Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Blessings

On my side of the family, I have two siblings who seem to plan their families on the same schedule.  I try not to ask too many questions.  However, it is a nice feature when it comes to traveling and celebrating big momentous occasions with new cousins.  This particular weekend in March we were heading to Kansas City to celebrate the arrival of two of our newest cousins...Lydia and Jase.  Lydia belongs to Michelle (and the rest of the Walker family) while Jase belongs to Nick (and the rest of the Bell family).  It was such a fun trip to make....even though it was jam-packed with events and celebrations and plans.  Addison is at the age where she just adores her cousins and is always eager to spend a weekend with them.  Thankfully, they adore her just as much.  And I adore watching the kids being entertained by them....while also having family to watch them on a whim when we feel like escaping for a minute or two.  ;o)

We headed up on a Friday evening and were lucky enough to pick up Grandma Bell in Joplin on our way up.  It's always more fun to carpool.  Especially with Grandma Bell since she entertains the kids while we enjoy some peace and quiet.  We arrived Friday evening in plenty of time to just sit and visit and let the kids go crazy playing with each other.  It never takes long for them to warm up to each other. 

The next morning, Saturday, was a fun one.  John and I were able to sneak away with Uncle Kendall to admire their new land purchase.  Michelle willingly stayed at home and watched all the kiddos.  I don't even think our kids knew we had left.  It was a great piece of land and we are very excited for the day they are able to build on it.  We couldn't stay and admire it as long as we liked since we had to run back, change into church clothes, and head to the temple.  Another one of the biggest perks of a Kansas City trip is being able to utilize the new temple and to utilize the family who is always willing and eager to be babysitters while we drive the 10 minutes (ten minutes folks!) from my sister's house to the temple.  It's so nice to have a relaxing morning with John in the temple and have no rush or worries about the kids or a long drive back or staying awake, etc.  

We were even lucky enough to bring Grandma Bell back home with us after our session.  She is a temple worker on specific weekends throughout the year and it worked out that she was just finishing her shift as we were finishing our session.  It also worked out well that she could meet me in the dressing room before AND after my session to help get my pregnant self into my dress.  Phew.

The rest of the day was spent with family.  Eating, playing, relaxing, napping, you name it.  All of it was fun.  The evening even ended with a pizza picnic at the park and an Easter Egg hunt thrown in.  It was a blast (once we survived quite a long Addison tantrum on our way there).  She managed to kick and scream and yell at us for the majority of our drive to the park.  John and I were able to lean on each other for support when it came to tuning her out and breathing deeply and trying to refrain from losing our minds.  Sometimes when she gets in these modes there is nothing you can do to calm her down besides just riding it out and letting her suffer her consequences after it's all said and done.  What was hilarious was about five minutes before we actually made it to our destination she finally decided she was done and was ready to give us some energy back. Her tears almost immediately went into singing "Frosty the Snowman....was a jolly happy soul who had a snake and it turned out to be alive!" (Yes, it's her modified version).  After she finished that song, we were still quiet and she decided to say "Let's try this again....Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells!"  That one had us laughing and I'm sure had her breathing a sigh of relief.  If only she knew how close her timing had been with it all as we were just pulling up to the park to play.  By then, she was fully aware she had consequences awaiting her and she accepted them willingly and afterwards was FINALLY able to get out of the van and have some fun.  Sigh....the interesting moments of parenthood!

The next day was Sunday, and was the real reason we made the trek to KC.  We had a full day of baby blessings and dinners and luncheons....oh and Easter.  The kiddos all woke up and enjoyed a somewhat rushed Easter tradition of baskets and trinkets and candy.  Then we all got dressed up in our Easter best and headed to the Walker's ward where we got to listen to Kendall give a beautiful blessing to his daughter Lydia Rose Walker.  She did so well and was very patient through it all.  It's always so fun for me to see the priesthood holders (brothers, husband, and brother-in-laws) that are able to participate in such a special moment.  So glad for my family that is always striving to be worthy of such moments.  

Right afterward, we rushed to Michelle's house shoved some food in the kiddos mouths and hoped they'd nap as we drove to the next church building where Nick was able to give a blessing to cousin #2:  Jase Judson Bell.  He was also a good participant and by now even the tired and rushed cousins were still holding up pretty good as well.  After their sacrament we headed back to Nick & Colton's house...took an endless supply of pictures and enjoyed a delicious dinner before we loaded back up in the van and finally made the trek back home.  

All in all, it made for a rather LONG weekend.  However, I wouldn't trade living close by family for the world.  It's so fun to be able to share in these momentous occasions and for cousins to build such close relationships with each other.  I don't ever take for granted how lucky we are that for right now in our lives and our locations, we get these moments.  Who knows when/if it could change?  

Jonas was a fan of the egg...especially once he realized there was chocolate in them.  Which explained why he had no interest in finding multiple eggs.  He'd much rather sit and eat each of them one at a time instead of continuing the hunt.  
It was especially momentous when he actually ate some of them without the wrappers.  Nothing like starting a picnic with lots of chocolate and sugar!
Like Addison, cousin Ashlyn has a flair for the dramatic.  John decided to join in and nurse her stubbed toe back to health.  He pretended to be her doctor and even requested my assistance when it came time for her physical therapy.  She was laughing within seconds after her tears dried up.  
Jonas was a stud-muffin this Easter.  Aunt Michelle handed down an outfit Garrett used to own and I must say it fit like a charm.  We couldn't get over how cute he looked and so similar to a mini-missionary!  John even did some practice 'door approaches' while killing time before church started.


Our mini missionary at Sacrament Meeting/Blessing #1.  It was almost impossible to look at him and not squeeze him to pieces.
This was our pose on the drive up to KC.  Jonas is notorious for his 'Chillaxin' pose.  He even sleeps like this.  Which is coincidentally a mirror image of how his Daddy used to sleep when he was little....and probably still does to this day.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree folks!
Addison and cousin Alexa are only 6 months apart in age and because of it, are very close.  They remind me so much of an old married couple.  It's so fun to hear them play and interact with each other.  Here they are sharing the cool swing at the park and having a blast doing it.
Most of the cousins, heading down the stairs on Easter morning.  So excited to venture off and find their hidden Easter baskets!
Wahoo!  It didn't take Addison long to find hers!  (Jonas was still sleeping so he enjoyed his own treasure hunt a few minutes after everyone else).

Showing us her loot!  (In the back you'll see where the Easter Bunny hid her brother's basket.)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Birthday Bash

I had a great celebration of birth this year.  My birthdays have always been fun and great (even those I had when I was a single lady) BUT, it's always wayyyy more fun to be doted on by a loving husband and my cute kids.  I'm a very spoiled lady and I love it.

My birthday morning included Daddy rushing off early to work but not before he whispered to a half-asleep me that I'd be coming across some birthday surprises during the day.  I was rather excited.  Especially since I was able to fall back asleep until 8:00 thanks to sleepy kiddos.  I consider that my first gift and I loved it!  

When we stumbled out of our warm beds, we found the breakfast that Daddy left us on the table.  Chocolate milk and chocolate donuts - Yum!  The kids were very excited to take part in this birthday surprise with me.  We lounged around all day and it was wonderful.  Monday is usually our laundry day but it didn't take me long to cancel our routine and choose to relax and be lazy all day instead.  Clean clothes aren't that exciting anyway.

We headed off to a quick visiting teaching appointment and in the process of doing so found Daddy's hidden treat #2 - a nice hearty slim jim.  Yes, I love these disgusting tubes of unidentified meat.  So does my husband and so do my children oddly enough.  We always laugh and make fun of ourselves while we dine on them.  It made for a great mid-morning snack.

After our visiting teaching appointment, we headed off to meet up with the sister and mother-in-law(s) for lunch.  Lunch dates are always fun.  The kids even cooperated and allowed me to eat my meal like a normal person.  It was fun to visit and chat and watch the kids play with them.  

Afterwards it was my favorite time of the day - nap time!  We all crashed for a good hour or two and I woke up to Daddy trying to get in to the house (we lock the garage door for Jonas' sake).  He came home with the exciting news that he was off for the rest of the day!  Yay me!

After a short little nap for all of us, Daddy and the kiddos went to work decorating the living room and dining room and making dinner.  He actually asked if I would mind staying locked up in the bedroom while he and the kids worked in the other room.  Are you kidding?!  THAT is music to my ears!  There is nothing I would rather do than be all alone in my bedroom to vegitate while surprises were planned for me in the next room!  It was nothing short of wonderful.  

After they were done, I was invited out to the "Addison & Jonas Restaurant" which was decorated with all kinds of lovely streamers and decorations.  Addison donned an apron and a menu for me and showed me to my seat at the table.  Daddy helped remind her of her script and what she was supposed to do next.  The menu they made was adorable.  It had lots of dining options on it.  Most of them were crazy weird things like snake, etc but of course they were all "out of season" so that left me with the option of eating the exact same thing they had made for me.  What are the chances?  ;o)

I dined on a delicious steak, edamame (first time trying that), some seasoned potatoes and rolls.  It was delicious and I was stuffed.  Next I was whisked away to the couch to "open" my presents.  Due to time, we did the guessing game instead which I actually enjoyed more than ripping open wrapping paper.  I'd close my eyes, Addison would bring it out and lay it on my lap and give me some clues....then I'd touch it and guess what it was.  I was lucky enough to get a nice luxurious pillow, some new hand towels, a few workout outfits AND the lovely Les Miserables movie.  It was all soooo nice.  Such a fun birthday celebration and the cake was delicious as well.  

I'm always grateful to be surrounded with such fun things but mostly to be surrounded by such a fun and loving family...especially a Daddy who is always up for celebrating me and my birth soooo many years ago.  ;o)

Birhtday Decorations.  They really went above and beyond!

My delicious dinner from the "Addison & Jonas" restaurant.

And my lovely cake.  Yummy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

24 Weeks

This poor little girly.  She's a third child.  And as a result, I spend more time chasing after the other two than I do documenting her pregnancy.  In the beginning of this pregnancy I've even had moments where I've forgotten I was pregnant! (Yes, they were fleeting ;o).  Lucky for me, she's a chunky one and has me measuring big so at this stage of the game - I'm very aware she's inside of me.  She's a good girly though.  She doesn't do much to disturb me besides a random kick here and there just to let me know she's okay.  I've had the typical pregnancy symptoms of heartburn, a little bit of sciatica here and there, and some braxton hicks that are pretty constant and non-productive - which is a good thing at this point.  It makes me VERY grateful for the minor aches and pains I do get and that none of them are serious or life-threatening to either of us.  She's been kind to me and I appreciate it.  

I think I'm at 24 weeks in this picture but again, since she's our third, I'm not the most accurate counter this time around.  Thankfully I have to keep track for me.  I'm sure I won't be forgetting how far along once I near the end that's for sure!

She's doing everything similar to how Addison was when she was in my tummy.  Their heartbeats are almost always in the same range.  They both seemed to sit up high on my stomach instead of lower like Jonas did.  And they all three seemed to give me plenty of heartburn (aka while they grow a full head of hair in there).  Luckily, this time I actually thought to ASK my doctor about the heartburn wherein he prescribed me some wonderful Zantac to relieve it.  It's a daily pill but it's soooo worth it to have that relief.  Heartburn is not fun....neither is belching like a trucker when it comes around.  I guess I used to just think that it was one of the many symptoms of pregnancy that I just got to deal with.  Who knows what other medications are out there to make this process a little more bearable!?

We are still thinking of names for this little girly.  It's hard because Daddy and I seem to disagree on all the ones we are each in love with.  Just for the record here is a list of what we've been discussing up to this point...

1.  Camryn (Mommy's version) or Cameron (Daddy's version)
2.  Taylor
3.  Payton
4.  Avery (It's a little too common for Daddy's taste so we'll see)

From the looks of these front-runners, I'm thinking we venture toward names that are gender neutral when it comes to girls.  After all, I grew up with 4 different Shannon's - one even being a boy, and Addison is also a boy's name although I don't hear it used as such very often.  Hmm.....interesting trend we have going on here.  I'm hoping once we meet her that we'll have an idea what her name should be.  It's a little nerve-wracking for me to wait that last minute so we'll see what happens between now and then!  Either way she'll be adorable and TOTALLY look like whatever her name is meant to be.  I just can't wait to meet her!  They are so much more fun on the outside of me than on the inside. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sooo.....My Kids.

This post isn't actually about "my kids" per se.  It's about Addison's kids.  Did you know she has some?    She does.  I don't know all their names but I do know one is Aleena.  She tells me about them ALL the time.  

I always wondered if/when she would pass through the imaginary friend phase.  I just didn't know she'd have a whole family of imaginary friends.  Her kids don't sound very well behaved.  And each time she tells me a story about them, it usually almost ALWAYS mirrors a situation we just experienced.  For example:  "Mommy, do you want me to tell you about MY kids!?"  "Dey were eating dare lunch the other day and dey were throwing their food and dey were NOT listening to me!"  (See!  Naughty kids.)  I usually always make it a big deal and talk about how her kids are not making good choices.  It's hilarious the stories she comes up with about her kids.  

Another thing she's been doing for the past while is asking us questions in the form of "Sooooo, are you today?"  Whuh?  When did she turn into a grown adult with these conversation skills?  She especially likes to ask Daddy as we sit and eat our dinner.....  "Soooooo, was your day today?"  It's always the same inflection and tone and it's hilarious to hear her join the grown-up conversation.  

The other day we were sitting in the Doctor's office and she was admiring some artwork in the shape of a globe on the wall.  She sat there and said "Wowwwww" and I took the chance to show some excitement as well and said "Yeah, did you know that's the world?" and she responded "Yeah.....that's what scientists say."  I started chuckling at her and for the life of her she had no idea what was so funny.  I love the things she comes up with out of that tiny little Hufford head.

Jonas isn't tailing far behind when it comes to saying cute things.  His words just take a little longer to decipher is all.  For example, sometimes when he gets into his goofy mode he'll start spinning around in circles in the living room with his hands out by his side and I'll exclaim about how fast he is and how he is going to crash etc etc.  Then he purposefully will fall to the ground right after and I'll say "Crash!" and start chuckling at him and he always responds with "Shack!"  Which I'm learning is his translation of crash...maybe he's foreshadowing some dyslexia here? ;o)  The little guy also LOVES going outside and I'm thrilled that it's finally showing signs of getting warmer around here.  He'll always come follow me and whine and say "Side....side...side."  He really makes it look/sound so pitiful.  Plus, he's always in the mood for Mommy cuddles.  More so than I remember Addison being at this age.  He'll get whiney and follow me and say "Up! Up!" and if I don't listen he'll keep whining "Mamamamaw" over and over again.  He's a fun one to cuddle with.  The other day he grabbed my phone and pushed the button so he could see the backround pic (which is of him) and he'll say "baybeh baybeh".  He's getting pretty infatuated with babies.  Probably because he finally got to meet his two newest cousins, Jase & Lydia this past week.  I even caught him staring at a crying baby in Sam's and saying "Baybeh"  I'm hoping this is a good sign for when our little girl comes to join our family soon!

A few pics of what we've been up to lately:

This pic captures the kind of fun Daddy has with the kids in the tub.  He's always more exciting than Mommy is.  That's what Daddies are for!

These are the hooligans I ran into while shopping in Target the other day.  Again, Daddy is way more fun than Mommy.  And I kinda like it that way.  ;o)

Nothing cuter than seeing a sleeping boy nodding off after lunch time.  We were waiting for sister to get home from preschool but apparently he didn't make it that far.  

Heading on a walk on a pretty sunny day.  She requested to wear her winter hat.  I'm guessing she was bracing herself for a little more frigid weather than we had?  Oh well, she was cute in it while she ran around the playground and sweat in it.

Jonas is finally at the age where he can enter the park play structure and go down the slide....ALL on his very own.  And he can also remember how to do it over and over again.  Always makes this Momma happy when they get more independent.  Less stress and running around trying to predict where he will jump off/fall from next.

Addison loves pretending to be a teacher.  She decided that since we didn't have story time at the library this day, she was going to do her own story time.  She allowed me to take only ONE picture of her as she finished reading the page and held the book up for us.  Glad it was a good one!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Our Lives Lately

Most of our pictures and general life updates get posted directly to Instagram.  Now, I have to remind myself to go back and update Blogger with these momentous occasions.  This is one such post.  Enjoy the randomness that is our life!

This was an evening that we so desperately needed to get out of the house.  Lucky for us, Daddy joined in after getting off work.  Just killing some time in Target and getting our sillies out.  These were the hooligans I ran into in the toy aisle.  Daddy is so fun!

Jonas and Mommy get lots of bonding time while Addison is away at Preschool.  I'm hoping he enjoys these outings with just he and I since it will be changing soon.  Here we are killing time at the dealership while getting our oil changed.  Lucky for us they had a bounce house for the little guy.

We've been working on our "get ready for school on time" process.  It used to be crazy mornings of trying to get this little girl to move a little faster.  And it usually never ended well.  Now we've instituted some ideas at making it a bit more fun to get ready.  Here is Piper the Pig.  She was a timer we used often to help remind us to move move move!  This was when she was in love w/Piper.  I'm not sure she thinks so fondly of her now.  One particular morning, she was trying her very hardest to get ready on time and Piper still managed to ring at her.  It was hilarious to hear her come marching into my room and saying "Mommy!  I was getting ready and dis PIG still rang!!"  After having a fit of the giggles, I let her off the hook.  And I'll have you know, it's not just her impatient Momma that thinks she moves slow.....her teachers have indeed confirmed that she is the class "lolly-gagger".  They call her first for snacks just so she'll be done by the time everyone else is.  Maybe this is a 3 year old thing?  Let's hope!  
Having some fun on the tramp and being silly.  Static electricity can be so fun sometimes!
I had recently found some little creatures that grow when put in water.  It totally brought me back to my childhood memories.  I snagged a couple for Jonas and Addison and they did indeed grow!  This is when we decided to fish those suckers out and throw them in the tub with us.  Just playing with our catch of the day!
Here are the Hufford boys getting ready for some March Madness.  Being born into this family automatically means that you become an Ohio State fan.  Jonas doesn't seem to mind...especially when he can rock that hat so well!  I'm thinking Daddy got lucky since Jonas is definitely showing an interest in any sport having to do with a ball!
We've spent a few lazy afternoons walking down to the city park and having some fun.  Jonas is finally at the age where he can maneuver the equipment all by himself.  I'm finally at the age where I can not hover around him constantly and hope (trust) that he won't go plunging off the side.  Parks are always a fun time!
This year Santa Claus brought us some Silver Dollar City passes.  We've been lucky enough to put them to use a couple of times so far and have met up with different members of my family there for some fun.  Seeing as I'm with child, I don't get to do much but take pictures of these cute kiddos while they have fun - which is still pretty fun for this Momma.  Aunt Cassie is even so generous to ride along with Jonas & Makinley on their first ride.  I was pretty skeptical I could get my pregnant self into that little caterpillar after all.  
Of course, Addison and Alexa are old pro's at these SDC rides.  They are finally at the age where they can ride by themselves on most of them.  Such cute girlies and best friends don't you think?