Thursday, November 11, 2010

6 Year Celebration

It was a little crazy to celebrate Jack's 6th birthday. It was the same day of the week that he was born, which just brought back memory after memory of the birth experience. It was fun to talk to him at various times throughout the day about what happened at that point (no, not like "At this time, the doctor broke my water and then, BOY, did I really know pain", or "then I had to go to the bathroom and the IV got yanked out of my arm and blood was spurting everywhere". More like, "Aw, this was around the time that we were at the hospital waiting for you" and "oh, around this time you were actually born!" and "Aw, you pooped all over Mommy in the bed as she was trying to change your meconium diaper!" You know, the wholesome, not-scary details!).
Jack chose waffles and strawberries for birthday breakfast. He devoured them.
In the Vigue House, we start celebrating on the birthday. I was always sad that I didn't do that growing up, and Tyler just thought it was how things were done. So he did all the streamers the night before while I...hmmm, I don't know what it was I did, but it obviously wasn't cleaning! Bright and early! We learned early on that opening gifts in the morning lets our kids have ALL DAY to play and experiment with their toys. I foresee this getting more difficult as all-day school happens, but it was SO MUCH FUN today!
Upon opening the Lego Starfighter, Jack repeated "I cannot believe it! I cannot believe it!" It's his first "big build" Lego from Granddude and Manah. Thank you!
He put this shirt on right after finishing present-opening. Thanks Grammy and Pop--you spoiled him!
This was Jack's "WHOA" present opening face. He wore that expression most of his birthday morning! It was nice that he was truly appreciative of every gift.
I didn't think I'd be doing a cake for Jack's actual birthday. We were having a friend party the next day, and the R2 cake required a lot of cake and quite a bit of time...but I ended up having 2 extra 6" cakes, which was perfect for a VERY last minute Yoda cake. He looks more like a cross between ET and a Gremlin, but Jack was thrilled, so who's gonna worry that it's not accurate?
I think this is a "hand-over-the-mouth-in-excitement" look. Yoda is on fire, however, so it might be shock. We're burning the last true Master of the Jedi arts! It tasted delicious!
Tyler was in charge of the birthday party. Honestly, between the pregnancy and getting over a sinus infection, I wasn't really eager to do the party this year. Tyler was, however, so I told him he could plan it and do it. I'd do the cake.
So, here he is. After a nice gathering game of "Pin the Lightsaber (or blaster) on Luke (or Han)", the crew moved outside for some REAL fun.
A Jedi Obstacle Course. There was running, and climbing, and rolling, and bubbles. Did I mention running?
And, they were off! Fortunately, it was nearly 70 degrees the day of the party, so they got to run around like crazy little Younglings! It ended up being the best kind of mildly-organized chaos--the best kind of thing for a 6 year-old's party!
R2D2 was my contribution to the party. I must admit, it was a LOT of fun to make...and so fabulous to see the kids' expressions when they saw it. How often do you feel like you nailed that kind of magical moment?
(now back to me...for my first go with fondant, not too shabby, eh? I learned that with marshmallow fondant, you just knead it until it gets elastic. If you knead more than that--other than when adding coloring--it goes all crumbly and you'll end up sending your husband to the store for C&H powdered sugar at 10:15 pm so you can make the cake the night before the party. What can I say, we don't have a second fridge so everything is last minute!)
Using the Force to keep up balloons. Lots of giggling and shrieking.
The lure of the cake was too much. As one game was ending and another about to begin, we found this crew checkin' out the goods one more time...
We rounded up games with "Don't Eat Pete", Star Wars style! Everyone got a turn and it was a nice transitional game...transition to PRESENTS! His friends spoiled him rotten, and he's thoroughly enjoyed every gift! Thank you!
We love these Party People! We had friends old and new, as well as cousins--it was the best combination!
Sheridan was a little upset that I was cutting into R2D2...although the cake resolved any qualms about that!
Thanks for those who came! We had SO MUCH FUN. Things went off without problems. Grown-up friends cleaned a bunch of the mess up before I could even waddle to it! Seriously, it was a happy birthday for all of us.
Some of Jack's Favorites:
Color: Rainbow
Food: Pizza and Ravioli
Things to do:
Play Nintendo with Dad (and other video games)
Read Harry Potter with Mom
Play with Friends
Play games (he really likes his new game of Star Wars Guess Who?)
Going on Treasure Hunts
Jack is becoming such a great sharer and helper. He was great about sharing his birthday toys with his brother and sister (which was really impressive!) and he's so good at helping his siblings when they're sad or angry. He's started using some of the distraction techniques we've been trying out--and he does a better job with those (with Henry and Sheridan) than we do! He does adore Star Wars...but he loves his family even more!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's Halloween!

That's right, I'm on the ball this year.

(shocked gasps)

It's NOT EVEN Halloween yet, and here I am, posting pictures of pumpkin carving and kids going trick-or-treating. YES, they are my kids, and they are even pictures from THIS YEAR!

(jaws drop. tears well up in a grandparent's eye).

That's right folks, remember this day. This sort of thing may not happen again in your lifetime.

(murmured agreements)

Certainly not with that kind of attitude!!

Here they are, getting ready to carve into some PUMPKINS! The kids were all SO excited!

Henry really liked his pumpkin (he was a little concerned when I started cutting it).

These guys knew what was coming. They couldn't wait!

Here are the 3 post-carving: Jack's, Henry's, and Sheridan's.

And here they are in all their illuminated glory!
Jack designed his and Tyler executed it.
Henry drew on his with a marker and I cut it out.
Kinda reminds me of "Mike" from Monsters, Inc.
Sheridan described what she wanted (roundish eyes with eyelashes, triangle nose, and lips).
She was pleased with the results.

And NOW....
The Costumes!
Here is Henry as "Prince Phillip." He had refused to wear the knight breastplate for trunk-or-treating on Tuesday, so I made him the fleece tunic (to keep him cosy). Thank goodness we had a trial run, or Halloween night would have been a little stressful! He loved the sword and spent a few minutes trying to slay the dragon...with the hilt. He ended up "slaying" himself far more often. Good thing he'll have other career choices!
Sheridan loves Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty). I made this little number for her without a pattern. Yes, I am tooting my own horn and I am pretty pleased with the results! She was thrilled. When I showed her the finished dress, she gasped in excitement and exclaimed "Oh, Mother, see what my fairies have made for me?!?! It's a beautiful dress!" Then she fell right into humming "I know you" from the movie and twirling around. Success!

Jack inherited this AWESOME Maleficent-Dragon costume from his cousins. THANK YOU!! He loves this costume and was nice and toasty for trick-or-treating. Seriously, one of the coolest costumes ever.
They were so ready to go! Henry didn't know what we were doing, but he wanted to go, too. We could barely keep him still for pictures (although, that's fairly normal at this point for him).

Once we got out (here in Utah, they trick-or-treat on Saturday if Halloween is on Sunday), Henry figured out VERY quickly that if he knocked on the door and said "Tick-a-teat," he got candy. Far too many people let him pick out his own which he grabbed fist-fulls of candy and stuffed them in his sack! The boy is smart, no doubt! We kept him under control, but it was hard with the adults laughing at his antics and congratulating him for "doing what we all really WANT to do!" The other kids had a blast and were total troopers.

Such a fun night!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010


A week or so ago, Jack brought me home something from school.

Can you tell what it is?

He lost his first tooth last week. We discovered it was wiggly while flossing one evening. A few days later, there it was in a baggie!

The tooth fairy brought him a GOLD COIN!
The excitement! The joy! The cuteness of a little gap-toothed smile! I can't believe my first kid is old enough to have lost a tooth!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Any guesses?

I'm 20 weeks pregnant and due mid-February. That's right. Sigh. Winter again. Despite shooting for spring babies, we keep on this winter track.
Yes, we can do math! It just doesn't always work out...
Anyways, I'm feeling better now (although still battling the nausea, but it's generally not bad anymore). Baby is wiggling and squirming around like a little monkey.
Did you see that cute profile? Hands bunched up in front of face, knees curled into chest...yep, it's one of our kids!
And it appears to be a girl one of our kids. Hooray!


He started a little over a month ago at Freedom. Pseudo-uniform and all.
Yes, I am WAY behind. Not a surprise!
He reads, he does math, he LOVES it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hey baby, hey baby, hey!

While we were in Oregon, my sister and my sister-in-law gave birth on THE SAME DAY! It's pretty cool. We were in town for my sister (my SIL lives in NJ) and I got to be the one who got the 4:45 am phone call to watch the other kiddos. HOW FUN!! I also got to be the first to hold the little bundle of adorableness (that's totally a word, don't mock me!). But, as usual, I didn't have my you all can enjoy picts of Jack and Sheridan loving on sweet little Annia.
Sadly, I haven't figured out how to upload picts from facebook onto my blog, so you don't get to enjoy the cuteness that is Max. If I figure out how to upload that pict, though, I'll add it for a little more baby sweetness. Congrats on the babies, my sistas!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

You Drive Me Crazy!

We drove to Oregon in May.It was a LONG drive. The kids got tired, but they did a really great job. Star Wars helped (at the end of the drive, the kids started pretending that Storm Troopers were attacking our van and they had to use their blasters to head them off. It made the last bit go by much more quickly!)
We all survived, even if the kids only slept for 1 hour during the whole 13 hour trip. Fun times!

Mother Dear, We Love You So

Mothers' Day may have been 3 months ago, but it was a good one, so let's share!

Tyler and the kiddos made me my favorite breakfast, whole grain belgian waffles with strawberries and cream. YUM!
Jack and Sheridan made me cards. Sheridan's has a "pink dress" on it and Jack drew a picture of Princess Leia with a blaster (inside a heart). They were VERY cute, and very much represent my kids' loves at that point!

The kids were so excited at present time that they couldn't help but DANCE! I love family time! (I also really like my new bread maker).
And what rounds out the day better than New York steaks fresh off the grill with sauted mushrooms, couscous, and chopped salad? Thanks for a great day, family!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Off the Rail, What the--!?!, and Other Home Improvement Stories

Perhaps you remember this deck. It has been featured on the blog before (usually for sections of the railing falling down under pressure from snow) and has easily been one area we don't want people around as it is a death trap.

Those stable-looking pieces of lattice? They're plastic and the wood around them is pine. Pine+water+extreme temps=major warping. Which equals pieces of plastic lattice hanging out and warping all over the place. That leads to gaps, which we feared could lead to extreme injury. Wanna come over for a BBQ?
In April, we were DONE! We decided to do a proper railing.
Look how gorgeous it is! Yay, Tyler! Preventing injury and head trauma!
Hooray for projects done well!

So, there were some sketchy patch jobs on walls in our house. Actuallly, there are probably still some I haven't found yet.
This was the one in the office. It was originally covered in a little joint compound and paint, but if you rested against it, the edges would pop up and the middle would push in. Not a pretty sight!
And here's what I found:
Oh, right, the old "metal sheet as a really big patch"" thing. Weird. Underneath?Yeah, it was joint compound on another piece of metal. Because, I'm sure that was so much easier than getting a 1.5 x 3 foot piece of sheetrock. And it looked nicer, too, I'm sure. I undid all their work and put in that "sheetrock" patch and even textured over it. I'd show you the "finished" picture, but it just looks like...a piece of wall.

Next! This patch got a little screwed up when I pushed against it and it crumbled.
So, I wanted to put a new patch on. First, I evened up the hole so I could just put in some sheetrock (a little more stable than the patch below: a bunch of newspapers crumpled up and painted over)At least the previous homeowners can't get blamed for that one. They only lived here from 2004-2007. This job took place in 1993! Looks like our poor house has a history of poor patch jobs. Don't worry, house, we're finding all the junk jobs and cleaning house! In other home improvement news, we were gifted this sweet dollhouse. I have since stripped all the contact-paper wallpaper (it was peeling a little) and rather dusty carpet. Tyler helped a lot.
Now I just have a waist-high 4 room dollhouse. Any suggestions? I'm thinking I'll paint it out black or white and decoupage some damask-style paper in the back. Thoughts? Suggestions? Sheridan would probably like it painted bright pink with pink carpet and pink everything, but I'm executing it, so...