Saturday, March 30, 2013

Rock a Bye Baby

It used to take me well over an hour to put the boys to bed each night.  Around thirty minutes to nurse Jackson and then about fifteen minutes for bedtime stories with Ben.  And then I would lay in his bed with him until he fell asleep.  It wasn't until right before Jackson was born that Ben finally started to sleep in his bed all night long without waking up once.  So this was an improvement.  After a few months Jackson was taking a bottle and I started him on the nasty little habit of falling asleep with his bottle (once he could hold it).  In my defense he does not like to cuddle, and so once he could hold it himself he would rather just lay down by himself and fall asleep than have me hold and rock him.
Fast forward to four days ago.  It was his nap time and I realized I was all out of whole milk.  So I thought I would just put him down and crossed my fingers he would fall asleep.  He has always really needed his bottle to fall asleep, so I didn't have much hope.  But he fell right asleep.  I decided to take this as my lead and break the bottle in bed habit.  As an easy transition I decided to go back to our old routine of rocking him in the chair with his bottle.  That way he still had his bottle right before bed and then I'd put him down while still awake.  It has worked like a charm and I have been loving the snuggle time.  Reminds me of those first few months with him.  The first night of this new routine, I must have been feeling extra sentimental because I also chose to lay with Ben until he drifted off to sleep.  He hasn't needed me to do this for quite some time now.  It's funny how you always come back to a place of missing things when it comes to your children.  Even those things that weren't very appealing at the time.  Reminded me to always appreciate the moment with my children.  Because things are always going to change.  Nothing stays the same forever.  Even though Jackson has always been an amazing sleeper; those first few months when he did wake me up once to twice a night to eat, I handled it much better than with Ben.  That was my biggest fear before Ben was born- lack of sleep.  And I recall having some pretty miserable days and nights just thinking about somebody, anybody taking him for me for just one night so I could sleep.  This time around, I just kept thinking to myself how this time was going to fly by, and I could handle anything for a season.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A First

Ben took his very first trip with his friends.  Quite the milestone.  I remember trips with my childhood friends.  Those good family friends we would camp with in the summer and cabin with in the winter.  After James had his boys trip all planned out to watch the NCAA tournament, I decided that it was Ben's turn to start these kinda memories.  We invited his two best buddies and one cute sister from our two favorite families and headed up to Tahoe right after school on Friday.  I decided to leave Jackson with my parents so the big kids could play uninterrupted and I could socialize uninterrupted.  I think it was the right choice.  Jacky had a blast playing outside and taking bike rides with his papa, and I got a very relaxing vacation and some one on one time with Ben.
What we did: threw rocks in the lake, went to the beach and actually got in the freezing lake (Ben's buddy Grady), made peeps s'mores, played Head Banz and Cat in the Hat, watched movies, went out for pizza, played at the park, and stayed up late chatting (the moms). 
What I felt: So grateful for good friends, in love with my surroundings, proud that my Ben behaved well for most of the trip (all the kiddos had their meltdown moments, but on the whole they got along great), thrilled for all the firsts for Ben (experiencing new things with his best buddies), relaxed, happy to be spending alone time with Ben. 

These three boys sure are so cute.  I love seeing their relationship develop over the last two years.  They are such close little friends, because as Ben puts it "I know everything about Beau and Grady because we have known each other since Teacher Leslie's class!"  Which in their young lives really is forever.  Looking forward to helping them make many more memories to come.  
A special thank you all the kiddos left for our gracious cabin owners.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patty's Day

We did a few festive things for St. Patricks Day yesterday.  Mostly involving green food, rainbows, gold coins, and lucky grandsons who got spoiled by their wonderful GG.  Here are some pics to commemorate the day.
This little guy lost his luck for a while when he took a spill off the front porch.  
I am so beyond lucky in my life.  Lately I have been thanking my lucky stars, more specifically my Heavenly Father, for keeping my boys healthy this winter.  It has been such an awful winter for the flu and I have read and heard of so many sick, sick kiddos.  And while I had a brief bug earlier this winter, the boys have had nothing more than runny noses.  We have also been so lucky to have had such beautiful weather this past month.  The house we are living in went on the market one month ago this Wednesday and ever since then the weather has been beautiful.  Which is a very lucky thing for us considering we spend a lot of time outside our house for showings lately.  And too many more things to list . . .

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Right Now

I seem to always be writing about outings we take, or big occasions like holidays and birthdays.  I love that I have so much written about Jackson over his first year, and thought that I needed to record down some things about my Ben right now.  At his current age of four years and almost nine months old.  He keeps me laughing and pulling my hair out every day.  He has a lot of catch phrases, which include (and I'm sure I'm missing many): "you have GOT to be kidding me." "a little help here." and "are you serious?"

He is in the in between stage of being super independent and at times (rare moments) reverting back to my baby.  He wakes up by himself and doesn't wake me up.  Usually during this time he helps himself to some fruit, or occasionally a box of cookies (yeah a whole box of girl scout cookies).  Sometimes I think he could fend for himself the entire day if I let him.  He can get himself just about any drink or food (he will even eat leftovers straight out of the fridge- cold because "I can't use a microwave of course!")  But then there are the times when he wants me to still snuggle up with him at night and watch shows or movies together.  He used to be such a snuggle bug, but now its a rare occasion.  So I eat it up any chance he gives me.  My favorite tradition we have is our bedtime routine.  I transport him from my room (where he can be found watching one show before bed each night) via piggyback ride.  First stop is the living room for nigh night hugs and kisses for daddy.  Second stop is the bathroom for teeth brushing, and last stop is Ben's room.  We each pick out one story a night.  We always have to read his pick first.  It will be fun when one day he'll be reading the stories to me.
Lately he is gotten really concerned with being cool.  You wont catch this kid doing anything babyish- like participating in music makers on Friday with Jackson.  Although when it came time for the instruments he snatched up a tambourine and marched around in circles with all the littles.  See in between.  He sometimes thinks he is the boss around here which gets me so worked up that that little mixed notion of his gets whipped from his head immediately.  He stresses me out to the point that my back and shoulders ache from worry.  Worry that I'm not teaching him enough.  Worry that he's not kind enough.  Just worry.  But at the end of the day when I kiss him on his cheek after I have tucked him and bear and monkey in "really tight" and I tell him I love him, and he says "love you too" as I walk out of his room I know that I shouldn't worry so much.  We are learning this parenting thing out together.  And just as a I am constantly forgiving him, he is always forgiving my shortcomings and accepting me as his mom.  Tonight he told me that he would be good if I be the best, best, best mom.  I asked him how do I do that?

His answer.  Just be yourself.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Twenty Eight

I turned twenty-eight last week.  I actually like getting older.  For now.  Everyone I admire most is much older than me.  They seem to have it more together than us twenty somethings.  They actually look more put together in appearance, they are settled into a home of their own, they handle their children with more maturity.  So for now I welcome age, growth, and maturity.  I especially like when James' birthdays role around.  Another year older, another year wiser is my hope each year.  He thinks thirty is going to be a magic year of maturity for him.  Fingers crossed.
My day was very low key.  My sweet friend, Chrissie dropped by a double pack of cookies and a balloon, I received lots of phone calls, texts, and FB Happy Birthdays.  And my sweet in laws came by that night to hand deliver me a present and a bundt cake.  They're the best.  On Friday night I celebrated with my mom and sister at dinner, and then on Saturday I celebrated with pedis with my girlfriend's Shannon and Wendy.  My favorite day of celebration was on Sunday with my little family.  We ventured into the city and spent a wonderful day exploring and walking around.  We parked in Union Square and walked on Stockton street through China Town and all the way to Pier 39.  It was a long walk with a couple steep hills, but it was a beautiful day and good company.  Jackson enjoyed seeing the sea lions and let out the greatest laugh when he first spotted them.  The wind really started to blow strongly so we didn't spend much time on the pier.
After seeing an ANT Farm episode (a show that takes place in San Francisco) where the students visited a fortune cookie factory, Ben has been asking me if we could do the same.  So we stopped by two in China Town.  The workers were not at all friendly- I literally got a single chocolate fortune cookie swatted out of my hand by one.  But we could see them at work and got to see how the little dough gets pressed in tiny round presses and then watch the lady hand place a fortune in them and fold them into their iconic shape.  Ben also begged to get a fortune from Houdini (aka Zoltar).  He didn't understand a word of his fortune- neither did I really.  It was fun to explore some new things in the city instead of just doing the same old things we usually do.
For fun I wanted to record down 28 things I want to either do better, start doing, or keep doing.

  1. get back into an exercise routine
  2. eat healthier- more fruits and veggies
  3. learn new recipes
  4. bake and cook more with Ben 
  5. play more board games
  6. read (haven't done much of that since graduating . . . with my english degree 
  7. go to bed earlier
  8. have more patience with Ben 
  9. have more girls days and nights
  10. more date nights
  11. plan out weekly meals
  12. stick to my budget
  13. get a part time job
  14. do more photography
  15. read scriptures as a family
  16. read scriptures on my own 
  17. go camping
  18. make lots of homemade popsicles
  19. do more art projects with the kids
  20. wake up earlier 
  21. fold the laundry and put it away when it's dry- not two days later
  22. serve others 
  23. make a new friend
  24. do something new as a family every month 
  25. continue saving for and searching for our first home
  26. make more things with my hands
  27. take lots of photos and videos
  28. express and show more gratitude     
I welcome you twenty-eight.  I think you are going to be good to me.