Thursday, October 27, 2011

Anybody Out There?

It's time for my first annual poll of finding out if anyone out in blog-land reads my mindless driveling? No worries, it's not like I'm going to go private or quit blogging based on the results. I'm just curious if I have friends is all. So comment! Let me know you're alive! And if you have blogs I can stalk too. :D I'll be here....keepin' on either way.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Familiar Face

Let me start by saying this is not something I'm particularly proud of...but John thought it was funny enough to be documented for posterity. So here goes...

For those devoted readers of my blog (please tell me I actually have some?) you probably already know I'm a huge fan of Chick-fil-a. Great customer service, hot food, friendly staff, yadda yadda yadda. Well on top of all that I'm also a big fan of their delicious chicken tenders (thanks Jared ;-).

Anyway, even though I'm not pregnant anymore, I've still had my fair share of cravings for those dang tenders. It seems to be a tradition to stop and eat some on our errand day when we actually leave the house. It's pretty sad (and cute) when all we have to do is pull into the parking lot and I hear Addison say "!" Yep, she's quite familiar with our tradition by now. But she's not the only one. Apparently certain Chick-fil-a employees are as well.... Here was last week's dialogue with the order taker lady (and no I don't know HER name :P).

Order Taker Lady: "Can I help you?"
Me: "Yeah, we'll have the yadda yadda yadda" (Heck at this point I could probably get away with saying "the usual!")
OTL: "And what is the name on the order?"
Me: "Shannon"
OTL: "Ahhhh yeah that's right. I should have remembered that by now since you come in here so often."
Me: "Hehehe..uh thanks?"
OTL: "And how old is the little guy now? (As she peers at Jonas in his carseat)
Me: "Almost two months old"
OTL: "Wow! He's growing so fast! It seems like just yesterday you were pregnant with him!"
Me: "Back off woman! Mind your own business!" - Okay maybe those weren't my "exact" words but I was definitely thinking it since apparently I'm frequenting their restaurant a little too much.

Nice encounter eh? I'm sure she means well but it's not a flattering thing when I go often enough to be remembered so well. One would thing that would have kept me away from the restaurant for at least a week but nope gotta have those tenders!! We actually went back just today - to the same lady - who once again mentioned that "next time she'll remember my name." See? customer service. I should be proud that I'm so recognizable right? ;-)

Harvest Time

A week or so ago we were able to bring in the harvest along with the locals. As in "we were able to take a tractor ride out to the pumpkin patch and select our favorite ones before catching the same tractor back". Our "harvest time" is MUCH easier than the farmer's version that's for sure!

There is a cute little pumpkin patch on the way to John's work that we go to every year. Technically this is our second year but I'm sure it's going to develop into a tradition. After all, with two kids age two and younger, we are all about quick drives and simple entertainment before they (or we) get too tired.

Anyway, it's a cute little patch which comes with it's own corn maze (two of them) and a petting zoo, and a cow trailer ride (for Addison), and a corn cob air shooter game (for John). We had a blast wandering around the maze - although Mommy's arms tired out since we didn't bring the stroller for Jonas so we bailed at the halfway point. Which coincidentally put us right at the pumpkin patch. Addison and Daddy were off to find their favorite pumpkins and Mommy and Jonas tried to keep up. We were intent on Addison being able to pick her very own pumpkin but the girl is easily persuaded and quick to change her mind. Pretty much any pumpkin she saw she was in love with - until she saw another one. Mommy had to stop her from trying to bring a rotten bug infested pumpkin home. I guess she see's the beauty in everything eh?

We quickly found our little pumpkin family and headed back on our way. Addison was very helpful in finding Jonas two little baby pumpkins since he can't quite pick his own yet. Maybe next year.

Addison helping Daddy find the perfect pumpkin to take home with us.

After we picked our pumpkins we waited for the tractor to come retrieve us. It was quite interesting boarding the wagon with two kids, a handful of accessories, and 4 pumpkins. But, we finally did and were on our way back. I think Addison got more excited about the tractor ride than the actual pumpkin picking. She kept smiling and telling "Mommy! Trackor!" It was fun to see the little things that she loves.

Trying to do better at putting me in some of these memories/pictures. Here we are waiting for the tractor to pick us up.

Once we got back to the main area we got to hang out and feed Jonas while Daddy tried shooting his corn cobs. He did everything he could to win a free hot-dog by hitting the furthest target but he couldn't. Oh well - I'm sure he enjoyed trying to hit it. Maybe next year.

Proof that Jonas was there and having a great time. It's always a great time when there is a bottle in your mouth right?

Then Daddy and Addison got to go off and pet the animals in the petting zoo. Technically I think there was just a small pen with 5 goats but at two years old - that is still pretty exciting. I hung back with Jonas while he was eating. I'm guessing they had lots of fun since they were gone for a good little while.

Addison hanging out with the goats. Have I mentioned I'm so glad she's not afraid of animals?

After the petting zoo it was time for Mommy and Addison to ride the cow train. Addison loved it. Mommy was in pain the entire time. That train is not made for a grown person to fit in and it definitely lacked the shocks necessary to give a comfortable ride.Thanks to my kneecaps, we were able to brace ourselves on every.single.bump. we encountered. I was in so much pain I couldn't stop laughing. And since Addison was nicely cushioned on me, she was just laughing right along with me. I tried to hide my pain and enjoy the ride but it was hard to do. I guess I should have let her ride alone like she wanted to begin with. Maybe next year. Either that or I'll wear knee pads. Still, it was a fun time to share with Addison and after all, bruises heal right? Memories last forever. I was just glad to finally be back on solid ground and out of that plastic cow barrel.

The "Cow Train" (aka: The Adult Torture Chamber). Addison had a blast though!

Overall, we had a great time at the pumpkin patch and can't wait to go back next year. It's always fun to get out and enjoy the fall weather and pick which pumpkins we like the best. Stay tuned for our FHE night of when we get to carve them! :D

Thursday, October 20, 2011

She Loves Him

Ever since the first day she laid eyes on him, Addison has been in l.o.v.e. with her brother. It's been so nice not having to worry about jealousy issues or her hurting him. So far she hasn't had an ounce of jealousy or anger toward him. We actually have to make sure she doesn't kiss him to death - which is a nice problem to have. The only time she's even come close to hurting him was when she was poking at his eye. Of course it was more of a curiosity thing than animosity.

Each day I love watching the two of them as their relationship grows. She loves to sit and talk to him while he's in his swing. She loves to help give him his binky. And she loves to cheer him up if he's sad. She also loves to repeat everything Mommy says when I do baby talk with him. She's even lately started saying "Ohhhhh baby brudder...he's a saweetie pie" or "Ahhh....Mommy he's so tute (cute)". I have no idea where she learned those words but it's hilarious to hear her say them. I love to look in their eyes and see the adoration they have toward each other. I can't wait to see it develop even more over the years. I'm thinking they will be the best of buds.

Lately I've been giving her the task of "babysitting" while I cook dinner. Granted I only leave them for a few minutes at a time but I always make a big "to-do" of it and Addison feels so special being left in charge. Even at two years old she fulfills the responsible role of caretaker. I sneak in every once in a while to check on them just to see her putting a blanket on him or giving him a binky or chatting his ear off or giving him kisses. She will be a great babysitter when she gets older - I can hardly wait!

Here's the action shot...


Rubbing noses...

And going in for the kiss!

Grandpa Comes To Town

Grandpa Bell wasn't able to make it to celebrate Jonas' blessing day but he did get to make an impromptu trip the day after and come visit us. We were quite surprised when he called and said he was about 4 hours away. Lucky for us we didn't have any plans so we spent the morning anxiously awaiting his arrival. Addison doesn't get to see Grandpa Bell very much but she warms up to him pretty quickly when he does come play. They were best buddies He even trumped Daddy (her latest favorite).

While he was in town we were able to take him to his favorite places to eat. Lunch at Long John Silvers with a side of fried okra for dessert. Then later that night we went to our usual Abuelo's for dinner so John could come along. Of course our day didn't just consist of eating. We did have lots of fun in between all the food.

This was the first time he has ever met Jonas so they got lots of snuggling in while he was here. They were able to enjoy a nice little nap together as well.

After naps we got to take a nice walk to the park with a ice cream treat along the way. This could be one of the reasons why Addison was so in love with Grandpa - she LOVES ice cream.

And Grandpa and Addison played blocks while we waited for Daddy to come home from work.

All in all, it was a nice little last minute visit with Grandpa Bell. Addison had a blast and I'm sure she's already looking forward to the next visit. Which hopefully will be much sooner since he may be moving to Kansas City soon. Yay for Grandpas!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blessed Day

A little over a week ago marked a special day for the Hufford family.....especially for Jonas and Daddy. Jonas was blessed to be...well blessed by his Daddy at church. Well technically Daddy got to speak the words that Heavenly Father wished to bless Jonas with. It definitely makes me grateful that we are lucky enough that John can hold the priesthood and bless our family with it in many ways.

We had planned quite a bit for Jonas' special day. First up on the list was his outfit. It proved to be a little more difficult for me to figure out. Even though it's not required, I tried to find something in all white for the little guy. However, everything I found was quite expensive and was guaranteed to make him look like a little pioneer baby. Not quite the look I was wanting to go for. So, we went to plan B which of course I fell in love with when I saw it. He got to dress up like a miniature little man in his white button-up collared shirt and kahki pants and a cute little miniature clip-on tie to complete the outfit. He looked adorable and was soooo cute.

Next up was our preparation to get him to his happiest, sleepiest, state so he'd be nice and content while Daddy gave the blessing and the other men gathered around him. Minutes before he was quietly sleeping on Mommy and seemed ready to go. However, Daddy made a last minute decision (that he'd later regret) before he went up to give the blessing. Yep, he wanted to leave the binky with me since Jonas seemed so happy and peaceful. Soooo of course within a minute of his blessing, Jonas started to cry. Not a mad cry but it was still pretty difficult to hear the words being spoken. Of course it was hardest on John since it's hard to be quiet and wait for inspiration when you are holding a crying baby. Regardless, the blessing was beautiful and just what Heavenly Father wanted to give to Jonas. Plus, it's the beginning of many many more blessings so if there was anything left unsaid I'm sure we'll hear it later.

Afterward, both sides of our family were able to gather together at our neighborhood clubhouse and enjoy an informal style lunch of sandwiches and chips and drinks and cake. Thanks to my sister Michelle for singlehandedly taking this task on so I didn't have to fret over the details of it all. Plus of course all those who helped her and offered to help her. We have lovely family if you haven't read my previous post. We were so grateful for all those who were able to come and share in Jonas' big day. He has a LOT of people that love him and love us. Here are a few pics of our special day:

Our little family with Grandma Bell

Our family with Grandma and Grandpa Fields

Our little family

Self Portrait

Well sort of. Addison loves to play with our phones....even though she has been told they aren't toys (repeatedly). But, being the typical two-year old she still sneaks around and gets them. I think it's hilarious that all I have to do when I catch her with mine is give her "the look" and she hands it over while batting her eyes. John even set a password protect on mine and within minutes we watched her hack into it as well. Granted it was just a code of "0000" but we were still impressed with her skills.

Anyway, as a result of the sneakiness, we've gotten a few random camera shots of her. So, here is a self-portrait of Addison. Enjoy! (P.S. I'm thinking this was a multi-day shoot since she is wearing pants in some and not others ;-)

Don't even get me started on her iPad skills. She can single-handedly maneuver around that thing better than I can. And has had it mastered for some time. This ensures she gets to watch her Gabba videos anytime she pleases - or at least until we confiscate the iPad.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lovely Family

I'd just like to say I am loved. And it feels very nice like.

I have the best family ever. Yes, that includes my "in-laws", those of my own side, and of course my little family of four. For those who read my recent blog posts you may know that things were a bit crazy as I adjusted to life with a newborn and two-year old. It was a rough time for me. Not ALL so, but it definitely had it's moments. It seems silly to say since it's all my own doing and my anxiety made it so.

Honestly, Jonas has been a great baby - extremely laid back just like his sister (yes we are very lucky we got this twice in a row). Addison has been a great helper even though Mommy wasn't very deserving of it at times (okay....most of the time). John has been patient with me as I traveled on the hormonal roller coaster that comes with having a baby. And frankly extended family has stepped up to the plate and gone above and beyond. Just a few things I've been blessed with:

-Dinners. Yum and so nice to have. From family and friends and every one was appreciated.
-Play Dates. Taking Addison for a little break for the both of us. She loved the extra attention and fun.
-A return trip. My mother sensed the need and came back for yet another short stay to help out. Yes, this was in addition to her original stay when Jonas arrived. She makes a great assistant. I've tried to hire her to no avail.
-Phone calls. Sister-in-laws that listen to my tears. Answering nursing questions and trying to help ease the frustrations. And of course, a sister that offered come down and help but didn't want to share her sickies with me so she just listened to me on the phone - multiple times.
-Help. A sister that felt bad she couldn't make the long drive to help me so instead offered to help with planning the luncheon for Jonas' blessing day. As in she did ALL of it. Along with my sister and sister-in-law and Mom that helped as well. So glad I didn't have to worry about that.

This may be a random post - and a bit late since Jonas is already almost two months old. But I was just reflecting today on how blessed I am. I love being loved. I know most times in the midst of the chaos I feel alone but I'm quickly learning I'm really not. And it's nice to know. Thanks for all the family (and friends) that helped during my transition to a family of four. I think I am finally finding my groove. Finally. All this help and love has made me want to be more perceptive for others when they go through difficult times. Time to share the wealth...and love.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One Month Old

Four days ago, Jonas hit the One month birthday mark. So, in an effort to keep up on the milestones and baby book photos - we are documenting this momentous occasion!

First of all, I must say Jonas is quite the handsome little guy. Is it bad that at one-month old I already look and him and think...."Man the girls are gonna go crazy over you!" Not that I'm wanting them to anytime soon - just sayin' the boy is very handsome. Of course I may be biased but you have to's true. Just look at these pics from our mini photo shoot:

We've already had Jonas in our family for one month and it seems like it's been longer. For one, the first month seemed a bit rough for me. Not because of Jonas but because of all the newness and adjusting that comes with a newborn. It's been two years since I've experienced all of this ya know.

I had some nursing issues. Too much milk. Clogged duct. Mastitis. Not to mention that we had a few appointments for bilirubin checks with the little guy. And big sister also caught Bronchiolitis in the midst of all the craziness. It seems like we spent the majority of his first month in hospital visits....for all three of us combined. Plus hormones and all the anxiety that comes with it for the Momma.

But even despite all that, Jonas has been such a joy to have in our family. He's a fairly good baby so far from what I can tell. Now that we've somewhat mastered nursing - he eats pretty well. He sleeps great. I only have to wake up once at night to feed him so that is great! We have managed to get a few smiles out of him whether it was gas or not. And let me just say - his smile will melt your heart! He has such pretty eyes and the smile just charms you right out of your seat. I can't wait until he gets more smiley as he gets older. He loves his sister and doesn't mind all of her kisses one bit. Sometimes it seems he has some trouble with letting me put him down but we are working through that. It could be more gas/bubble issues than anything. The poor guy has had a long road to travel with my overabundance of milk. Even with our adjustments to nursing it still seems to come so fast it gives him lots of bubbles. He gets so hungry that it seems like he is torn over eating through the painful bubbles or stopping eating long enough to get a burp out. Mommy used to be the champ at getting burps out but now it seems like Daddy has traded places and he is now the master.

I like to call Jonas my little monkey baby. Not only because he has such cute monkey outfits but because he has cute little dark peach fuzz hair all over....his back, his arms, his ears. Just like a little monkeyy! Plus when you hold him against you he clings to you like a little monkey would. I always wanted a little monkey when I was growing up. Now all these years later I finally got one! Except he's MUCH cuter than the real thing. :D

Jonas is a pretty easy baby so far and it seems like a lot of people have commented on his laid back personality so hopefully this means he will be just as easy as his big sister was! Can't wait to get to know him more and more as he grows. Hard to imagine he could get any cuter than this though!

After awhile all the photos start looking the same. There is only so much posing you can do with a one-month old until you get this:

See what I mean? He's cute even when he's crying! Happy one-month old Jonas McKay!

This & That

Consider this post a "dumping ground". I have a bunch of random events/stories I want to blog about but instead of doing a bajillion posts - I'm dumping them all into this one. Bear with me as I jump from random topic to random topic. Most of them (okay all of them) are about this girly:

Enjoying a field trip and a treat w/Grandma Bell, Mommy, and baby brother.

Cute huh? Frankly she's been a trooper as she is learning to adjust to baby brother. Especially since that means she gets the left over patience from this Mommy most days - and frankly that isn't much. She's a great helper amidst all the chaos that our days consist of. Luckily for her and I we are slowly getting back on track to "normal life" so hopefully she bears with me just a little longer. I'm so very thankful for her....and also thankful that she has given me the following stories to post about. It adds some laughter and excitement to our days that's for sure!

Last week Addison got invited to cousin Bryce's birthday party at Jump Zone. This is the 2nd time Mommy got to go with her. The last time we came here she was only one year old and had barely learned how to walk. She was NOT a fan at that time since it's hard for even an experienced walker to maneuver those jump houses. Usually she's quite content just playing with the rocking horses in the kiddie area but this time Mommy forced her into the Elmo jump house and within minutes she was loving it. This time every time she fell down I laughed. Which helped her learn that falling down was all part of the fun. And then she decided to conquer the big kid jump houses too. It proved to be quite the workout for Mommy after it was all said and done. We both left a little sweaty from all the fun. So glad Bryce had a birthday and shared his fun with us!

And this is Bryce's sister.....cousin Karah. Addison and I both love her. She is a great helper with Addison and one of the few people that Addison always goes straight to - regardless of how long it has been since we've seen her. She loves her older girl cousins so much. She was less than thrilled when boring Mommy took her to the bathroom instead of Karah. She wanted Karah to do everything with her. They ate together, played together, and anytime Karah wasn't in sight, Addison was off to search for her. I wasn't complaining. I love when Addison looks to other people (besides Mommy and Daddy) for help. Plus I enjoyed relaxing with Jonas and getting in on all the party fun as well. Thanks Karah! Can't wait until you are old enough to babysit! :D

As of this week we've embarked on Tour de Park 2011. To break up the day-to-day monotony we've started checking out all the local parks. It helps us to enjoy each other more and even enjoy the fresh air more as well. It's worth the 2 hour prep work it takes to leave the house in the mornings. As you may know by now, Addison loves her slides. Here she is showing some new and improved skills she acquired. Such a daring girly!

We've been living in the land of "owies" for quite some time now. She's a tough girly so usually all she needs is a kiss better and she's good to go. However, yesterday she came to me showing me her scraped thumb. I decided to get her a band-aid and she was thrilled to see that Mommy replenished the band-aid stock to include Elmo AND Curious George. Within five minutes of doctoring up her first owie, she was showing me her second one. I was skeptical at first since I knew she was trying to get more band-aids but sure enough she had another scrape on her other thumb. I was convinced she was inflicting pain just to get band-aids. Unfortunately for her I closed up the band-aid shop after the first two owies - all the others she reported after that just got a kiss from Mom.

And her latest accomplishment...emptying her dresser. After a long evening of helping Jonas get some painful bubbles out, I was finally sitting down to enjoy ten minutes of silence. I'm learning that silence isn't always a good thing nowadays. Yep, I think we are finally entering that stage. This is what I found when I went looking for her. Why did she do this you ask? Because she likes to fold clothes..uh lot. And apparently our weekly laundry folding wasn't fulfilling her need. I tried my hardest to keep a straight face as I took this picture so she'd know this was NOT a good thing. But it didn't matter. She was in heaven because for the next 10 minutes she got to help Mommy fold them all and put them back. Mission accomplished!

She was even kind enough to adorn baby brother with her tights collection. So nice of her to share the bounty eh?

So now you get to see the excitement of what our day-to-day life consists of. I guess that is what happens when a second child comes along. The first child gets some freedom and takes FULL advantage of it right? If this is all we have to deal with then I won't complain!