in and call it a day. Thankfully we still managed to find some cute ones before they quit. Here are a few of my favorites...

I think I'll start researching the "perfect family photo" day and book our next session on that day. Of course with two kids aged two and younger, they eventually hit meltdown mode no matter what the weather is like.

See what I mean?

Bell Family Bash 2011

We were lucky enough to enjoy a "Pre-Christmas" celebration of sorts with my side of the family this past weekend. It seems to be a tradition that we all get together the week before Christmas and celebrate the holidays together with my Mom. It's always so fun to see all the Aunts/Uncles, cousins, and Grandma, and have a whole weekend to do nothing but play, sleep, and eat. Sounds like a great combo to me! :D

Thanks to my younger sister Cass, we actually have pictures to document the momentous event. Yes, due to her being the youngest, she's an obedient little errand girl and takes care of all the extras while us older siblings sit back and order her around. You can thank us later Cass! ;-)

The weekend kicked off with a trip to Silver Dollar City. Addison, Garrett, and Aunt Michelle rode the froggy ride together - it's one of Addison's personal favorites. It tends to make me woozy (enter Aunt Michelle) but Addison LOVES when it starts bouncing and giggles the whole time. Those little kid rides are more dangerous than the adult rides! I think Addison will be our little thrill seeker. She was wanting to ride everything in sight. And now that she is just barely at the minimum height mark - it can actually happen! Not shown, is the swinging Pirate Ship we rode together. She laughed all the way through it as well. Can't wait to go back and try out all the others.

Here are a few pics of most of the cousins...waiting for the word "Go" so they can open their cousin-exchange gifts and their Grandma gift. So exciting!

And alas, it's Jonas' turn to open his gifts. Thanks to Mommy and Addison for helping the little guy out!

Here are two best buddies....Alexa and Addison. Only six months separate them. We have Alexa to thank for all the cute hand-me-down clothes! :D

It was a great time to get together with everyone. Since all of our families are getting so big it seems harder to rally the crowd all together at once. Thankfully they all live in Missouri still. I'm the only sibling who actually left the state....and I only managed to do that by about 10 miles. ;-) We are soooo blessed to have most of our family so close - on both sides. We'll enjoy it while it lasts!

Eli The Elf

Last night for F.H.E. we adopted a new family member - straight from the big man himself.

Meet Eli:

He was sitting on our front porch step with his cute little book that told all about him. Now we get to join millions of others in the "Elf On The Shelf" tradition. So glad we finally have one of our very own. I think Addison is too. Jonas? Eh...I don't think he particularly cares but maybe he will next year! So far, Eli has been a very courteous and polite addition.

For those who don't know, Eli (along with all his other friend elves) are all helpers to Santa Claus. He comes to live with us every year at Christmas time and watches for little good boys or girls (or naughty ones, whichever the case may be) and then each night he reports back to Santa Claus. Ya know, cuz Santa is sooo busy this time of year.

Anyway, of course he can't be touched since he is magical and flies and stuff. But, each day it sure is exciting to see where he will hide next. This picture is of his first hiding place from this morning. So far I think he has great things to report back to Santa Claus about little Miss Addison. She came out of her bedroom and found him right away. She also keeps an eye on HIM as she walks around the house.

We are soooo glad Eli is helping us having good little boys and girls this time of year. Welcome to the family Eli! (And yes, Addison helped pick the name out of a few choices we gave her. We even filled out his adoption papers and everything - it's official folks - he's ours for keeps!)

3 Months Old

Back on December 1st, Jonas turned three months old! Yes, we are a bit delayed in the post but that is due to a myriad of events. First; a rescheduled photo session, second; a week-long stomach bug (which Jonas was the only lucky one to escape), and last; waiting for our wonderful photographer to edit our b.e.a.utiful pics! (Thanks Joy!)

So, alas, here are the pics of Jonas. (You'll have to check out the next post for pics of the whole fam.)

What has Jonas mastered in his first 3 months of life you ask? Well first of all, he is definitely an easy baby. We got lucky two times in a row! He has gotten sooo smiley lately and this Momma definitely LOVES to see his smiles. He has a cute little scrunchy nose look he does w/a sideways smile. I'm learning there is definitely a different feeling between a Momma and her boy. Not any better or worse than with Addison but definitely different.

He seems to love everyone he encounters...especially his sister. All she has to do is look his way and he's grinning from ear to ear. And she is very protective of him. If other kids come to talk/play with him she'll say "Noooo, dats Jonas Kay...he's myyyy buddy!" It's adorable really.

He has learned to be more content in his car seat - which is good since we don't like staying home very much. He's almost mastered holding up that big noggin (Thanks Hufford genetic code!). He's not a fan of tummy time but will do MUCH better at holding his head when he's sitting on your lap or laying on your tummy.

He's also learning to put himself to sleep better which is always a nice milestone for both of us. Now all I have to do is swaddle him, lay him down, put a blankie next to his face to snuggle with (yep just like sister when she was his age), and he's out within a few minutes. He currently wakes up one time at night and wants his food.

He loves baths after the initial adjustment when putting him in the water. He loves to look around at everything. Oh and he's very patient and good about hanging out and waiting when Mommy has to tend to his sister. I am learning that he has Daddy's temperament ;-). When he is upset about something he likes to finish 'being upset' before we proceed with whatever it is he actually wants. I guess he wants to speak his mind before we try to shush him. And he's getting quite a bit more talkative. It's always fun to hear him babble away in his own little world. Just this week, he has started belly laughing when we tickle or jump in front of him and scare him.

We are very lucky to have him in our family. I wonder everyday how in the world I birthed such a CUTE little boy!? It's amazing really. I can't imagine life without him even though it was just a little over 3 months ago.

This is a frequent pose lately. I think he's trying to show off his muscles. And check out those eyes! I think they are going to stay blue just like Addison's. Two blue-eyed kiddos from two brown-eyed parents!

Momma's little handsome guy.

These two love each other a LOT....even though you can't tell by Addison's face. ;-) She was pretty much done with the picture taking in the cold weather.

And here are the two twinners!

And alas, here he is showing off his "Blue Steel" pose. I think he has it mastered!

Since we didn't have a doctor's well visit check-up at 3 months old I don't have any exciting stats to share. Just know that this little guy is LONG and skinny! And his head is ginormous but I haven't met a Hufford yet who's isn't. I'm guessing his weight is around 12 lbs by now which seems big but when you come out of the womb at 9 lbs 6.5 isn't too shabby.

Happy 3 months old little J. McKay!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fake Laughter

Addison had the fake laughter thing mastered by the time she was 1 year old. Maybe even before that - I forget. I would always worry that people would get offended by it. Anytime someone laughed, she'd look at them, make a funny face, and fake laugh. It could have easily been perceived as an insult but frankly I thought it was hilarious. Fast forward to tonight....she's been on a fake laughing kick lately. Lets face it, her fake laughter gets me to real laughter pretty quickly.

Looks painful doesn't it? ;-)

And Jonas' expression is priceless. He doesn't know what to think of his crazy sister!

A Romantical Evening

Today, John and I achieved our 'Bachelors of Marriage' degree. We hit the big "4 year" anniversary mark. We had grand plans of whisking away to a fancy dinner and then on to a nice play afterwards. It was going to be quite the romantical evening. Yes, I made up the word "romantical" early on in our marriage (that and electronical ;-). John teases me plenty about it but I think I'm going to get a trademark on them. It's not my fault! They sound like legitimate words...who knew!!

Anyway, you can definitely tell we've been married for four years. Since John's leg was in so much pain, we just opted for the fancy dinner out. And spent the remainder of the evening with him dropping me off at different stores so I could run some errands and return a few things. Gotta take advantage of not having to lug two kids around ya know! It actually made for a pretty good evening. Plus, it helps knowing we'll get to see our play next Friday, on the front row no less. It's a win-win! (And now we spend the evening with me blogging and him playing Xbox..yup four years folks!)

So, dinner. Ruth's Chris. One word...YUM! It's my absolute favorite-est place to eat. It also costs a small fortune to eat there so we really only go once a year if I'm lucky. But one bite of that delicious steak will have you willing to pay ANY price. I'm not well versed in my steaks by any means but it easily takes the cake as the best I've ever had. delicious! And of course, the chopped salad, I'm in love with it even more. Each time I go I swear I'm going to start placing to-go orders for that salad alone. One day I actually will. I stopped short of picking up the plate to lick off every last morsel that the fork couldn't pick up. It is fine dining after all ya know. ;-)

So, here's to the best four years of my life! Four years and two kids later - life is pretty great. I'm married to my best friend and we have cute kids. What more could a girl ask for? Oh yeah, that's right....50 more years!

P.S. And I'll have you know, I actually treated John to dinner! We ate everything only to then realize he left his wallet at home. Awfully convenient eh? Thankfully I had mine stashed in the van. We laughed wondering what we would have done had we not been able to pay. With the price of that steak, we would have been doing dishes until next Thursday at least!

Laid Up

Meet my husband, the gimp. Technically he wasn't "gimpy" at the time of this "before" photo....I was just too kind to take the "after" shot. Coming out of anesthesia is never a pretty sight.

This past Tuesday, we went in to retrieve some hardware. And when I say "we" I mean the doctor. For the past 6 years John has been toting around a few screws in his ankle. Well he recently decided he'd like to bid adieu to them and scheduled the surgery. Tuesday was D-day....but as it turns out, it wasn't.

Instead we paid pretty good money (well us and the insurance company) just to have the doctor take a good "look see" at the ankle. The screws were pretty snug so none of them got removed. When I got the news I laughed thinking it was a joke. Nope, no joke. If he would have removed the screws, he would have either broken the bone or stripped out the screws, so he didn't. Yay us. :(

So instead, John got the recovery without the results. And what a recovery it was. Apparently Huffords and anesthesia don't play nice together. Neither do Huffords and pain pills. I learned this on day one of recovery.

The good news is things are getting better each day. In the meantime, I get to be the sole care-taker of 3 instead of 2. I'm not sure who has the easier job, John healing, or me as I run in circles fulfilling everyone's requests. Surprisingly, John is the easiest of the patients. Addison and Jonas are tied for 2nd place. It wouldn't be so difficult if Addison could control her bladder to NOT go every time I put a bottle in Jonas' mouth. And if Jonas could resume his great sleeping habits, that would be nice too. But in the meantime, we'll keep trucking along.

The silver lining in all of this is at least the doctor was able to take a few extra snips here and there to increase his range of motion (hopefully). And he was able to confirm that the screws are definitely NOT in the way of anything. Now we can progress on to some good old fashioned stretching. I'm hoping one day his ankle can ALMOST return to normal.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Deck Oh Way Shuns!

Say it super fast and you'll get to see just how cute it really sounds. Now imagine that coming out of a cute two-year old's mouth ANY time she sees lights or decorations.

One of our favorite things to do is drive around and look at the lights in nearby neighborhoods. So far we've been able to do it a few times already this season. Addison LOVES every minute of it. And I love to hear her get excited over it. Even driving to other destinations has her shouting at the top of her lungs every time she sees Christmas lights on houses. And it doesn't stop there. She thinks any/all lights (even the street lights) are decorations. Even tonight as we drove past the local jail, she shouted "Mommy! Deck o wayyy shuns!!" while pointing at their standard yard lights. So nice of the prisoners to deck out the jail for the holiday season eh? ;-)

This Christmas season has gotten sooo much more fun with Addison around. She's starting to really "get it" and LOVES any/everything Christmas related. We've also really been trying hard to remind her of what the season is actually about as well. She is very good at telling us about Jesus and Mary and Joseph and even pointing them out in pictures. She even got to go on a date w/Mommy last night to hear people sing songs about Jesus. If I'm enjoying her excitement this much, I surely won't be able to contain myself when I watch her on Christmas morning!

Christmas time has always been my favorite time of year but I didn't realize just how much better it gets when you get to see it through a two-year old's eyes. :D

Bring on the DECK OH WAY SHUNS!

Here Comes Santa Claus

We came, we saw, we conquered. But just barely.

Tonight we carried on in our annual tradition and went and saw the big fat man in red. It was a great time - but it was quite the ordeal for Addison. Mommy and Lowe's are to blame. I vividly remember having my picture snapped w/Santa Claus every year growing up. And I also remember me crying in But I also hold Lowe's accountable as well. (See side note for details)

SIDENOTE: There is a mechanical life-size Santa Claus that sits just within the Christmas section at our local Lowe's. He is motion detected and can really bust a move and start singing when you walk within a few feet of him. Apparently, we got too close once and Addison wigged out on me. Not just a whimper cry. It was the hysterical "there is a monster coming to eat me NOW" cry. I'll admit the dancing Claus was a bit creepy but was quite surprised just how terrified she was of it. It took me quite awhile to console her. And ever since then she's been afraid of the big guy. She LOVES him from a distance but always repeats the following phrase when we see any replica of Santa Claus: "Santa not scawey, he's nice Mommy, He sit on my lap, He bring me peasants (presents), he bring me a baby dawl" Thank you Lowe's for creating a life-long fear of Santa Claus!

So, needless to say I decided to warm her up to the "sitting on Santa's lap" idea a week early. The kiddos and I were bustling around the mall doing some holiday shopping. I figured we'd take advantage of the fact there was no line to see Santa and hang out with him a bit. I purposely sat us within range of him while we dined on our lunch. Addison and I chatted it up about how nice he really was and what she was going to ask him for for Christmas. He even looked over and waved at us a few times. Score!

Welp, it didn't help so much. She was still scared when it was time to go see him. I finally decided to leave her behind while Jonas and I went and chatted it up with the big guy. Sure enough she slowly made her way over and joined us quite hesitantly....eyeing him the whole time in case he decided to make a move. Finally she was able to give him a high-five and he even shared some candy with her. However, she started in on her "scared cry" the minute he tried to share his reindeer rocking horse with her. Poor guy - I'm guessing he deals with this a lot since he immediately started backing down and asking his assistant to help instead.

So, we told Santa we would come back w/Daddy and see him again. I was convinced she was prepared sufficiently. Fast forward to tonight. All the way there John and I built up the evening festivities. Every step we took closer to Santa had Addison saying "No Mommy he's scawey! He's not nice!" No matter what I said she would cut me off and say it all over again. So, I took Jonas over and sat him on Santa's lap...hoping brother could show her just how safe it was. Nope. She wasn't having it. No amount of bribery or explaining made it better. So, we went to our last resort. We all wandered over to hang out with him (like last time) and let her stay behind and sit on the chair. Sure enough she hesitantly sidled her way up to us and joined in. I was finally able to sit next to Santa, with Jonas, and she came and stared at him and finally sat on my leg furthest away from him. Yay!! Success!! She actually even asked if she could give him another high-five! Whoa talk about milestones folks! We got a few pictures in super quick and gave him a hug to boot. After collecting her loot (stickers, a coloring book AND a sucker!) we made our way back home. All the way back we went on and on about how big she was and how nice Santa ended up being. She conquered her fears! Go Addison! For as shy and hesitant as she can be about some things, she is a super loving and sensitive little girly and LOVES to give hugs and cuddles and kisses so we wouldn't trade it for anything. We'll just start preparing her for next year!

Ain't no thing but a chicken wing right Jonas? He was quite fascinated with the big guy.

Yay! Success for Addison! This is as close as she got to him...not counting the bear hug she gave him afterwards.

And alas, he was still nice enough to share his reindeer rocking horse with her. She was in heaven. See! Santa Claus IS a nice's proof!

And the answer is no - John and I are not above bribery. In order to get her to sit on Santa's lap we promised a truck ride and an ice cream. We delivered since she did!

All in all it was a successful day! Thanks Santa Claus for not being "scawey" after all! ;-)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tis The Season

I guess it's good that Christmas is truly such a magical and fun time of year. Because the sickies/bugs that come out this time of year truly are not.

I spend so much time throughout the year getting so excited for Christmas and the season only to be reminded just how "giving" it truly is. As in everyone "giving" their sickies to each other. Yay us! And I'm also learning that when you have two kids, everything will be shared, whether you like it or not.

Is it a good thing Addison loves to spend her time 2 cm from Jonas' face every day? Does it really help when I constantly remind her to not cough directly into his face? Is it anymore effective when she remembers to cover her mouth only 50% of the time she has a coughing fit? The poor girl, she tried her hardest, as did I, to not have her share her coughs/yuckies with brother but I was not surprised when he came down with the same thing. I quickly decided to take him in, since he's still so young, and see if we could "nip this in the bud".

Welp, I don't think listening to a 3 month old hack and rattle and cough for 3 weeks is my idea of "nipping this in the bud". I've lost count how long both of them have been hacking away but lets just say I'm having a hard time remembering life before the endless snot and coughing made their way into our home. After spending 10 days+ with a steroid and antibiotic for Jonas that did absolutely squat - well except make his little tummy hurt, we decided to line both of them up at the doc today and knock it out once and for all. Here's what we brought home in our little goody bag from the Pharmacy. Needless to say, I'm feeling lucky with this batch. Seems like a lot for 2 kids's to hopin'!

Oh and I won't bother to share all the delicious details of 3 out of 4 of us getting nasty stomach flu last week. Luckily we got to take turns with it which helped since it was impossible to stand for more than a few minutes - and well, with two kids under two - you have to stand quite a do lots more. And here I thought Mom's were immune to sicknesses. Be grateful for your health folks, I know I am now. I see health in our future!

Turkey Day

Despite my delay in postings - we did in fact celebrate Thanksgiving this year. Due to a last minute London work trip for John - that was....then wasn't....our actual Turkey day plans had changed a handful of times before the day actually arrived. The final plan had us staying at home and hosting our close friends, The McKassons. And of course Grandma Bell also made an appearance - which Addison was thrilled with (as was I).

I think this was technically the first year I ever single-handedly cooked/prepared Thanksgiving. Well, I guess technically I can't say "single-handedly" since pregnant Dana and her clan were bringing over at least half of all the fixin's. Either way it was a LOT of work! Remind me to just pay someone to cook for us next year. For a dinner that can take almost two full days to prepare - and then eaten within 20 minutes - is it really worth it? Don't get me wrong, I'm a big supporter of celebrating the holiday - just under someone else's efforts - i.e. Cracker Barrel perhaps? Maybe I'm just bitter because the Turkey I spent sleepless nights thinking about, ended up dry anyway. At least my nightmares of giving everyone salmonella didn't come true.

I guess the majority of the fun around Thanksgiving comes from just hanging out with family and friends and vegging...before, during, and after the meal. We had a lot of fun and as busy as it has seemed lately, it was nice just to slow down over the holidays.

So I had the best of intentions to get a "before" and "after" shot of our turkey spread. Here is the before shot. Apparently we were too intoxicated with triptophan to think of taking the "after" shot. Just picture a TON of leftovers because we definitely planned to feed an army - not just the 6 adults and 3 kids that we actually had.

It didn't take Addison long to go from "shy" to "twitterpated" with Scottie. She's definitely a guy's girl. She adores her Dad, and even has a fondness for "Bad" (Brad), now we can add an "Uncle Scottie" to the mix I guess.

Grandma Bell helped Addison venture on her first bike-riding experience. We somewhat mastered the art of pedaling but still have a ways to go. Luckily Mommy got to burn some calories by pushing her up and down the sidewalk a few times. Does she not just look soooo adorable in that little helmet?

Aside from enjoying the tasty meal we also got to indulge in pie at Grandma & Grandpa Fields house, go to the movies (thanks Grandma the babysitter), hit up a few sales at midnight before Black Friday, and set up the Christmas tree and decorations! It was a great relaxing weekend and holiday and definitely a great start to the holiday season - my favorite time of year!

I personally, have a LOT to be thankful for. Namely, my healthy little family. We've had our fair share of the bugs that go around, but nothing that is life-threatening and I'll take it. We have two adorable little kids that are really good kids for the most part. We have a roof over our head. We are warm and toasty in our home. We have coats. We have food. We have employment. I get to spend my time raising our kiddos. We have a car...two of them actually! The list could go on and on. I want to focus on being grateful all year long next year. I could easily think of a blessing a day for the next several years. I'm one lucky woman!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cute Kids

Yep, this is yet another post about the cute kiddos that reside in this house. I'm guessing this makes 1,394 posts total wherein I talk about nothing but the kiddos. Hey can you blame me? Have you SEEN these kids? That's what I thought. Anyway, here is a random post of the random things we've been doing. Just to let blog-land know we are still alive and havin' fun...

Future engagement photo perhaps? ;-) Actually, the fact Addison is smiling at all in this picture, while in such close proximity to Coops, is a feat in and of itself. She's spent the first 1 1/2 years of her life terrified of him. Not sure why since he is such a loveable guy. Now she seems to be making up for lost time. We had a fun time hanging out with him while his Mommy went on an errand. I think we are going to have to keep an eye on these two!

Earlier this month we were lucky enough to find out about the Bentonville Square lighting ceremony. It was a really fun night and we had a blast. Addison has been practicing her "pretty smile" wherein she doesn't gape her mouth open wide like usual. Apparently Daddy didn't get the memo that we were showcasing the "pretty smile" in this photo op. And yes, Jonas is somewhere amongst the pile of blankets. He had a grand time just catching up on his zzz's while enjoying the night air. The lights were beautiful and Addison LOVED seeing them all come on after we counted down with the crowd. And what a big crowd it was - we were lucky enough to actually have a bench most of the night.

Yes, the pic is a bit blurry but it was the only one that I could catch a smile of Jonas in. Here is Addison reading to "brudder" yet again. She's always so good to entertain him and talk to him. I'm still amazed at how much they love each other already.

A random shot of Addison taking a very important phone call. It was so adorable I couldn't pass it up. She's big into carrying on phone conversations lately. I think this time she was talking to Minnie. She also likes to hand the phone off to us to talk to them as well. So kind of her. This girl DEFINITELY has the gift of gab.

Look Santa, she loves him already! We found Brobee in a bin at Walmart the other day and she took right to him immediately while he rode around in our cart. It was adorable to see how much she loved this inanimate object. She'd just hug him and stare at him and smile for forever. Then she decided he was a bit parched apparently. Lets hope Santa gets the message and finds that same Brobee in that same Walmart bin. ;-)

And apparently another item on her Christmas wish list. 101 ways to entertain a toddler with a box. This is definitely the more cost effective present for Santa that's for sure.

And alas, I couldn't pass up another photo op with our nightly ritual of story time. 99.9% of the time Daddy is the one Addison wishes to help her get ready for bed. The few times Mom and Jonas time it right, we sneak in to enjoy the story time right along with her. We all love a good book...and some cute kiddos to boot!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Apparently so was Addison.

This morning we spent a few minutes cleaning house and decided it was time to throw out her old socks that don't fit her anymore. Addison is ALWAYS very good at helping me with random chores so I put her to use yet again on this one. I kindly asked her to toss these socks in the trash can for Mommy. She happily trotted off to the kitchen and took a few trips to get the job done. I didn't think anything of it until I went to make lunch and found this. I immediately started busting up laughing. As helpful as she is, lately she's gotten a little confused between the sink and the trash can - basically the two spots we put anything anymore. Yes, I've also found wadded up/used kleenex's and wet wipes in the sink along with Jonas' bottles and her sippies in the trash. I can't bear to get on to her for getting confused since she is SUCH a great helper. Instead, I'll just enjoy the random sights to document and laugh at along the way.

Random Sidenote: I apologize for those who think I'm wasteful by tossing these socks in the trash. I'm one of those people who refuse to buy used socks/underwear at garage sales or second hand stores and therefore refuse to sell OR donate them to others as well. She's worn these for the last year so we easily got our money's worth out of them so off to the trash they go. However, if anyone is insistent on not letting them go to waste - let me know. If you pay the shipping, I'll happily mail them to you. Just let me know before trash day comes back around! ;-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wonderment & Awe

I think I've finally found my groove. At least the "groove" that comes with raising two kiddos. I'm convinced I'm deficient in any/all other "grooves".

Lately, it seems I just spend my days fascinated with Jonas and Addison. Don't get me wrong, we still have our moments but more often than not, I'm just amazed that these two cute and squeezy little human beings came out of me. They make me smile a lot. They are extremely well behaved and sweet and insert every other good quality here. I'm not saying that they aren't "kids" by any means and that they don't have their moments (as do I) but those moments pale in comparison with the good moments they have.

Even though Addison is a well-known "rule follower" I wouldn't have it any other way. She has such a sweet personality and disposition. Plus, it's always nice to know if I ask her to stay close to me, that she won't go darting into traffic while I get brother out of the van. Plus, even at 2 1/2 months old I can tell Jonas is going to be a sweet guy too. How lucky am I that I got this twice in a row?

So, I'm devoting this post to all the amazing things I notice/watch with Jonas and Addison as we spend our days together. Just those things I hope I never forget as the minutes, days, and years slip by.

Ever since birth, Jonas has had a cute little divot in his earlobe. I always try to convince people that we pierced it when he was born and surprisingly some believe me! But, no folks, I wouldn't go piercing a newborn's ears - especially a little boy's ear at that ;-).

It makes me remember when Addison was born and her cute lil belly button made the shape of a sideways "H". I was convinced it was simply because our last name was Hufford ;-). I'm not entirely sure when she outgrew it but somewhere along the way she did. :(

And both kiddos have my two-headed toe. Trust me, it's not as freaky as it sounds. I didn't even realize I had it until John so kindly brought it to my attention. Basically the 2nd and 3rd toes come out of the same "trunk" from the foot. Personally I think it's cute and I especially think it's cute that my kids share the feature. Proof that my genetic code is in there somewhere!

One would think this section is mostly about Addison since Jonas can't talk quite yet....oh contrar! I may not be able to decipher his ramblings yet but he is jabbering. And I'm loving it. He mostly just tries to duplicate our sounds with his mouth but it is cute to hear his deep manly voice more often.

Addison of course always seems to have a new/cute phrase daily, sometimes hourly. It's so funny to hear what she comes up with to say. She's using sentences a TON lately and I'm still amazed she knows how to do so already. It's getting to be quite the game when I have to try and guess what she's saying. She's very patient with me and will continually repeat it until I have it just right. I have no idea where she is learning this stuff but it makes me realize just how fast they grow up!

I'm guessing part of her new vocabulary comes from her inquisitive mind and her jabbering mouth. She always asks what EVERYTHING is. Literally....everything.that.comes.across.our.path. She'll say "Mommy, what izzzz dat?" It's definitely teaching me some new patience lately especially when grocery shopping. I can barely answer one question before she's on to another. And, the little stinker is usually asking about something she already knows the answer to. Now, I just happily turn the tide and ask HER what it is so I don't have to identify every single object known to man.

Lately she has started volunteering the phrase "Daddy, I uv (love) you!" It's adorable to hear and turns us both into putty. She started using it more with Daddy but after a little coaxing from John, she is now using it toward me as well. She has also graduated to using the sentence "Mommy, I ike (like) you!" Talk about melting my heart! I LOVE hearing those words.

Even her speech is advancing before our eyes. She has started trying to pronounce those words that typical toddlers eliminate. Mostly it's the "L" sound.....which is cute because she has to slow down her sentences and roll her tongue just so to get it out.

Both of my kids have gorgeous smiles. We've been enjoying Addison's for quite some time now but lately Jonas' has given us more as well. And I'll be the first to witness - this boy can turn me to butter with his smiles. Probably because he smiles just as big with his eyes as he does with his mouth. He started by giving most of the smiles to me but lately Daddy has been able to squeeze a few out of him as well. And Addison? Well all she has to do is be near him and he's grinning from ear to ear while he watches her. Frankly, I have no clue how I will ever attempt to discipline this boy as he gets older. I'm convinced I'll be running to get him ice cream cones instead of trying to put him in time out.

It's a well known fact that Addison and her Daddy are best buds. Don't get me wrong, I know for a fact that she loves/adores me as well but her relationship with John is truly unique and special. I'm not jealous by any means. I love that she adores her Dad and he adores her just as much. But now I'm getting to experience this first-hand with Jonas as well. I've been told that the boy is always Mom's little buddy and they have a special relationship with the Moms like the daughters have with their Dads. Well so far I can attest that this is true. He is only a little over two months but we have some fun bonding/chatting/hanging out times as well. Can't wait to see this grow more and more as he gets older.

These two adore each other and I love it. Never once has Addison shown any inkling of jealousy or malice toward Jonas. And never once has Jonas' looked at Addison and NOT smiled from ear to ear. It doesn't get much better than watching your two kids develop/share that special relationship with each other. I'm excited to have a front row seat as they grow up together and develop that friendship even more. Don't get me wrong, I totally expect them to argue and wrestle with each other as they get older - but I'll know all along that their relationship runs much deeper than any argument/fight they get into.

Anytime Jonas puts his arm on/near Addison she'll laugh and say "Mommy! Brudder's tickowing me!" Just this morning he managed to grab a wad of her hair while they were watching cartoons. She was a bit confused but Daddy and I were there to assure her that it's the beginning of many hair pulls to come. After all, that's what brothers do!

Ever since I can remember, Addison has always loved to read. She has a few favorite books in her collection that she'll repeatedly ask us to read to her at bedtime. A few we've read soooo many times that she now has them memorized. I was quite shocked to hear her recite one of her favorites - "The Foot Book" almost word-for-word as she read it to me for the first time. I even had her do it a few more times with John nearby and she still got the majority of the words right! "Weft foot, weft foot, right foot, right. Feet in da moaning, feet at night...."

She also loves to read to brother. One night when Daddy was home with them by himself, he noticed her reading this book to Jonas.

Apparently, she would jabber with her own words through most of it but she always said the words "back and forf, back and forf," while rocking back and forth at the precise page in the book. I'm amazed at her memory and her love of books. Even when she was blessed by her Dad as a little baby, it was mentioned she would always love books. I just didn't realize we would notice it so soon!

Here Addison is reading to Jonas. He is always enthralled with anything she does. I love that she would read the words, then turn the book around and hold up the pages for brudder to see.

It seems like these two kids are at such fun ages. Sometimes I am just simply amazed that I can keep a two year old and two month old alive - simultaneously. But more often than not, I love that I get to sit back and watch both kids grow up and develop into such cute little human beings. It's moments like these that make me realize just how much I love my job. I'm a lucky lady who is living her dream!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Back

Let it be recorded: I am NOT a fan of Daylight Savings Time. In my single days I was beyond thrilled for that extra hour of sleep when it was time to Fall Back, albeit not so much on Springing Forward.

Anyway, as anyone with kids know, changing up the clocks twice a year only causes problems for our routine....and our sleep. Plus, I'm convinced we endured a full moon all last week as well. These are the only contributing factors I can think of that totally sent our week wonky. I'm just glad I survived.

Child #1: Addison has always been a good little sleeper and a happy little girly. Most every other day of the year she wakes up around 7:00 am with a smile on her face and does really good throughout the day.

However, last week we experienced a change-up thanks to readjusting those stinkin' clocks. Not only was she waking up at 6:00 am (sometimes even 5:00 am!) she was also randomly wandering the house in the middle of the night. It's a bit creepy when you wake up to a wandering crying child at 2 am. Especially when we are all half asleep and trying to get our bearings through it all. With the early waking hours and overall lack of adequate sleep, it sent our days into whining fits as well. Both by me and her.

Child #2: Like usual, Jonas has been spending his first few months in our room in his bassinet. Overall, he's been a fairly good sleeper as well. Only waking once at night to be fed. However, last week he would wake multiple times either wanting food, wanting his binky, or just plain stirring and making noises in his sleep. Again, that makes for a pretty restless night for the Mommy & Daddy.

So, on top of those sleepless nights with the kids, it didn't help matters that I spent Wednesday night experiencing a mild earthquake at 10:00 pm while everyone else was asleep. Yes folks, that's a good handful (I lose count) of earthquakes experienced in Arkansas no less! I don't think I had ever been in an earthquake until this last year and now I'm guessing I've sat through at least five of them. Mild ones but still freaky nonetheless.

That whole night just felt "off" and weird. I spent the rest of the night convincing myself the end of the world was coming and worrying about my food supply. By the time it was time to actually fall asleep my mind was racing a mile a minute about all the last minute preparations I needed to do. It's so funny how things scare me more now that I have kids. I just wanted to wake them all up and hole up in a room huddling together. But the way this week was going, they were already doing that on their own.

Anyway, after experiencing all of that weirdness, we ended the week with some nice yuckies. Addison got a cold from someone/where and spent Thursday night miserable. The poor girl was tossing/turning all night barely able to breathe. Somehow brother got the memo (and possibly her yuckies) and was a little restless as well. We got little sleep. However, to cope, I kept convincing myself we'd all enjoy a nice nap together Friday afternoon. That wasn't so much a good idea. Addison and Jonas decided it was the ONE day that they would not coordinate their naps - or even sleep at all for that matter. After a mild meltdown on my part, I convinced myself I'd just catch up on sleep that night. After all, this is what happens with kids right? Sleepless nights. I'd been spoiled up until then with good sleepers and good kids so it was time to earn my stripes.

Welp, I spoke too soon. Friday night was even LONGER than Thursday night. John was needing to get some sleep since he would be driving teenagers all day on Saturday to/from the temple. So I was prepping myself for a long night of playing blocker for him. I had a sick/moaning Addison in bed with me and Jonas in his big boy crib so they wouldn't wake each other up. Apparently they were in-cahoots with each other again because I spent the first hour or two literally walking from one child/room to the next as they took turns crying. I was convinced the sleep gods were out to get me. I had no choice but to wake John up so he could tend to one of them while I got the other one. I think we all changed sleeping locations about five times that night trying to find the perfect situation. Thankfully John was able to get at least a good couple of hours but we still spent most of the night wondering what in the heck was going on.

And finally, this week...we survived!! Day #1 (today): had all of us sleeping until our regular times and sleeping well our own beds no less! Lesson learned from last week? Feel sorry for those parents that struggle with that craziness each/every day with their kiddos. If mine only do it for a week/twice a year, I can handle it. I just need to mentally prepare myself before Spring hits again.

The good/exciting news in all of this is that Jonas is now sleeping happily in his big boy crib in his own room. And Mommy and Daddy are finally getting some good sleep since we aren't listening to him stir all night long. It's nights/weeks like this that make me realize how nice it is that our kids are usually such good little sleepers. Sleep deprivation doesn't bring out my greatest qualities. There is a reason it's used as torture on prisoners of war.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Practical Princess

Lately Addison has been enamored with anything "Pin-cess". After all, I figured it was only just a matter of time before my little girly transitioned from the land of Mickey to the land of princesses. Shhhh secretly, I'm still thankful she doesn't know their specific names (or matching accessories). I still don't think I'm ready to enter THAT far into princess land. For right now, we are both quite content just calling them "Pin-cesses".

So, today she requested that she become a "Pin-cess". Luckily, after a quick mental memory scan, I realized we had just the dress to fulfill her dreams. Phew! (After all, we haven't dwelt in this land long enough to acquire princess-y things. Luckily she was beyond thrilled with my selection - a church dress from last Spring. Once it was on, she twirled and twirled until she got dizzy. After she was done twirling, she decided to accessorize! And I figured while we were at it, we'd embrace this lifestyle even more and start getting some chores done! All while dressed in full garb (her...not me ;-) I must say, I'm LOVING this princess phase so far!

Here's the action shot: Twirl #5

And Twirl #287 ;-)

And yes, she is her Mother's daughter - note the tennis shoes. It's all about being practical ya know! I even tried to convince her to wear her princess heels but she was adamant she wear tennis shoes. Apparently, even at 2 years old, she's already fully aware that heels can wreak havoc on your poor ankles! ;-) Or maybe she's taking after her Grandma Bell - she's famous for her dresses and tennis shoe combos.

And really there is no time like the present to start acting out some princess movies. Cinderelly cinderelly....sweep the floor Cinderelly! No worries though - she begged me to sweep. Yes, again she is her mother's daughter.

Oh and lets not forget 'Little Boy Blue' - isn't he a cutie? Nothing cuter than a sleeping baby. And who says that dressing girls is more fun? I would have to disagree. I'm thorougly enjoying dressing this little guy up as a miniature little man. The best is on Sunday when we can turn him into a little stake president. Too bad most of it's buried by his blanket. :(