Tuesday, April 28, 2009

PANOPLY





We went to Panoply last weekend. It was HOT, but fun. We got to see lots of art, some dance performances, and some awesome music. Here are a few pictures...minus Sean because he was scouring the park for some fresh squeezed Nanny's Lemonade. Silly man :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Service Project

Every good act is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter is the good he does in this world to his fellows. -Moliere






If there was one characteristic that I could just simply give my children, it would be the ability to freely give of themselves in service. However, since charity is something that must be learned, we take every opportunity to encourage our children to have compassion and to let them see us perform various acts of kindness. Whether it is helping someone change a tire, volunteering at Drew's school, donating our extra toys to a charity, or performing acts of physical labor in our community, I feel that they equally show our willingness to serve God rather than ourselves. As our children learn to sacrafice their time and energy in service, I know they will also learn humility, gratitude, kindness, confidence, honesty, and compassion. So, to reaffirm our family's charitable desires, we participated in our church's "Day of Service." It was only a regional event, but 11 states and hundreds of thousands of volunteers participated in providing needed services for their communities (says lds.org). Our group was assigned to clean up a local elementary/middle school. I carried Maddi in the backpack and we raked leaves and pulled weeds, and Sean and Drew cut down overgrowth and hauled it to the road. We had SO MUCH FUN! I hope we can do it again soon because it was so fun to work together with the other families from church and make a difference in our community.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Four Months





We took Madison to the doctor for her four month check up.



She weighed 13 lbs 14 oz (60th percentile),



and was 25 1/2 inches long (90th percentile)






At four months she sleeps with her arms straight up over her head, wants to be held every second of every day, yells (not a cry but a prissy shout) when she doesn't get her way, is stingy with her giggles, and loves to rub noses. She also got her second round of vaccinations while we were at the doctor, and this time, she spiked a fever and has been pretty restless and cranky. Cranky or not, my sweet girl adds excitement and spontaneity to each day, and I look forward to seeing what accomplishments and joys each new day bring her.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hairy Caterpillars, Baby Toys, and the Horrible Truth








It seems like Andrew is always finding something creepy and crawly to play with. He absolutely loves all animals and never misses an opportunity to snatch one up and play with it. He becomes freakishly attached to them though. Last summer there was a frog that he found outside by our water toys. He carried the thing around all day. When it started getting dark outside, I told him it was time to let froggy go home. Drew obediently said good night and put the frog in the bushes but came in a few minutes later sobbing because he was afraid he would never see Mr. Froggy again. I love that he loves so freely, and that he cares so much for all of the creatures that God has created. If I wasn't such a germ-a-phobe, I'm sure Drew would have a zoo full of creatures in his room, but the dog and the fish (and Sean and the kids) are more than enough for me to try and clean up after. This weekend's pet was the blue and brown, hairy caterpillar that he found at the ball park. Fortunately there wasn't any drama this time when we had to part ways with our new friend.
Maddi has grown up so much the past few weeks. She's started playing with toys, and of course everything goes straight to her mouth. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I didn't have an overwhelming motherly attachment to her when she was born. With Drew, there was this instant bond that formed. I immediately loved him so much that it physically hurt. With her.... it was just different. It's so hard to describe without sounding like a horrible mother. Maddi just came at such an awkward time for me. I finally felt like I was realizing my potential. I had finally learned how to balance work and family. I was only a few semesters away from graduating. I LOVED my body. I had worked so hard to get back into shape after the first baby and finally felt comfortable in my own skin, then suddenly I couldn't even see my toes anymore and had ghastly stretch marks everywhere. And for some weird reason, I felt like I was betraying Sean's parents by giving them a grandchild that they would never know, and it just ripped open the wounds of grief that were slowly beginning to heal. Then came the guilt for not being more excited and grateful for this miracle God had given us. It just seemed that I was headed full speed down this beautiful, successful path that I'd chosen and WHAM... here comes baby #2. I felt like I'd ran face first into a brick wall and couldn't find what direction I was suppose to take. I was thrown back into the world of being weighed down by over-sized diaper bags, frumpy clothes smeared with baby puke, and sleepless nights. I just couldn't look at her without all of these regrets flooding my mind, and I felt such a detachment from my beautiful baby girl. I still got up every few hours and completed the obligatory baby tasks, but that was just about all I could do. Fortunately, the cloud of self-loathing has lifted, and I now see my sweet Maddi in a whole new light. She is now animated and bubbly. She giggles at me when I smile at her and she smiles when our eyes meet. I love her more and more every second of every day. The birth of my second child was definitely not what I expected, but I am so grateful that God blessed our family with her sweet little spirit and that I have an amazing husband who is patient with my weaknesses and compensates for my inabilities.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Egg Dye and Rock n Roll

We had a great time coloring Easter Eggs together. I am so grateful for my Savior and the opportunity we have to celebrate Him and His sacrifice for us.




And of course Maddi couldn't miss out on all of the holiday excitement. She wanted to be right up at the table amid all of the egg coloring action, so this is the first time she sat in her high chair. She can almost sit up on her own, but we tucked a blanket in around her for a little extra support. I know the face is awkward, but she's about to say something I'm sure. She's such the little blabbering chatter box lately...if only she knew a few real words. Then I wouldn't have to play the guessing game every time she cried.




Here is a video of the kids playing Guitar Hero. HILARIOUS! They get SO into it.






video

Spring Fun Has Begun

I just love the first few weeks of Spring. It feels like we've been cooped up all winter and now we can finally go outside and play again! Here are a few pictures of what we've been doing....

Between jobs on Thursday, we met at the park.


My sister Gracie had a game on Saturday. She hit an amazing line drive down the third base line and a home run!
We went to the car show on Saturday night. They have a car show at an empty lot by our house once a month during the spring/summer. This picture has lame cars in it, but there were some really cool ones there. I'll take better pictures next time.

We got our tax return this week (YAY!!) After we payed off the necessary bills, we bought Guitar Hero World Tour Edition. This game is SO FUN. We have spent hours playing together. We have drums, a bass guitar, lead guitar, and a microphone. We have the best time laughing and playing and singing together... you'd think we were a real band :)

Here's Maddi's Easter dress. She's so precious!

We also went to a birthday party for one of Drew's classmates. Well, as you can see, our week has been a little busy, and I thought I had everything marked in my mental calendar. So, we got to the birthday party at 11AM. Got the kids out of the car, tried to unwrinkle the present that had been mushed and stomped on in the car, went inside, told Drew to go find his friends in the play area, and tossed the pretty pink present down on the table. As I'm making my way over to the other parents to mingle, Sean comes over to me and ever so discreetly says 'Hey babe. Are you sure Kayla's party was at 11, cause the cake on the table says Happy Birthday Gabe and all of the other present are wrapped in blue.' Dang it! What is my problem!?! I'm just glad Sean was there cause there's no telling how long I would have sat there before I realized I didn't know anyone. Seriously... I need to get it together!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In Honor


I have been rather reflective the past few weeks. At this time three years ago, our lives changed in a way that we still don't fully comprehend. Three years ago today, my father-in-law had just died of cancer, the funeral was over, and we were trying to sort through our emotions while continuing to care for my mother-in-law. I'm glad I'm not in that same state of disorientation, but to be honest, I still haven't completely moved past the grief either. Not a day goes by that I don't look at my husband and feel a little sting of grief that his Dad isn't here to see the amazing man he has become. Each day I look at my babies knowing that their life will never be whole without knowing exactly how much their grandpa loved them and feel sad and angry that he isn't here to show them his love. Every time I see Drew playing on the floor with his cars, I flash back to the last time his grandpa got down on the carpet beside him and rolled cars around, silly engine noises and all. He was an amazing, strong man that loved completely and was devoted to his family.... if only they could remember.
The day he died, John's last words to me, full of emotion although barely audible, were 'thank you.' Without even knowing it, he showed me unconditional love, and gave me the opportunity to learn compassion and charity. So to him I return those final words....Thank you John.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Baby Asthma


Maddi caught her first cold when she was 2 weeks old and Sean was in the hospital. Oddly, she never really got better. She was on an antibiotic and her sinus infection went away, but she has always had this lingering cough. The last few nights, its gotten pretty bad. She wakes her self up coughing uncontrollably every 30 minutes or so, and coughs until her lips turn blue and she throws up.... ummm...scary doesn't begin to describe the panic I feel when she has these little episodes. Well, I started listening to her breathing a little closer, and sure enough, she had the same wheezing, rattling sound at the end of each breath that Drew has during his asthma attacks. I took her to the doctor and all though it is really rare to be diagnosed this young, he completely agreed with me. She's too young to use an inhaler so she has to take the albuterol in liquid form, but hopefully it will help. I had the hardest time getting anyone to listen to me when I thought Drew had asthma. I first noticed his when he was about six months old. It seemed like we went to a bazillion doctors and even the hospital a few times before anyone was willing to help us. His is now well controlled with daily medication, and he rarely has that terrifying I can't breath situation. The second time around though, the doc seemed to be a little more inclined to help... thank goodness! Of all of our combined human frailties, asthma is the one thing I hoped our children wouldn't inherit. I am usually able to keep my calm, but watching my babies struggling to breath can be so overwhelming. There is also such a since of shame in knowing that your child has a health issue related to your/your spouse's faulty DNA. I'm just glad that we finally know what's wrong because challenges somehow become a little less challenging when given a name.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Parks Movies and Indian Rice Feedings


This week has been quite the hodge podge of events.
On Thursday, the weather was absolutely beautiful, so I took the kids to the park. Maddi isn't exactly old enough to play at the park, but we sat there on the bench and watched Drew run around and play. It always amazes me that he is able to make friends with just about any kid (he definitely doesn't get that ability from his mommy).
This weekend, we took Maddi to her first movie. Well, honestly she had no idea where she was and slept through the whole thing, but we had fun. The boys picked the new Fast and Furious movie. My boys and their car obsession.... Need I say more?
This weekend I was asked to help with the catering for a private party. It paid cash and only lasted for a few hours, so I was all for it. When I got to the location (which happened to be a ghetto hotel and no I had not spoken directly with the client and YES I was afraid to go in to a strange, scummy looking hotel for a prearranged 'job') I discovered that it was a Ceremonial Rice Feeding Celebration. When babies from India eat their first solid food (rice), they throw a big party for all friends and family to come and celebrate with them. Odd thing is... the baby slept through all of the festivities and they didn't actually feed him the rice there; they did it earlier at home. hmmm.... Anyway, lets just say the evening was interesting. I was hired to help things run smoothly though, so I didn't let the little catastrophe of running out of dishes and silverware slow me down. When the non-English speaking kitchen man wouldn't let me into his kitchen, I simply washed the dishes with toilet paper and hand soap in the hotel lobby bathroom. Oh yes...you read that correctly. In fact, here is a picture of my friend and co-worker Alex doing that very deed. :)

And that was only the beginning of our night! We had a great time taking on the challenge of making this event run smoothly and I always love learning about other cultures, but be forewarned... if you ever get an invite to a rice feeding at a rather questionable location, you might want to stick a plate in your purse.... just in case.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Little Miss Madison




Madison turned 3 months old earlier this week. Can you believe it?!? Three months already. Honestly, most of it has been a blur, and I constantly find myself wondering how time has passed so quickly while desperately trying to savor every second that I have with her. It's already hard for me to remember her as a newborn, so I thought I'd take a moment to freeze time and write down a few simple facts about Miss Madison. At three months she....

weighs 10 lbs and just grew out of her first newborn outfit
smiles, giggles, and coos
fusses, grunts, growls, and SCREAMS if she doesn't get her way
already has Daddy wrapped around her little finger
has long hair in the back but is rather skimpy on top which we lovingly refer to as her mullet :)
will only sleep propped up or in your arms
LOVES her big brother...she gets this HUGE gummy grin on her face as soon as she sees him and then chatters and coos and squeals at him as long as he sits there...they're quite the pair
loves bath time
hates changing clothes
will only take one particular kind of pacifier despite the six kinds we've tried
drinks Amoxicillin far more voraciously than she's ever drank milk...she loves that stuff... weird kid
must be rocked to sleep
loves nursery rhymes, story time with brother, and action songs
tries to eat blankets & slobbers like crazy
always sneezes in multiples
loves music and noisy places
loves being carried in the backpack and actually likes her car seat

Well there you go...that's our little girl. I know it doesn't seem like she does much but just weeks ago all she did was sleep and eat, so a smile is never taken for granted, and I can't wait to see what accomplishments the next three months hold.