Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Henry the First

Our little Herny is not turning the Eighth yet, just the First. Happy Birthday, Henry!

(I know, you're thinking that I already blogged about a birthday today. But the date on Jack's birthday post is CLEARLY published on the 11th. Maybe you just haven't been paying attention--afterall, who fakes a date on a blogpost just to not look like a negligent blogging momma?)
This year has FLOWN by. I can't believe that 365 days and a fe
w hours ago I had this little guy. He's gone from a tiny-ish newborn to a fork-wielding, cupcake devouring, dimple-grinning one year-old! (and, by the way, I have NEVER seen a one year-old kid do more than lick the frosting or destroy the cake--this kid literally ate EVERY BITE. Hey, don't be jealous, we all have different talents).
Last pict is him shoving the last morsel of cupcake in his face. Is that what you were drooling over all day? YUM!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Holy Toledo, Batman, he's 5!

Ah, November 5th...a special day for our family...the day our Oldest Kid was born!
Our big guy recently finished up his Birthday Celebration (which actually started in October while Grammy was here and went through his birthday weekend). It's crazy that our oldest is now 5--that's not a toddler anymore! Not that he has been for a while...reading, talking back, and flirting with girls has been going on for some time. He's practically a teenager!

Well, in October, he got to kick off birthday festivities with Tyler's mom (she was visiting from NJ). He did a great job sharing his new presents with his sister. Since Jack's been soooo into reading lately, he
thoroughly enjoyed his new GIANT book and read-along CD.
On his
actual birthday, we did the family stuff. Waffles for
breakfast, Mac&Cheese for lunch, and Pizza for dinner (he couldn't decide between blueberry pancakes and pizza for dinner...but I figured after waffles we needed a little somethin'
else). He finally got the
Imaginext Batcave he's been coveting for 6 months, and he spent ALL DAY playing with it. Great Grampa Larry and Great
Gramma Diane made it down in the afternoon and had cupcakes with us after his Preschool party. We were so excited to spend a little time with them--and we were even able to visit outside (it was in the 60's!). We spent all day doing the stuff he loves, but he informed me that it wasn't really his birthday. (oh no?) Nope, not until his party with his cousins!
So, Saturday was WARM AND WONDERFUL, which led to his first (and probably only!) birthday party outdoors. He's been really into dinos lately, so we made brachiosaurus hats, played T-Rex tag,
tossed dino beanbags into a volcano, and played pin the meat on the T-Rex. The friends and cousins were running around like a bunch of wild animals and had a GREAT time. The topper of it all was the dinosaur volcano cake that REALLY errupted. It was like magic! (it was pretty fun to redo this cake, since it's the same one we had on his 1st birthday!).I can't believe how quickly the past 4 years has gone (yup, 4....the first one was LONG and I wondered if we'd survive 2 months, let alone 5 years!).
We love our Axel Jack SO MUCH!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Points of Fact

Tonight, we redeemed some vouchers Grammy gave us for Frosties. Jack wanted to try white, but Sheridan and I wanted brown.

Sheridan: Mommy, you have brown, too?
Me: Yup.
Sheridan: Mommy, girls like chocolate.
Me: Yup, that's true (oh, you don't know how true that is, my girl!).
Sheridan: Henry's a cute boy.
How can I argue with her points of fact?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Take the Shots You Can Get and Don't Complain

I've learned that with my kids, you take the shots you can get and don't complain. They didn't stay still very long. And they scream a lot when you try to make them stay still...or even minimize their movements.

The pirate, the princess, and the dragon.
They came.
They saw.
They hauled in some candy.
Jack decided to be a pirate after he got an eye patch at pre-K and had a costume party shortly afterward. Sheridan has wanted to be Cinderella since...well, last spring I think. She NEVER varied from that. Her Grammy was super-nice and gave her an actual Cinderella dres...but Sheridan had already decided (probably in Spring, unbeknownst to me) that she was going to wear the blue princess dress she already had...deep down, I think she kinda wanted to be Cinderella in the pink dress (the one the stepsisters tore up). She has very strong opinions. Henry got to be the dragon since we had the alligator costume from Jack's first Halloween--I only needed to add the long red tongue and wings. He looked SO CUTE crawling around (that little tail was adorable!) but all those pictures are a blur. Sigh. Photographing a baby is rough work.
We got to attend a friend's Halloween Party and made some fun spiders with glowing legs (the kids fought over the glowing legs ALL THE NEXT DAY). We ate tasty food. We trick-or-treated around our little neighborhood and the kids got enough candy to last me a week or so. I mean, to last them a little while. Long enough that I'll get sick of their sugar-induced craziness and I'll have to do something desperate, like eat all the rest (which shouldn't be too bad, cuz they like all the candy like strawberry drops and bubble gum and they're leaving all the chocolate).
Then our friends Uncle Corey and Aunt Jenni came over and hung out with us until the last of the trick-or-treaters gave up. They left fairly early...which is good, due to the time change. (Falling back is not a kind time change for parents. It means the kids will STILL get up at their "regular" time, except now their regular time is an hour earlier. I'm looking forward to springing forward already.) And then the kids got to come down off their sugar high and messed up sleep cycles on Sunday. The end.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Almost 11 months...

Really, the time is FLYING by! In honor of Henry's 5th tooth (another tooth beside the top middle one...Yeah, he only has one top middle one, weird!) I thought I'd put up some cute picts...He is such a fun little guy! He's getting vocal and cruising around everywhere. He LOVES his siblings! He ADORES his Daddy (in fact, we think he just figured out how to say "Daddy"--the first of our kids to say "Daddy" before "Mommy"). He cries whenever Dad or Mom leave the room. He loves exploring and is really eager to show off when he can do. He's more quiet than his siblings (not difficult to be!) and has a knack for finding trouble (today he pulled a speaker over on himself, tried to get into the toilet, and managed to get two solid fistfulls of cat fur...). He has the most infectious smile...We love our little Henry-boy!

Privacy, Please!

You know how everyone is going private with their blogs?

Yeah, we're not doing that. I figure that blogstalkers need blogs to stalk, right?
Anyhow, this is about more important privacy.
Our room.
For those of you who've been out of the loop or haven't visited our house, we sleep in the family room. There are only 2 bedrooms on each floor of our house and we weren't comfortable with having our little kids a whole floor away. Since Sheridan was in a crib and Jack stayed in his room when we moved in, it wasn't an issue that we didn't have a bedroom door. But, come on, after 2 years it got a little old.
So, we built one.
There was a cold air return agains the old wall, so we had to build out a 2 foot section into the entrance to the room. Studwork above the doorway, Sheetrock, door insertion, mud and tape, texturizing, and priming followed. I still need to put up the trim around the door, and air return above the door, and put finishing paint on, but hey! We got a door up before my brother moved in, which is a win for EVERYONE!

And then we fixed the paneling. You can see it in the back of some of the above picts, but here's a clearer shot.
I have hated the paneling in our room since we moved in. It's dark and a little creepy.
What, creepy, you think?
Let us take a closer look at that innocent paneling...

You thought they were faux knotholes, but they're hunting vignettes! Apparently, they were a big selling point for the previous owners...but then, if you've followed this blog since we moved in, you know that they had all manner of animal-centric decor going on (heck, not just decor...they were VERY into animals and hunt'n).
Oh, so here's what it looked like with the skim coat of joint compound (and on anther tangent, I LOVE JOINT COMPOUND!!! Give me that and some painters' caulk, and I am a happy little homie). And the final? MUCH better! It just looks like a normal old wall!

Do you believe in Magic?

So, speaking of Family Home Evening (see previous post)...

It's national Chemistry Week (what?!? You didn't KNOW that?!?).
All week at BYU they are having a FREE chemistry magic show.
I believe it's at 7 pm every night in the Benson Building (room 111 and 112--funny thing, I had chem 101 in room 111 my freshman year, which was about a billion years ago). You may want to check the website.
We went tonight for FHE (on the way, when Jack announced "There's BYU!" Sheridan belted out "Rah! Rah! Rah, rah, rah! Goooooo Cougars!" Tyler and I were so proud!). Lots of burning stuff, explosions, color changes, etc. It was VERY cool. Jack was enthralled, rapt attention the whole hour. Sheridan really liked it...for about 1/2 hour. After that point she started yelling very loudly that she had to go potty. (sigh). Henry was pretty happy the whole time...but a little antsy at the end.
We adults REALLY enjoyed it!
So for a cheap date or free family fun, if you're around BYU check it out!
(sorry no picts...but really, you have to see it to appreciate it!)
Goooooo Chemistry!

All the Brothahs in the House...

For those of you that don't know, my big brother, Daniel, has moved out to Happy Valley where I (along with my loverly family) reside. He started his new job here this summer.
His lovely wife and 3 lovely little boys (3 years and younger) have been packing up their home and lives back west in readiness for moving out here next month. Their oldest boy is a freshman at BYU-I (formerly known as Ricks Junior College and still known as Ricks to anyone who hasn't attended there...) Eeek! I don't know how they've all done it!Sooo, he's participating in our crazy life, including the Family Home Evenings that we have every Monday night. A few months ago we started including "talent" as part of our FHE...and he had talent a few weeks ago. Can you guess what his talent was? (Sorry these photos are so blurry--he was in motion, boy was he ever!)

I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants.
And then, to top it all off, we frosted pumpkin cupcakes.
The end.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So it's been a while...

Yeah, yeah, I know. If I could actually locate my camera cord, I'd be downloading pictures, too, but I can't so I won't. And I figured not having the pictures was only a good enough excuse for one month, so bask in the glory or my photoless posts...

Done basking?
Busy month, that September. I dragged the whole family back up to Oregon to visit my mom before chemo started mid-month. It is one of the best visits we've had in YEEAARRS. Mom was taken off some meds before her surgery and it turns out that it was the drugs, not the M.S. that had caused some of Mom's personality to fade. She's back! It was so unbelievable to have that kind of visit with my Mom...the best visit at least since Tyler and I got hitched 7 years ago...
Jack started back to Pre-K and life is busy again with driving him around and trying to do all the other stuff I'm supposed to (those of you with older kids are probably laughing at me maniacally, thinking, "oh, you think that's crazy? just you wait until your the soccer-Mom to 4..."). We all caught whatever cold is going around here and have been coughing (basically) since we got home. Sigh.
Oh, and chemo was going ok but now mom has some PAINFUL nerve side-effects. Fabulous.
Also not-fabulous is my sister-in-laws first invitro attempt (she has premature ovarian failure...anyone dealing with infertility can find a friend in her and perhaps help for your own journey...see our sidelink to Wild Thing, I Think I Love You). She got pregnant...and then the hcg levels dropped and it looks like a blighted ovum. I had one of those, once, and without the path she's endured to get there. I'm still struggling to deal with this tragedy so I can only imagine their feelings (and how much it hurts).
In good news, Henry is 10 months old now! Crazy, how quickly time has flown with him. He's now crawling for REAL (for about the past month or so), and sitting up, and pulling to stand, and cruising, and teething! He got the first tooth around 9 months, the second 2 or 3 weeks later, and just Sunday cut his first top tooth (and is working on cutting 3 more on top). He's been a little grumpy and isn't sleeping great (again). He is having SO MUCH FUN, though, with Jack and Sheridan. They get him giggling like nothing else. When Sheridan isn't trying to sit on him, at least...
Jack and Sheridan just keep getting bigger. He turns 5 in less than a month (!) and is counting down the days (literally). He has learned to read over the past 4 months and now we find him reading Bernstein Bears books by himself. It's really cool! He's also been my helper during naptimes--he gardens, cooks, and crafts with the best of them. Sheridan is busy being "mommy" to her yellowish bear--she cooks for her, pushes her around in the stroller, and loses her then breaks down into hysterics when she can't find her. Such is the life of a mother, I guess!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Good news comes in twos!

Man, after a month of frustration with my mom's cancer situation, she finally got the post-op visit with an oncologist. And she finally got good news. It's "only" uterine cancer. It's actually been downgraded to stage 1 (which is MUCH MUCH better than stage 3!). Without chemo, the survival rate is 50%. With chemo, it's up to 65%. Much better odds, especially since it is an aggressive cancer. We'll be heading up this weekend to spend some time with should be a much happier trip now!

In other medicalish news, I have a new nephew! My oldest brother, Daniel, and his wife, Deon, had their little baby, Emmett, today. He weighed in at a paltry 10 lbs 8 oz and was 21 3/4 inches long.
Here's a few picts of the happy family last year, plus the new bebe. (I couldn't figure out how to just get the one pict of the new you get the whole family!) Congrats, Daniel and Deon!
This is the new baby, cute "little" Emmett.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

7 years
2 degrees
3 kids
some craziness
countless memories
lots of love

I love you, Babe!

Mmmm, tasty.

(Evan, Sheridan, Jack, and Adam at the Oquirrh Mt. Temple Open House, July)
This morning our friends watched the kids so we could go to the LDS Ouqirrh Mountain Temple dedication (it's pronounce "ocher", like the color). Over the past months the temple has been open to the general public for tours, but with the dedication it becomes sacred. It was really cool to participate in a dedication on our 7th anniversary--it was a great reminder that temples allow our family to be together forever and a very peaceful and spiritual way to spend the morning.
After the dedication, we had a tasty brunch with Corey and Jenni. I made my FAVORITE pancakes, pikelets from New Zealand. Corey got as addicted to them as I am so I thought I'd share the recipe (I make a double batch at least weekly and we all gobble them up!). Sheridan calls them "baby pancakes" since they're silver dollar sized and because they're a little sweet, they're delicious just plain (of course, they're also delicious slathered in butter or dunked in yogurt or topped with fruit and powdered sugar, or nutella'd...the possibilities are endless!).

(from the Edmonds Cookery Book, New Zealand)
1 c flour (I do half whole wheat and half unbleached flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk

Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat egg and sugar until thick (I just use a fork to do this). Add with milk to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined (overmixing results in rubbery pancakes). Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture from the point of a spoon onto a hot nonstick gridle (I set my gridle to 375--if yours isn't nonstick, grease it lightly). Turn pikelets over when bubbles start to burst on top surface. Cook second side until golden. Makes 8-12. (I like them best hot off the gridle without any toppings--they are slightly crunchy on the edges and sooo tasty!)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to school, back to school...

Jack is certainly proving to Dad that he's no fool.
Preschool started on Tuesday for Jack. He's attending an in-home school this year--Little Learners--and his teacher is fabulous. She did the kindergarten testing for all the kids and (no surprise) Jack knocked it outta the park. He was a little nervous about going to a new school, but he had SO MUCH FUN!!! His first field trip is in 2 weeks and tomorrow I'll get to spotlight him.
He's growing up too fast! Somebody slow him down!!!
Here he is in front of his preschool! He's got his nervous/excited face on.
He chose the apple shirt--he's a mac, not a pc. His teacher said "he's certainly got a lot of personality!". That's good, right? :)

Caught in the Act

Finally! I'm getting one of my favorite videos (ok, one of our only videos!) of Sheridan off the camera and into the bloggasphere. This was back in June. Forgive the lighting. Live the dream.
She's been singing this song for MONTHS and loves to pretend she's Cinderella. Usually she gets some comb action going, too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Not a good thing...

Well, for those of you who know my extended family (the Birds), it has been a rough few weeks. My mom was recently diagnosed with uterine cancer and had a hysterectomy--that was supposed to take care of the problem since uterine cancer is generally localized and is less aggressive.

My mom has Multiple Sclerosis and is wheelchair-bound, so there were some complications with recovery--pnuemonia, congestive heart failure, etc. It was a little scary, but she finally came home on Monday (hooray!). Things were looking up.
Unfortunately, they found free-floating ovarian cancer cells during the surgery. Ovarian cancer isn't as 'friendly' as uterine cancer, so things are looking less cheery. Chemotherapy for 6 months is now in her near future. So, for those of you who do know my mom, your prayers will be MUCH appreciated. Heck, those of you who don't know my mom can also pray for her--I'm pretty sure God listens to people who don't know my mom as well as to those who do! My family tends to keep stuff like this on the down-low, but I know lots of my friends who love my mom--and I don't want to forget to tell someone!
Thanks for listening--I may not feel much like talking about this in person or over the phone, but it makes me feel better knowing that, nonetheless, friends will know what's going on.
Peace out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Victory is Ours (or, the post about pee)

I'm probably jinxing myself...but one must celebrate a victory as it comes, non?

(that was french for "no")
We started doing the full-time potty training on Saturday.
No, it's for Sheridan, silly. (This post might be a little gross for the super-clean--come on, it's about potty training, of course it's a little gross!)
I've been a little...mmm...reluctant to potty train Sheridan. Maybe terrified and resistant would be better descriptions. Jack was not an easy child to potty train ("not easy"? try horribly frustrating). I was not in a hurry to repeat that. However, she's been showing signs of readiness for a few months. With travelling and such, though, there was no way.
So, now the company has departed and we have no further adventures planned for this summer. When the kids had a viral rash this weekend, I figured there was no better time. 
Saturday we started. The princess underpants were a DEFINITE incentive (thank you, Grammy!). She's only had one or two accidents each day since then. But...
no poop.
Typical. she did NOT want to poop on the potty. This girl is normally more regular than metamucil, but she wasn't having it. 
Today I looked up some stuff online about potty training the non-poopers. One site recommended no underwear so they can feel the difference. After she failed to "go" at her usual time on the potty, I tried it. Whilst perusing another "potty" site, I heard a "thud, thud, thud" on the floor. 
Thank goodness I turned around and caught her before the 4th rabbit-like turd hit the floor. Fortunately she'd a little less loose than normal (that would have been DISGUSTING). I whisked her to the potty and she got the last out there (she couldn't even protest, just had to keep doing her business). Blessedly, Henry was far enough away that those...things...on the floor weren't a problem until I could get her onto the potty. While she finished up, I cleaned up (hoorary for Lysol!) and we celebrated with a potty dance and popsicles (don't worry, we sanitized everything in sight first!).
And tonight, wonder of wonder and miracle of miracles, she pooped on the potty of her own volition. 
Tomorrow will probably make up for it all.
Happy pooping!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Why we love the beach...

Henry loves some one-on-one time with Daddy.
Sheridan loves the excitement.

Jack loves the sand. And his cousins...
Ali loves time with all the family.

Tyler loves it all.

Random shots with Grammy and cousins (including the 4-headed monster)