Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Talk

Thanksgiving this year was a success!  Mostly, because we got to stay close to home and got to do LOTS of relaxing.  My sweet sister-in-love Sarah happily hosted it over at her house again and we were all so thankful.  We were even lucky enough to come the day before and help prep some of the food before the big day.  I'd almost say the day before Thanksgiving was my favorite just because we got to catch up and visit while the kiddos played and we chopped veggies.  I even got to enjoy a nice little cuddle with Brooklyn afterward on Sarah's comfy couches.  It gave me lots of time to sit and reflect for what I'm thankful for.  

Enjoying cuddles with my cute, sleeping, baby.  One of the best places to be I think.

Dinner was delicious of course and everyone managed to stuff themselves.  Where there's a will there's a way!  John and Tom rallied together earlier on Turkey day to perfect the frying of the bird.  I think it is now their yearly tradition.  John bought some seasonings to give it a cajun flair.  Along with an injection needle to juice/season the inside of it.  I'd have to say I'm a BIG fan of fried bird.  It is sooo good.  Even the extra seasonings gave it a great flavor as well.  I think we had at least two birds...maybe eat at our dinner table.  

What is also equally as fun is seeing the cousins all playing together.  I love that Jonas and Addison are at the age now where they can run around and keep up with the older cousins.  And I also love that their older cousins love them tagging along.  They are so helpful with them and I'm grateful.  It's also nice to sit and not have them sitting on top of me either.  I literally do not see them from the minute I walk in the door until the minute it's time to head for home.  They do a great job of wearing them out that's for sure.  I appreciate the break.

I'm also grateful for my in-laws.  I definitely got blessed in this department (especially when I hear stories from others).  My in-laws are easily like family to me.  I know no one is without fault or perfect but they are definitely a perfect fit for me and I'm grateful that I can be so comfortable around them as well.  I'm a lucky girl.

I'm definitely grateful for my own little family.  Can I still call it "little" with three kids now?  I guess it works since they are still little in size.  These three kids keep me busy almost every day and every minute of the day but I don't think I'd have it any other way.  They are perfectly suited for me and I know without a doubt they are here to teach me and help me grow.  It seems like I need a constant reminder sometimes.  I won't lie, taking care of three kids age 4 and younger can definitely have it's moments.  But they all contribute so much to our family I can't imagine life without them.  I used to sit and wonder what my future kids would look like or act like....I like knowing that now I know the answer to that.  And I especially like watching their little personalities develop right in front of my eyes.  They may all be spitting images of their father but I love seeing little personality traits they get from me.  Oh and Jonas can soooo rock that huge forehead I gave him.  ;)

I'm also grateful for my husband.  He's pretty much everything I needed and wanted whether I knew it all at the time or not.  I'm grateful Heavenly Father made it so apparent to me that this was the man I needed to marry.  Our marriage isn't perfect (who's is?) but I like knowing that I get to go down this road with him.  It's so fun being able to spend the rest of your life hanging out with your best friend and always having someone who has your back.  I especially love that he reminds me to focus on our friendship and the importance of it as we seem to get caught up in kids and the chaos that comes with them.    He reminds me often that life isn't to just be endured but enjoyed.  And with my personality I seem to need that reminder frequently.  ;)

I'm grateful for my side of the family.  I fully embrace all of our quirks (we seem to have a lot) and especially am grateful that no matter what, we all love each other and when push comes to shove we would all sacrifice to help in a moments notice.  It can be easy to get caught up in our own immediate families and our own schedules but I appreciate that my family makes it a priority to gather and visit often.

And lastly, I'm thankful for the gospel.  I don't spend much time bearing my testimony from the pulpit (maybe something I should look into changing? ;)  But, I'm grateful for the peace and the direction that the gospel brings me.  It gives me such a perspective and a way to pattern my life - and my children's lives - so we can all live with Heavenly Father again.  I'm grateful that John and I made it a priority to marry in the temple so that we could be sealed together as a family.  That has brought so many blessings into our lives and our marriage.  Namely, our cute little three kiddos.  We are blessed beyond measure in so many ways and all of those ways can easily be pointed back to living the gospel.  I'm grateful for the sacrifice that Christ gave us and for all the sacrifices all the prophets have given so that we may know Heavenly Father and what we are to do on this earth so we can return and live with him.  

In summary, I am blessed and I am thankful.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Addison and Grandpa Fields spent some time just hanging out while waiting for the turkey.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Bunch of Sickos

For a good three week span this house has been infested with sickies and everything that goes with it.  By the symptoms we had I'm guessing it was the flu even though we dutifully got our flu shots.  Must have been a different strand....oy it was not fun.

It all started with Addison.  We spent the Saturday evening with Grandma Bell visiting us and enjoying a nice little ward chili dinner and talent show.  It was jam packed with people but it was pretty fun.  We all enjoyed ourselves.  However, by the time we got home Addison wasn't feeling good, had a temperature, and spent the night barfing in a bucket while I laid next to her.  I think she puked about five times that night.  It was a long night for both of us.  She spent the next day still somewhat sick so we stayed home from church while Daddy and Jonas went by themselves.  All in all, I think she endured the yuckies for about three days total (with a random well day thrown in the middle of it).  I must say I'm soooo grateful she has reached the age of knowing when and how to throw up in a bucket instead of wherever it lands.  

Jonas, on the other hand, is still learning this trait.  Yep, he came down with the sickies and fever on Monday.  He's like his Momma, he gets pretty miserable and whiney when he isn't feeling well.  I think his followed the same course as Addison's and then finally he was over it.  I laid by him in my big bed and kept a bucket nearby for when he would start crying.  I quickly learned it was his signal that something was coming up soon.  However, he also was convinced that his barf bucket being near him actually made him he'd keep pushing it away.  Luckily we caught the majority of his as well.  It was so hard to see both of the kiddos sick.  I was just hoping Brooklyn escaped it all.

Next one that was down for the count was me.  It was miserable folks.  I'm convinced I got the bug just so I would be able to better relate to how miserable it was for my kids.  And I'm also convinced they either get a milder case with a longer duration and I got a shorter duration but a more intense bug.  Either that or I'm just a big baby.  I was literally down for the count.  As in 'can't get out of the bed or else I'll run to the bathroom puking' status.  I spent the whole miserable day in bed and every muscle was sore.  I spent most of the day and night using my puke bowl as well and wasn't able to keep a thing down.  It was bad.  And luckily, John came through and transformed into Mr. Mom and kept the kids alive.  I could NOT have endured that while taking care of three kids (especially when one is a 4 month old).  I could barely prop myself up to nurse her the few times I did.  The house was a mess but the kids were alive and that was all I cared about.  

Luckily, for awhile there, it seemed the bug left our house and we were on the mend.  It made for a long week since we all tag-teamed and stretched out the sickies as long as possible.  I was sooo grateful to have a somewhat functioning body once it was all over.  The only good news was that I hit my lowest weight I've seen in years!  It's funny what not eating for two straight days will do to ya!

Unluckily, the bug returned for me the very next week.  It was a different bug with different symptoms.  I think this one was the stomach flu.  I've had it before and it involves intense stomach cramps and of course...puking.  I have NO idea why anyone saw fit to give me two serious ailments in such a short amount of time.  However, once again John stayed home from work and kept the house from falling down around me.  I was making myself more sick just wondering how I'd be able to keep the kids alive with him at work.  Thank heavens he took pity on me and my midnight crying spell about all my worries for the next day.  Again, I managed to maintain that weight loss!  Woohoo.  My consensus?  It wasn't worth it.  I hate being sick's miserable.  I don't know anyone who particularly likes it but I think I hate it even more than the average person.  ;)

And one more thing for the records.  You know the saying Mom's sometimes say about "I wish I could take the sickness from my child so they could be well."  Um, I disagree.  Don't get me wrong....I hate seeing my babies get sick.  It's no fun.  However, in my opinion it's even worse when I'm the one sick and they are well.  Who steps in to take my spot?  I'm convinced the Momma needs to be well and good so she can nurse the ailing children.  Ultimately, if I had the choice I would obviously choose for no one to get sick...however, I think me being well and them getting the yuckies is the better scenario.  They need their Momma to nurse them back to health!

So glad we have that course of yuckies behind us.  I'm hoping nothing is looming in our near future.  One of the many reasons I'm not a fan of winter.  Too many sickes and it's too cold.

Aunt Sarah saved the day with a delivery of the sickly essentials.  Luckily, the kids were on the mend here and helping Daddy disinfect the house.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Day In The Life...

And here's a lovely blog of random pictures to document our latest happenings in the Hufford world.  These kids are too cute to just let these pictures go to waste....enjoy!

Jonas cleaning up a mess I'm sure.  Every once in awhile he actually cleans one instead of makes one.
Apparently he was feeling the need for a bath and Mommy wasn't taking the hint.  Our days can get pretty interesting when Addison is away at school.  

Hanging out on the swings.  Trying to cure some cabin fever.

She loves the swings.  Mostly the baby swings but I'm trying to convince her the "big girl swings" are more fun.  It's a hard sell.

A random stoic pic of Brooklyn.  You're welcome. ;)

Addison and Daddy learning some baseball.  She's pretty good for a four year old and even better she LOVES it!
Monkey #1 hanging in a tree at my Aunt Sharon's house.  I grew up doing this for fun.  I think they need a little more convincing that it's actually "fun".
Monkey #2 hanging in the tree.  He wasn't quite sure what to think.

This is how we roll in Target.  Poppies, drink, and a cart full of kids.  I'm convinced they need to get bigger carts if they actually want me to buy something.  ;)

Addison trying to imitate my yoga moves.  She makes it look easy and graceful.  
Jonas' turn at imitating me.  I'm thinking this is probably more true to how I look when I do it.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree folks.
Taking advantage of the Krispy Kreme light being on.  Even Brooklyn got to indulge on this trip.  Well, indulge in the hat...I did not puree a donut for her sadly.  There's always next time! 
And lastly, a typical trip to Walmart for Halloween costume stuff.  Luckily they provide free cookies in the bakery for "well-behaved children" (or so my kids think).  They also manage to give out the ones with an inch thick of icing and this is what it leaves me with.  Two happy kids coated in sugar.  Yes, it's still worth it for the silence on my shopping trip.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Girls Getaway Weekend

Almost every year, it has become a tradition for the girls to get together on my side of the family and have a "Girls Weekend."  It's always a fun time and so worth all the extra work it takes to find a sitter for the older kids since our festivities usually start on a Friday.  So far, we've had all of our celebrations in Branson mostly because of free lodging and mostly because of valuable outlet stores with great deals to be had.  I rarely go shopping for myself when I'm home with three kids.  It's just easier to not do it.  I don't have the energy to even look through three items of clothing and then lug all our gear and kids into a dressing room while they wait for me to see if something fits.  It's way too much work.  Which is why I look forward to these girl weekends.  No kids, just adults, shopping in silence, and eating out...HOT meals at that.  Ah, it's the little things really.

This year, Brooklyn got to join us since she is still nursing.  It's a good thing too because she's been my little buddy since she was born.  I would have had a hard time leaving her behind with the others. 

To start our weekend off, we dropped off Addison and Jonas with my friend April while Daddy was finishing up work.  Then we headed off to Branson.  Normally it's only a two hour drive (if that) but this time it took FOREVER.  Mostly because I followed about three recreational vehicles the whole way.  It's a windy drive and there is rarely ever any space to pass (nor worth risking life or limb to do it) so we sat there patiently (well maybe not patiently) and waited until they decided to turn off the road.  I kept calling/texting my sisters, Mom and sister-in-law and promising I was still coming...just a lot slower than I expected.  It was such a tease all the way there....I was so looking forward to this little break off from being a Mommy.

We finally landed in Branson.  Tanger Outlets to be specific and got to meet up with everyone and shop til we dropped.  We found lots of deals and exhausted ourselves out.  Then we were off to our first adult dinner (adult plus two babies in tow dinner that is).  Yum, Olive Garden.  It was delish.  Mostly because it was HOT.  Rarely do I get to enjoy my food the minute it comes out so it was nice to take advantage of it.

Next, we enjoyed a lazy Saturday morning and did some more shopping at Branson Landing near our condos.  The evening started out great but didn't end the greatest.  Mooma (aka Grandma Bell) never told anyone she was having sharp chest pains.  She just endured while bouncing my baby on her hip while I tried on every shoe size known to man.  Then she quietly excused herself to the bathroom just to call Cassie and tell her "I'm dying, come get me and take me to the hospital!"  Okay, maybe those weren't her words per se but obviously since she never goes to the hospital it was kinda  a big deal for her.  Cassie took her to the ER while Michelle and Natalie and I (and babies) felt guilty about enjoying a nice dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  We kept the texting up with any updates and she was resting comfortably so we ate our meal.  We were also car-less so Cassie was so kind to come back for us so we could take her back to the hospital and we could drive the over-tired cranky babies back to the condo to sleep.  Luckily, Mooma came back later that night and was feeling much better.  Apparently, the best they could diagnose was that she was having esophageal spasms and weren't any reason for concern and would go away on their own.  However, having never had a heart attack before and not knowing the symptoms, it was good she decided to get it checked out.  It could have been much worse and we are very glad it wasn't.  After all, she would have missed the rest of a great girls weekend!  ;)  We love our Mooma and we are glad she's still healthy.  It probably didn't help that she spent the weekend toting both grand babies everywhere we went.  Whoopsie! 

All in all, it was a great weekend.  It's always fun to get together and giggle with the ladies and lay around on the couch and talk and talk and talk about anything/everything and then spend your extra time shopping and updating your fashion.  Which for this Mom of three kids age 4 and wardrobe definitely appreciated my girls weekend.  Already looking forward to next year!

(Yes, sadly I realized I didn't get a single picture of our weekend.  Apparently it was THAT much fun....just take my word for it.)

4 Months Old

Enjoying a stroll through the neighborhood with Mommy.  Who would have thought a hat would have made an already cute baby so much cuter?
Wowza.  I'm falling behind with my posts....especially my updates of sweet little Brooklyn.  I swear this kiddo is growing TONS faster than the other two!  ;)

Our little Brooklyn is 4 months old and is such a joy.  Seriously, she is folks...I don't say that in jest.  95% of the time she is such a mellow, accommodating, patient, happy, jabbery little girly.  There are the few times she isn't but those are so few and far between that it almost sends me in shock when they happen.  And of course since she spoils me with her good behavior almost everyday I have a hard time adjusting when she decides to try being fussy.  Darn that little stinker for acting like a 4 month old sometimes!  ;)

For this milestone we actually had a doctor's appointment for her.  Not sure why it was her 4 month instead of her 3 month but we'll roll with it.  Turns out she is a happy, healthy, bouncing baby girl.  Who needs to pay a doctor to tell you that?  Just look at this face!

Here are her stats...

Weight: 14.3 lbs which is in the 75%
Length: 25 1/4 inches which puts her in the 75-90% for length
Head:  For some reason, they don't do these after they aren't newborns anymore.  Maybe that's just our doctor?  Anywho, she's a Hufford and she was blessed with a head and then some.  But still not near what her older brother Jonas was blessed with.

Needless to say, I was quite thrilled to see these stats this time around.  Mostly, because we are STILL nursing folks!  I've never gone this long before without any problems!  Well, Addison was almost 4 months but this time around we are 4 months and going strong!  No mastitis, no clogged ducts, she latches, she eats, she eats QUICKLY.  I'm telling you...the third time is the charm I guess.  It's amazing to realize that I can sustain my child's life with the milk that my body produces.  But enough about me, lets keep talking about our little chunker.....

She is getting to the age now where she likes some interaction.  Sometimes I forget that.  I usually just lay her down while I get something else done or just hold her and forget to actually "play" with her.  When I do remember she loves it.  Gets all smiley and giggly and eats it up.  It's a fun age I think.  I love seeing her little personality develop and seeing how similar or different she is from her siblings.  Speaking of which, she LOVES her siblings.  You'd think she would prefer Addison since 90% of the time Addison is the one hovering around her head and cooing away at her and making her smile - which she does love.  However, she loves Jonas just as much.  Although he's not fixated on her he does love to jabber at her and show her her toys and talk to her in his little Jonas-ese.  And when he does, she thinks he's hilarious too.  One of my favorite things about being a Mom is seeing sibling love between the kiddos.  I now realize why all Mom's hope their kiddos grow up to be great friends and truly love each other.  Not that they won't argue or fight from time to time but they are really the best friends they could ever have.  It totally goes along with my thoughts that every child needs a sibling (or two...or three ;).
So accommodating she is.  'Go ahead Mommy, feed the other two whining kids breakfast first.  I'll hang out here and smile and coo until it's my turn.'  Seriously, she is great.

We enjoy having Brooklyn in our family and we all dote on her and love cuddling with her and just melt when she smiles and laughs at us.  She's a great 3rd child really.  I thank my Heavenly Father for giving her to our family.  She's a perfect fit.

Happy 4 Months Old Brooklyn!

This is her hang out spot while Mommy exercises.  Who wouldn't want to look at that face while they are running on a treadmill?  That alone gets me through my workouts!