Wednesday, May 29, 2013

4 Year Old Photo Shoot

Every year, on the kids birthdays, I like to get pictures of them.  John is convinced it's because I'm compensating for the fact that all of my baby pictures were lost in a trailer fire when I was only three years old.  I'm sure some of it has to do with that.  But mostly, I love seeing how much they grow from year to year.  It was always something my married siblings did before I had kids and I always thought it was a great idea!  So, enjoy these pictures of our cute little Addison at 4 years old.  

It didn't take much convincing to get her to pose for the photographer.  All I had to do was tell her that they wanted to take her picture like if she were a Barbie.  That was music to her ears and she loved all the extra attention and flashing lights aimed at her.  It definitely doesn't hurt that they had some adorable, cute, extra pretty girl to take pictures of!  These are just a "few" of my favorites.  It was very hard to pick through them all.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our Fantastic Four Year Old

What can I say about this amazing 4-year old girly that hasn't already been summed up in the title of this post?  How about:  I am one lucky Mama!

It is always very easy to celebrate Addison's birth every year.  She is SUCH a good girly and always such a good helper to me.  I'm so grateful Heavenly Father sent her to our family first.  I don't know what I'd do, or how I'd survive, without her help and assistance.  Especially now as I'm less and less mobile with this pregnancy and worrying about how I'm going to handle it all when this next little girly arrives.  One of the things that brings me such peace of mind is knowing how helpful and willing Addison is on a day-to-day basis.

And she has SOOOO many other great qualities besides just being a happy helper.  She absolutely LOVES her cuddles and snuggles.  And we love giving them to her.  She takes after her Mommy in this area ;).  She's very talkative and always has a great imagination and loves to tell me stories about "her kids" which always seem to be doing exactly what we are doing on that particular day.  She plays well by herself and with her brother.  She's great at just hanging out and coloring or helping herself to a snack while Mommy & Jonas grab a quick nap during the afternoons.  And speaking of coloring, she is VERY good at it.  She can color for hours on end and I'm always amazed at her skills.  Especially how she chooses such bright and vivid colors.  

She loves her Mommy & Daddy very much and always tells us we are her "favoritest Mommy/Daddy ever!!"  She is always giving us kisses and being thoughtful and running to grab something when we can't get to it.  

She loves her brother too.  And he just adores her.  I love when they get into a wrestling/tickling match and giggle and chase each other around the house.  They usually play so well together it's so fun to watch as they get more into that age.  Jonas loves to give her hugs and love on her.  He's even started saying her name "Ahhssooonnn" and it's adorable.  I always chuckle when Addison is showing me some neat trick and quickly Jonas is in the background doing the exact same thing she's doing.  Whether it's jumping, dancing, or doing a tricky toe pointing in the air pose.  He watches her so closely and I can't think of a better example for him to have than Addison.  I fully believe she will be such a great big sister and set such a good example to that little guy and her other siblings.  

Everyone that meets Addison immediately falls in love with her.  She is just SUCH a sweetie.  She's very kind and patient and loves to learn.  She loves to play with barbies, dolls, and My Little Pony and Hello Kitty toys.  Sometimes I think she's older than she is since she's able to do so much to help me out.  I have to keep reminding myself to let her be a 4 year old sometimes!  We love our Addison and are so grateful she chose our family to be a part of.  We can't imagine it any other way.  She's a perfect fit.

Now, lets talk about what we did to celebrate our fantastic four-year old!  First, the day began with us getting ready for our lunch date with Dad.  Addison got to enjoy a morning free of contributions (chores) since it was her special day.  She even got to pick where we ate lunch.  I gave her lots of options but of course she chose "Chick-o-lay".  

Once we met Daddy there the fun really began.  He was so sweet and surprised her with 4 pink roses for her birthday.  He's such a thoughtful Daddy and she was beaming from ear to ear.

We enjoyed our lunch and even got some good play time in on the play place.  We had to send Daddy back to work while we went home for nap-time but it wasn't long before we were partying again that evening.

Addison's meal of choice was none other than:  Steak, strawberries, french fries, lemonade, and biscuits.  She knows how to pick a good meal!  We all enjoyed it actually and had some full bellies by the time she was ready to open her presents.  I'm guessing most of her birthday was caught on video camera since I can't seem to find pictures of her opening presents.  Needless to say, she did!  And she got everythign she wanted and then some.  A barbie, some cooking bowls, measuring cups, and cookie mixes from Daddy (she wants to be a chef when she grows up), a Hello Kitty backpack that she can color on, and a Doc McStuffins doll she can play with.  I'm sure there was more but I can't remember it.  She was very grateful and even very gracious in sharing with Jonas when it was time to play with her new toys.  

Addison showing off her birthday dinner.  She was so excited I don't think she ate much.  Luckily, the rest of us had no problem scarfing ours down.  She knows how to pick the yummy food!

We are sooooo grateful for our Addison and the personality she brings into our home.  It's hard to think that 4 years ago John and I became parents for the first time ever thanks to her.  We couldn't have picked a better first child and are grateful everyday for the girl she is becoming.  She is growing up so fast!  Part of me is sad to see her grow up but the other part of me loves to see the girl she is becoming.  Happy Birthday Addison!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Memories

 We had a very relaxing Memorial Day weekend this year.  Which works out great when one is hugely pregnant and soon-to-be-due like myself.  In fact, if I remember correctly, we spent most of the weekend just laying around the house in our own mess.  But, when the actual Memorial Day came around we were totally partying.

Technically the weekend started with Addison's "cousin-party" for her birthday.  It was supposed to be that Friday night but poor Jonas was sick as a poor puppy and we decided to reschedule it.  Luckily, whatever he had was just a 24 hour bug (albeit a nasty one) and he was finally back to himself around Saturday afternoon.  It's so hard seeing that little guy under the weather.  He hardly ever holds still so when he does THAT much, you know he must not be feeling good.
Poor, sick Jonas.  It's pretty bad when your cheeks match the pink blanket you are wrapped in.  

Sunday night we ended up having the cousins over for Addison's birthday.  This little get-together was my way of transitioning to a more low-key celebration for birthdays.  I'm growing tired of stressing out over intricate details and grandiose celebrations when all they ever seem to want are three things:  friends, food, and fun.  So we had cousins, pizza, and a backyard campout/campfire.  Karah, Bryce, and Bradley were very eager to come participate in the festivities.  The tent was set up and the fire was blazing (thanks to John teaching Bradley the way of the boy scout ;).  We enjoyed watching all their cool tricks on the trampoline and dining on pizza and smores.  Not surprisingly, they all decided to sleep inside instead of out in the tent in the backyard.  Secretly, John was relieved since he was the one pulling tent duty as I am wayyyy too pregnant to be sleeping on the ground.  
Bradley showing off his fire-making skills while Karah and I relax in the background.
Daddy showing Jonas the ways of s'more making.  He was a fan.

Daddy and the birthday girl making some s'mores.
We all enjoyed a comfortable night in actual beds and then woke up to celebrate Addison with a yummy donut cake.  Then before long, we were back out in the backyard playing yet again.  Aunt Sarah even came over to join in the fun for a bit.

And what better way to continue celebrating than all joining in for a pool party on Donkey Hill later that day?  This was our first experience partaking in the beautiful pool that the Allred's call home.  We all had a blast and swam for hours that afternoon.  John and I were 'parents of the year' for remembering to slather sunscreen on the kiddos.  However, we don't win "smartest parents of the year" as we completely forgot to slather it on ourselves.  And the stinker was, it was an overcast day, the worst kind of day to get the worst kind of sunburn.  Needless to say, we spent a week afterward recovering and relishing in the memories of a body that didn't shriek in excruciating pain any time we slightly moved.  It was miserable.  So glad we got that 'lesson learned' and out of the way at the beginning of summer!  I would have felt even more horrible had our kids had to endure it with us.  

All-in-all it was a GREAT Memorial Day spent with family and relaxing.  And of course, remembering all those who have given their lives for our privilege of living in a free country where we can do such fun things.  I hope to never take their sacrifices for granted.  Especially the sacrifices that the families of those who have been lost have to endure everyday afterward.  We love our country!

Jonas and Daddy hanging out in the pool.  It didn't take long before Jonas was loving that water yet again.

Addison posing on the last day she was going to be 3 years old! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Preschool Party Picnic

Addison survived her first year of pre-school!  Actually, she not only survived it....she thoroughly enjoyed it (as did I)!  It was such a good experience for her and totally helped her to come out of her shell more.  

At the beginning of the year the teachers had asked me if she talked.  Um, yes?  They apparently thought she was selectively mute.  I assured them that she talked a LOT and would soon warm up to them and preschool.  Sure enough, she proved me right.  She loved school and remembered everything she learned from music to dances to letters to you name it.  She is SUCH an attentive little girl, not only in school but in church as well and even at home.  She may not seem like she's retaining it but she absorbs it all and recites it back to me for months on end.  I'm always amazed at the detail she can provide when it has been months since she learned it.  She still knows the specifics of what to do when your house is on fire.  Such an important lesson to retain at that!  I'm so proud of her.

Originally, I hesitated about enrolling her at such a young age and instead just keeping her home with me for another year.  However, after we finished up this year it just proved to me we did the right thing.  She has always been a smart cookie....just a shy one.  Fast forward to the last day of school and she has made TONS of friends and talks to most anyone.  Even when playing at the park she won't hesitate to walk up to other kids and introduce herself and begin playing with them.  She's grown soooo much this year.

For the end of the school year, Jonas and I (and the rest of the parents) were able to join her class on a walk to the park and we even got to eat popsicles.  The kids were in heaven.  It was a nice little walk and I was even shocked that Addison preferred to hold Miss Tara's hand on the way there and Miss Leslie's on the way back - instead of mine!  My feelings weren't hurt though, it just gave me all the more hands to hold onto Jonas instead.  

The kids quickly got all sticky and sweaty after enjoying some good park playing.  I was able to chat with a few of the parents we've come to know throughout the year too.  I'm also glad to hear that most of the students are returning for next year's class (4-5 year olds) with Miss Leslie.  We are already looking forward to it and can't wait until summer is a certain degree of course.

Addison & Jonas enjoying a good popsicle.

She had a blast at her party as you can tell.  She's very much a poser lately so this one was thought up all on her own.  Such a cute little girly!
After our walk to the park, we were lucky enough to tag along on an exclusive lunch with the preschool teachers at the famous Paulette's Crepes food truck on the square.  We had never been before (as had the teachers) and they were heavenly.  Even if I had two kids pouncing on me from different directions as we all three devoured them.  It was great to have the teachers in tow to not only catch up with them on a personal level but also to have their help corralling kiddos while we enjoyed our lunch.  An extra set of eyes for some rambunctious kiddos is ALWAYS a good thing to have.  

After lunch, I decided to throw in one more little party and we headed over to the splash park for some more fun.  We improvised since we didn't have our swimming suits but the kids didn't seem to mind.  Splashing water is fun to run through no matter what you are wearing.  Amazingly, Addison had less fear than Jonas did at all the dancing fountains.  

So, thank you to some WONDERFUL teachers, MIss Tara & Miss Leslie!  We will miss you over the summer but can't wait to see you again this Fall.  You've done such a good job with helping Addison throughout this past year and she adores you both and preschool.  I'm sure she will enjoy her preschool time this next year since it'll give her something to do that's "her own" while Mommy wrestles two little ones at home by then.

Kiddos getting wet at the splash park.  Addison was a bit confused why she couldn't take her shirt off like Jonas.  She wasn't fond of being fully clothed but eventually just went with it.

Funny story: Watching Jonas from a distance, I saw him peeking at one of the dormant fountains.  After a few seconds, it shot full blast right into his face.  It was hilarious and a few random strangers even joined in on my laughing as well. He never cried or ran to me, just looked up really confused and shocked and then decided to go run and play again.  Such a big boy and I love it!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tornado Alley

I've grown up ALL my life in tornado alley.  I'm sure some people out there think it's weird that we still live in this area since we get pounded by tornadoes so much.  Luckily, I have yet to be in one although I do remember seeing one in person when I was a little girl....not far from the interstate where we had to pull over and take cover.  I spent most of my life only taking the warnings half-heartedly and thinking I was invincible.  That was until Joplin, MO (1 hour north of us) was hit with a devastating tornado.  I no longer think I'm invincible.  It's sad to see the damage and destruction Mother Nature can leave behind. And it gets even scarier when I'm a Mom and have to protect my children.  I can't imagine anything EVER happening to them.  So it's time for me to heed the warnings and take cover when they do come around.  

This part of the year is the worst part  April/May/June.  We've been under a LOT of warnings, watches, etc.  Areas nearby have been hit pretty bad but luckily we have had the same tornadoes pass over our little town.  Needless to say, we've spent some quality family time in the bathroom and the laundry room listening to our weather radio and the news.  The kiddos are convinced we are just having a little party and I'm fine with them thinking that when such scary situations are going on.  Hopefully one day we'll have a tried and true tornado shelter to hide away in but until then we make do with our tiny rooms and hope it's never anything too strong that will flatten it all out anyway.  

Holed up in the bathroom having a coloring party.  It wasn't the most luxurious cover we've taken but it works.

Yet another tornado watch.  Spending time in the laundry room.  Luckily the kids never woke up when they were relocated about three times that night and finally put on a mattress in the laundry room.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Graduation Weekend

We were lucky enough to head up to Columbia, MO (my old stomping grounds) to celebrate my little brother's college graduation.  "We" meaning the kids and I.  Poor John had to stay behind and work.  Someone has to fund our adventures right?  ;)  Luckily, we picked up my Mom in Springfield and then picked up my little sister at her house an hour later so I had PLENTY of help in the kiddo department.  It's especially helpful because I have the type of mother that doesn't let me do a THING when I'm pregnant.  Most of the time I like it.  ;)

It was a busy weekend with a lot of rushing around but it was definitely fun and definitely worth it.  We headed up Thursday and made it to my sister's house that night.  Just in time to play and have fun with cousins.  Addison is probably convinced their house is Disney World....or better.  She could have stayed their all weekend but I was a meanie and took her a long on the rest of our wild and crazy trip.  The next day, we loaded up and headed up to Columbia and got there in plenty of time to eat lunch and play with Quentin (the man of the weekend) and his cute family.  We rushed back for naps and then rushed on to the main event - Quentin walking across the stage!  He did amazingly well...never tripped, never faltered.  Just kept looking straight and success!  He got his degree (or at least the cardboard folder that will hold his degree soon) and we celebrated by taking LOTS of pictures.  The kiddos did soooo great being patient with the long boring process of waiting for Uncle Quentin's name to be called amongst the thousands of students.  We won't go into detail about how Aunt Michelle gave me fits and left for the bathroom RIGHT when it was Quentin's turn to walk.  ;)

Grandpa getting some manly bonding in during the ceremony.  These boys love their Grandpa Bell.

Quentin's in there somewhere.  It didn't take us long to spot him.  It's one of the benefits of being freakishly tall.
After the graduation we got to enjoy a lovely dinner out with Quentin's in-laws/family.  We thought we'd all be sitting at the same table but considering the busy weekend of graduations in a HUGE college town....we were lucky enough to even GET a table.  Well three of them, all spread around the restaurant.  We visited each other's tables mid-meal so it was all good.  Well, except that somewhere along the way my group drew the short straw and ended up with a 8:4 children to adult ratio.  It was crazy chaos.  Luckily we laughed about it instead of crying.  We were happy to provide the lunch entertainment to the surrounding tables as well.  Take a look.....Cassie and Grandpa got the luxury of having most of the kids.  Cousins like to sit by cousins ya know! 

Poor Aunt Cassie didn't even have her kids that day but she got to deal with ALL the cousins instead.  So much for having a break!

That evening was nice and low-key and involved all of us sitting in the backyard at Quent & Nat's house watching the kiddos play.  Our family really enjoys sitting and we are pretty good at it.  

The next day was Saturday and we were off early morning to go do some serious garage-saleing.  Luckily, Natalie's family is just as obsessed with garage sales as we are so we all hit it hard.  We dropped the kids off at her parent's house and trucked around the neighborhood looking for some bargains.  It was hot but was sooo worth it when we found what we didn't even know we needed....for super cheap!  ;)

Afterwards, my crew (including Grandma & Aunt Cassie) were off to the park to set up for Quentin's family/friend picnic celebration.  It was ohhh so hot that day but the picnic was a success.  Especially after the kids found the water spout and decided to have an impromptu splash party.  Once again, it was fun to sit back and watch them play and eat some yummy lunch.  

Enjoying ourselves at the picnic in the heat.  This little guy was getting some serious Grandpa Bell cuddles in ALL weekend.  It was sooo adorable to watch.  Especially since he doesn't get to see Grandpa Bell all that often.
Aunt Cassie did such a great job putting together a fun picnic to celebrate Quentin and all of his hard work throughout the years.  He is now happy to join the workforce and leave all those tests and homework behind.  Who would have thought ALL the Bell children would end up with college degrees?  Especially when most of them came from the same college?  Happy and blessed we are.  Congratulations Uncle Quentin!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Preschool Performance

I must admit...I LOVE having a girly in preschool.  For many reasons but one of them being that I get to see cute little singing performances and hear about what they do during the day at school.  Addison loves it just as much and I love that too.....there's a lot of love around here people.

For the end of the year, it's Explore & Discover's tradition to have a singing performance.  It's fairly low-key but it does involve having the kids stand at the front of the church chapel while the parents and family members watch and hearing what songs they've learned in preschool that year.  Most of them are silly songs but all of them are fun to hear.  And especially fun to watch how your little big girl is doing as a performer.  

It was adorable to see how excited all of the kids were to see their families in the audience and to sing to us.  We were lucky enough to have Grandma Fields join us to support Addison and she was thrilled to have her there too.  Poor Grandpa wasn't feeling good so he couldn't make it.  It was also hilarious to see how many video cameras were in the audience just recording away for every second they were up there.  I like to see all the proud parents...especially when John is recording right there along with them.  

Addison was superb at being very patient and obedient since it took a few minutes longer to queue up the music and start the performance.  Most of the other kids were flopping and flailing around by this time.  Finally, the music began and the cute little voices started singing along to their pre-recorded CD.  I could faintly hear Addison among all the others but I definitely saw her lips moving and was proud of how well she knew the words and was brave to sing in front of all of us.  At the beginning of the year she started out quite shy and thankfully pre-school has helped her with that SOO much.  This was just more proof that it was working.  

At the end of the performance they had one more song to sing to us and asked the family members to come join if they'd like.  The song was "Tootie-Tot" and apparently Grandma Fields had heard of it - I had noooo idea what song it was but I was still ushered to the front by her and John.  I figured there wasn't much I wouldn't do for my little girly than get my pregnant self up there to sing a song I'd never heard of in front of people I didn't know.  (See where Addison gets her shy-ness? ;).  I also knew that there was noooo way she was going to be the only little girly without a parent up there either.  I left my pride at the door and sang and did the actions to "Tootie-Tot" and was working up quite a sweat at the end of it.  It was fun to do it with Addison and see her just giggling away at how silly it all was.  Her preschool teacher was quite amazed it didn't put me into labor.  I was just amazed I finished it standing on both feet still.  I can't do much without getting winded anymore.  

After the performance, Addison was able to walk us to her classroom and we all enjoyed some cookies and punch and got to visit with the other parents.  Jonas finally got to play with the preschool toys - one of his favorite things to do.  It was such a fun time to celebrate Addison and her pre-school fun.  So glad Daddy & Grandma Fields could join in the fun with us.  Addison was thrilled to see us all there and that made it all worth it.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

I Grow Big Babies

It may come as a shocker to my readers, but I birth big babies.  Addison was the lightweight and she came in at 8 lbs 8 oz.  I remember thinking wow she's "average sized" but then realized that "average" could really only fit within MY family history.  To most of the world....she was still a big baby.  However, Jonas trumped her when he came in at a bouncing 9 lbs 6.5 oz.  Two words...OUCH and EPIDURAL.  I birthed a toddler folks.  

Soooo I wasn't too alarmed when my frequent doctor visits with this pregnancy had them telling me that my belly was measuring about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule.  Part of me got excited thinking that meant I would be delivering sooner than I thought.  My doctor quickly nixed that thought and said "Um, nope....that just means you have big babies."  Ha.....surprise surprise.  Either that or a lot of amniotic fluid.  I'm blessed with both...lucky me eh?  Which always makes my third trimesters borderline unbearable.  I'm huge and uncomfortable and can no longer function like a normal human being.  

Well since I was still measuring big on my following appointment, my doctor suggested I go in for another ultrasound.  He wasn't alarmed but just said it was standard procedure when I'm consecutively measuring big.  And of course their "paper measuring tape" method they use to measure is a bit archaic.  I wasn't complaining since I'm always excited for another chance to peek in on the little nugget before she's born.  

We were lucky enough to leave the kids with a sitter so John and I actually got to enjoy and pay attention in the ultra sound appointment.  This little girl is quite the mover and wasn't fond of having her picture taken.  Her feet were crossed of course.  I'm guessing it's normal but it's something ALL of our kids have done inside the womb and outside of it.  Jonas is still crossing his feet at the ankles when he gets cuddles.  Her cheeks were hugely squishy.  It's so hard to see that squishiness and not be able to take part in it for the time being.  She was a chunky monkey but of course wasn't that much bigger than normal for this part of the pregnancy.  The tech said she was measuring maybe 4 days ahead of where she should be....which is not abnormal.  She was healthy and happy and is indeed a girl.  And I was able to scan her little face and body for anything that seemed normal/abnormal physically wise.  I'm not sure if I'm the only paranoid Mommy but I ALWAYS seem to worry and dwell on if my babies are going to be born with a handicap and what kind etc etc.  I'm sure part of it has to do with the fact I'm older but part also has to do with typical Mommy worries.  Either way it was a nice relief to see she looked normal and healthy and happy.  And surprisingly she has ample room in there to keep growing for the next month plus.  

It was such a fun time to check in on the little nugget and enjoy some peace and tranquility of a waiting room and have the kids at their cousin's house AND even enjoy a quiet dinner with John before going home to pick up this little girly's siblings.  Can't wait to meet you cute little squishy and chubby unnamed baby girl!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

One Lucky Mommy

Let's be frank.  Being a Mommy is HARD work!  You rarely get a day off, you are always putting others needs ahead of your own, and you don't get any sick days.  It's rewarding work but it's definitely hard.  Which is why it's sooooo nice to be enveloped in the celebration and love of Mother's Day.  I'm one lucky Mama because I definitely got celebrated this year.  And it was glorious!

The day started with the pitter patter of little feet (and big feet - sorry Daddy ;).  I had to finish prepping my YW lesson for church that day so I was awake and heard the scurrying in the kitchen.  One of my favorite noises by the way.  Anyway, soon Addison and Daddy arrived to the bedroom and ordered me back to bed.  I of course obeyed and was then presented with this:

Such a cute little waitress serving such a delicious breakfast.  In case you can't tell, it's warm and gooey cinnamon rolls surrounded by strawberries.  It was delish!  And I need to also mention that they all sacrificed some of their allotted icing to put on my rolls for extra gooey-ness.  That's love folks.  Especially when you know how much your husband LOVES that icing.  

After we ate breakfast together in bed and hung out we were off to get ready for church.  Addison was very good at dressing herself and being a big helper while we all scurried around.  Jonas ended up making a mess right as we were walking out the door - I think he chose to drench himself in the sink - I can't remember anymore.  Luckily, he's cute and I forgave him and Daddy changed him so we could head to church.

Church was a little bit crazy busy since John's home-teaching family was speaking in sacrament.  He offered to watch their kids and we quickly divvied up the ages.  He got 4 older kids and I happily took the two littlest.  My bunch spent most of our time in the hallway thanks to a blowout from the cute little girl and Jonas not wanting to hold still and having a hard time sharing his Mommy.

After church was when the real fun kicked in.  I didn't have to lift a finger.  I got to relax while Daddy made us all a quick meal/snack so we could all enjoy a nice long nap.  It was perfect.  Then, for dinner Daddy & Addison created quite a delicious concoction.  Seriously, if you know how much I loooovvvveee me some Olive Garden Chicken Carbonara - THIS was better than that.  No lies.  Daddy mentioned he was originally planning on making something completely different but then ventured onto some creative skills and whipped up this beauty...

The first course - salad.  Yes, that IS bacon layered on top.  It was as good as it looks.  

The pasta ensemble.  I'm not sure if it had a name since he just winged it but I would like to name it 'Delicious Dinner' since it was every bit of it.

And of course, the piece de resistance....Ice cream, strawberries, and chocolate.  It doesn't get much better than this.  I was definitely stuffed!

And it didn't stop there.  All day long they showered me in thoughtful and cute little gifts.  The theme of the day was "We love Mommy from Head to Toe".  So throughout the day each gift they gave/made me had to do something with relaxation.  First, was cozy fuzzy socks with aloe vera in them.  Then there was Burt's Bee's chapstick (one of my favorites).  Then, some earrings for my ears.  Followed by some pretty body perfume, great smelling lotion (Addison picked out both and did an excellent job), some fingernail polish for my toes...and the end culminated in a foot-rub.  It was a great day.  It was so nice to be appreciated and served and not having to lift a finger all day long.  I'm already counting down till Mother's Day next year!  ;o)
This is a cute little handout Addison worked on at pre-school.  All the things she knows about her Mommy.  According to her I'm young, skinny, and I love to shower??  Welp, she got most of it right.
The beautiful flower bouquet my sweet family surprised me with.  I love me some tulips.

So grateful for this little family that I get to call mine.  I'm lucky in soooo many ways.  I waited a LONG time for them and it was worth every minute.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

How Does Our Garden Grow?

Last year was our first year (I think?) of having a garden.  None of us are certified green-thumbs....far from it actually...but we are trying hard to do what our Prophet asks of us and one of those is to plant a garden and learn to grow food and sustain ourselves.  It's always a good lesson to learn.....but sometimes it's a difficult one.  We definitely learned from our mistakes from last year and also learned what worked.  We are ready to try to do better this year - which involves learning how to can our veggies since we seemed to get more than we could eat last year.  

John made our garden boxes last year and they held up beautifully....along with most of our dirt.  All we had to do was add a little supplemental dirt and pick our veggies we wanted this year.  We mostly have a "salsa garden" since we don't really burn through a lot of veggies in this house....and lets be honest...we are working with box gardens here folks.  Not a whole lot of options when it comes to plants.

We took a family trip to the local nursery and picked out what we wanted to plant.  Addison is getting very involved this year as well.  She got to pick some stuff out and even help Daddy plant it when we got home.  She also got to learn lots about worms and how to catch them, hold them, and let them "swim" in a wheelbarrow of water.  ;o)  Our kids love playing in the dirt and I love it too - except for the part when it comes time to clean them.  It's also a challenge to explain to Jonas that he no longer gets to treat the garden like his own personal sandbox since there are now plants growing in it.  

Daddy gets credit for doing most of the work....okay almost all of it.  I got to sit back and watch and enjoy it from the comfort of my lawn chair.  It takes all my energy these days to be pregnant since I'm nearing the end.  I did plant a few herbs and some strawberries in their own containers while Addison and Daddy planted the boxes and veggies.  They did such a great job and it looks beautifully.  Here's to hoping this family learns even more about growing gardens!  And here's to hoping we don't have a scorching hot summer that fries all our plants like we did last year.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Confession

It's true, I've been cheating on my blog with Instagram lately.  Hence the lack of posts and updates about our lives on this little 'ole blog.  Instagram has so many traits that make it easier to post/update short little snippets as we move along on our busy little days.  However, it's time to stop the love affair. Especially if I still want my yearly blog book printed out every year at Christmas.  I need proof we lived and did exciting things along the way.  Thankfully, Blogger has one feature that Pinterest never dating posts.  Ahhh, now you my reader will never know where I've slacked and where I've kept up.  As far as you and the rest of the world are concerned, I've always been on top of our family journaling while simultaneously raising two children under 3 years old and also growing one inside of me to boot!  Read on.....forward, backward, etc.  You'll never know where you find a new post.  ;o)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Random Happenings

Again, I've come across pictures of our random day-to-day happenings with nothing really warranting it's very own blog post.  So, enjoy the dump of pictures/what we've been up to lately!

Addison and Jonas LOVE this swing the most on their new swingset.  Especially when Daddy is there to push them super high.  Addison is even getting good at helping Jonas get up/down on it all by herself.

This may look upside down - but this is exactly how she posed for me.  This girly LOVES posing for pictures and also loves getting dolled up with sunglasses.  This is her trying to convince me she needed her own sunglasses.  It didn't work....but she IS cute!
Boredom at home usually either leads to these two arguing/fighting over a toy or chasing each other around the house while giggling.  This was a good day when I actually got to watch a good old fashion wrestling match.  I love that they wrestle with each other.  It may look like Addison was winning but Jonas is known for his cat-like maneuvers.  He's a wiggler.
Along with a shared room, we decided on a whim to splurge on our first family pets.  This is as close as it gets for this Mommy to own a pet while taking care of little ones.  They love having the fish share their room and falling asleep to the bubbles and light.  Each family member has their very own fishy.  Sadly, we've already had to teach Addison about the circle of life when Mommy & Daddy's fish didn't make it very long.  With some new replacements, we are finally on an upswing and they are doing wonderfully.  Welcome to the family fishies!

With preschool nearing an end, this is Jonas and Mommy's last little date together.  I spoiled him by buying a truck to play with while we waited for our food.  He and I have had some fun times with just the two of us.  Next school year we'll have baby sister to tote with us but I'm sure we'll still find ways to have fun while Addison is in school.

We got a bit of cabin fever and decided to visit a new park today.  We headed to Bella Vista and Addison and Jonas were thrilled with our selection.  Especially since it catered to kids their size.  Mommy got to just sit back and enjoy watching them have fun.  Jonas decided to take a snack break and Addison was off making lots of new friends on the playground.

Jonas is just sitting back and perusing some periodicals while we wait for the doctor to do our check-up on baby sister. Addison was at school so Jonas got to enjoy Mommy & Daddy & a waiting room all to himself.  Lucky boy ;o)

A random day of cleaning led these two to finally take a break and sit down for a cartoon.  Addison does great with sitting....Jonas not so much.  This was a rarity which is why the picture was taken.  He doesn't look too happy about it does he?

The Hufford boys....sawing some logs on a weekend nap.  Such a cute photo op I couldn't resist it.

Jonas and Mommy got to enjoy a date together while Daddy & Addison did some Mother's Day shopping with the car. We managed to have fun on our walk to the park and our dinner at Sonic.  Thank heavens for wagons that pull hefty little boys.  This pregnant Mommy has no energy left at this stage of the game.

Enjoying a dinner of Sonic after our walk to the park.  He looks soooo grown up here!  It was such a fun and peaceful time to just slow down and reflect on our relationship and what it means to be to be his and Addison's Mommy.  So grateful for my cute kiddos and can't wait to meet their sister soon.  I am blessed.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bed Buddies

These two are taking a HUGE step in sibling-hood.  They are officially 'Bed Buddies!!'

They seem excited about the transition but lets be honest...they really didn't have much of a choice.  Baby sister is coming in July and since we only have three measly rooms, these two get to share.  I'm sure it helped entice them when they heard they got to get new bunk beds JUST for them!  What kid doesn't love a bunk bed?  What parent doesn't love a bunk bed?  Twice the bed....half the space.

With the bunk bed transition came the transition of taking Jonas from a crib to a big boy bed (aka the bottom bunk).  Initially, we thought we had some time since sister isn't joining us until sometime this July.  Plus, he's still a little young AND he's quite the climber and wiggler so we didn't really want to rush things when he was sleep sooooo well in his crib.  However, after a quick furniture rearrangement  in the kiddos rooms, we realized that Jonas' current room (baby's new room) had some trim/baseboards that were bulging and wet.  About this time I realized that Jonas has dealt with a nasty cough/congestion all winter long.  Bring on the Mommy guilt.  Here I was bedding my baby down right above a soggy baseboard for months....since birth folks!  Granted, I don't think it became super-wet until the rainy season but it wasn't a good place to bed down a baby.....Jonas or his soon-to-be sister.  

This put a kink in our original plans.  Now, we HAD to move them to the same room and luckily the bunk beds came around this time.  The kids were excited and I was thrilled to see how cute it all came together with their little blankets and sheets and new room arrangement.  John and I were both a bit leery of what was in store when it was time to put Jonas down to sleep for the first time in a non-crib.  Thankfully, it went off without a hitch.  The first night he gave us a good 30 minutes of getting out/playing while we took turns putting him back in bed and giving him his binky.  Eventually he tired of the process and fell asleep.  And boy was he cute.  That little guy in that big old bed (his bottom bunk is a full bed).  I couldn't stop taking pictures and peering in on him while he slept.  

Addison was equally excited about her transition - moving on a top bunk!  She had some lovely princess bedding that made it even more exciting.  At first I think she was a bit nervous about sleeping up high but after a little coaxing she was thrilled with it.  She's still great about getting up at night and going potty all on her own - even now that the trip involves trekking down/up a ladder in the dark.  

Overall, the kids have loved it and Jonas is finally realizing the new bedtime routine.  It's been great consolidating space in this tiny house and seeing them share toys and space too.  I'm a firm believer that kids learn soooo much by sharing rooms.  The only tricky thing is trying to put together a new bedtime routine and getting them down at the same time.  Thankfully Addison just lays in her bed and watches the show as John and I alternate putting Jonas back in bed over and over until he gets tired.  His sleep schedule got a bit out of whack with the new routine but I think we are finally getting back on track.  Woohoo for siblings and bunk beds!

Jonas watching the big truck deliver his new bed.  This boy is fascinated with any/all trucks.

The finished product!  Luckily the place we ordered from included a "white glove delivery/set-up" for free so we just got to watch them do all the hard work.  

The big boy bed ready and waiting for the little guy.
After 30 minutes, he finally gave in and crashed.  It's a bit tricky trying to find him in that big old bed.
Here is Addison faking sleep.  She wanted to be included in the picture taking.  She's very excited for her top bunk.
Another one of the sleeping boy.  It's so weird to see him in an actual bed...holding still!