Lately Eli

Happiness
is so funny.
(Last night being awake from 1 until 320 not so funny – but his talking – oh my!)

One thing that he does all the time lately. He is a total boy. And is quite taken with his farting and burping. So every time he burps he says, pointing to his mouth “in the mouth” over and over. So he was drinking pop one day and it came out his nose, so he laughing, pointing to his nose says “in the nose, in the nose”. And I am sure you can guess that he says EVERY time he farts “in the bum” or sometimes he’ll say “that was Ei’s (Eli’s) bum”. It cracks us up 🙂

He also has become obsessed with his grandparents. He loves to talk about them. And ask when they are coming over. And when we are saying prayers when he says the things he is thankful for he always says Grandpa STEED, Grandma STEED, Grandma DABIS (davis), Grandpa DABIS (davis)” He can’t just say grandparents, he has to name them all and say their names loud. It’s pretty funny.

Some other things he says a lot during the day:
“I hold it” (often talking about babies in pictures or if we say Maggie’s name
“Ei do it, Ei do it” He wants to do everything himself.
“GC, where is she, I can’t see her” He is OBSESSED with his nursery leader (Grandma Carol). And loves loves loves her.
“where iPhone? I NEED it”
“Bob builder, yes we can” He loves to walk around singing this song
“Lucy home yet? Lucy home yet?”

He is totally at my favorite talking stage!

Random

1. I think I will write Martha about the challenge. I’ll have to think what to say. Perhaps I’ll get all your opinions about it when I do. If you’d be up for helping me.

2. My photos of Paige and Eric’s engagement were featured over here today which is pretty cool. I am quite excited to share their wedding pictures too! I’ve been editing them since the kids went to bed.

3. I loooove taking pictures of my kids. And i loooove this new hat, scarf, mitten combo I got for Lucy. Add them together and you get loooooooooove. 🙂
Goofy Smiles
Nov 2- New Hat and Scarf combo

4. I keep staying up way to late lately. I get caught up doing things after the kids are in bed and then it’s late again.

5. Tomorrow I am going to take pictures of the crafts I have made for the sale. I haven’t gotten as much as I wanted to. But I still have one week. And we did LOTS of cute wooden crafts!

6. I LOVE two shows right now. Chuck. And White collar. If you haven’t seen them. Find them on the net. If you don’t know where, I can point you to a few free sites in Canada. Love them!

Alden’s Day

was on Saturday.
His day for a photo shoot. He was totally into it.
He told me he wanted to do a pose…. and this was it 🙂
And yes his jacket is way to small. His pants are again way too short. The kid just keeps growth spurting. He is going to be one tall guy when he’s done!
Alden's pose
He’s always got a drawing on the go. He drew this one just for our little photo shoot together. He came upstairs when I was waiting at the door for him to go for his pictures with this drawing in hand. So he could hold it out and I could take his picture – like his idea totally 🙂
His Drawings
Another pose by him
The Lean
Lots of this face. I mean way to much. SO Alden right now. Making that goofy face with his arms a’ dancing.
Lots of this face
Finally a real smile. After I started tickling him!
Oct 15: A REAL smile
And then after one of his favorite dinners of Spaghetti with garlic toast, we went up to the church and he got baptized.
Oct 16 - Baptism
It was wonderful and I am so grateful for the family (still can’t believe Susie and Ryan drove down from Calgary for it! Thanks so much guys!) and friends who came to this special day for Alden!
What a sweet boy he is. I should have had Regan take a picture of the two of us, but I didn’t! This week I will!

And I forgot to add…. I did a little draw and Christine you won the apron! Let me know your address so I can mail it to you!

Lucy at 5

Lucy at 5
• loves to giggle and laugh and can really brighten the room with her smile
• can still throw a mean screaming fit (did in Kindergarten today – how horrible is THAT!)
• wears a dress or skirt every day. I think she has worn pants twice since starting school
• loves to “mother” Eli and any other small child in her presence
• loves to bake and cook with her momma (hence yesterday’s party post)
• favorite foods: chicken nuggets, steak, cranberries,
• loves girlie movies but will put up watching Toy Story every time with Eli
• loves to sing and wants to be good at singing when she grows up
• talks a LOT
• loves to have stories read to her
• i think she can actually read but she just doesn’t know it. She will correct Alden as he is reading on words and then when I ask her how she knows that she says “well I saw that word before”. And I’ll say that’s reading and she’ll say “I can’t read mom!”
• she likes some foods one day and then not the next
• LOVES being in ballet
• prays for a baby sister to come to her house a lot
• loves baby sitters and will ask when the next time she gets one is
• loves to do crafts and glue anything she can get her hands on
• is in a real girls only stage with everyone except her brothers
• can read between the lines quite well (as in get what you are trying not to say)
• has a bout 40 “owies” a day and cries over them and needs lots of snuggles to get over them, while she is hugging you saying owie owie owie she is throbbing hugging you – like squeeze, let go, squeeze, let go
• LOVES polly pockets
• has a bath with Eli every night cause he wants to and is very patient about it
• has a wonderful smile
• says every Sunday after church – “how come I don’t have a GIRL primary teacher?”
• creative in drawing and enjoys it
• still loves Anise Wilde and says she just doesn’t get to see her enough anymore
• constantly giving me art projects that she has made with stickers and drawings on it
• asks almost every day we check the mail “is there any for me? awww how come I never get mail?”
• loves having her hair short but still asks can I have a bun for ballet?”
• brings lots of laughter into our home.
We love you Lucy! Happy Birthday

Motherhood

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about parenting. About my job as a mom.
I do a lot of other things. Photography, which is fun and something I think about a lot. I spend time scrapbooking and crafting and sewing. And there are books to read and magazines to peruse. Recipes to try and cookbooks to finish. Curtains to hang and dresses to mend. Blogs I’d love to read.
sept 6 - FHE
But nothing is as important as being a mom. I know it internally. Am I living that?

I love this quote from President Gordon B Hinckely:
“You have nothing in this world more precious than your children. When you grow old, when your hair turns white and your body grows weary, when you are prone to sit in a rocker and meditate on the things of your life, nothing will be so important as the question of how your children have turned out. It will not be the money you have made. It will not be the cars you have owned. It will not be the large house in which you live. The searing question that will cross your mind again and again will be, How well have my children done?

If the answer is that they have done very well, then your happiness will be complete. If they have done less than well, then no other satisfaction can compensate for your loss. And so I plead with you tonight, my dear sisters. Sit down and quietly count the debits and the credits in your role as a mother. It is not too late. When all else fails, there is prayer and the promised help of the Lord to assist you in your trials. But do not delay. Start now, whether your child be six or 16.”

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Am I putting my best foot forward for my kids? When I kneel down to pray at night and in the morning, are my children forefront in my mind? Their needs, their happiness, their concerns and troubles. Am I putting more effort and preparation and planning into my parenting as I am my photography or my baking or my crafts?

I always thought I would be blessed with piles of kids in a short amount of time. Like my mom had. But apparently that is not what God wants for me. And I’ve realized that that wouldn’t work well for me. I have needed the space between my kids.
I am not one of those women who gets to plan what month they want to have a baby, since you know, it’ll be better to have a baby in this month cause of whatever. That’s not me and it’s not my body. But that is okay. Today it is okay. Yes pregnancy is hard for me. Eli’s was, well horrific. But I know that they are more kids to come to our home. At least one more. Maybe that is all. I don’t know. I’m not sure I can BE pregnant more times that once more. (unless I get some crazy awesome pregnancy that other people experience.) I’m sure I will know when our family is complete. But that’s not the point. The point is, am I doing my best in my mothering? Am I saving the best of me for something else or for home?
sept 15 - Modelsept 19- Messysept 4 - Captain PJs

I’m not sure why I am sharing all this today. Perhaps cause it has been on my mind so much lately. Perhaps I want to encourage you to be putting your best foot forward, whatever that best is. Cause everyone’s is different. And that is okay. Because we are all crafted in the Lord’s image. He made mother as on of the most important roles on this earth. And we’ve got it.

So what are we going to do with it?

An Important Time of the Day

I think one of the hardest parts of the day is between 330pm until bedtime. Kids come home hungry and tired. They come home needing reassurance and some come home needing some time to themselves (Alden). Some come home bursting with excitement about whatever happened during the day. It’s also the time before supper where you are supposed to be getting that ready. And the time for homework. And the time for baths and lots of other things. Play time that kids missed. If you do piano or soccer or any of those things. It often all seems crammed into those I’m-so-tired-and-sleepy-myself-so-I’m-crabby-and-when-is-dad-coming-home moments. I have a hard time around then.

But I do think that that is one of the most important times of the day. When I can provide moments with my kids that are important. I wonder if I need a schedule. If I need to be better prepared for when they come home. To focus more on having a good healthy snack first thing, a little bit of time for them to relax and play and then time at the table for home reading and homework, with some inkling of what I am making for supper.

Seems I haven’t gotten all that together since we started back to school. But I want to. I want to get my ducks in a row and be serious about greeting my children with a smile and being fully involved with them at this important time of the day.

How do you handle the after school pre-supper time?

And since I can’t have two posts in a row without a picture… here’s a random one.
Prairie Fields

Early Morning Banff

Eli’s been on an early morning stretch lately. As in 530-6 am every day. While on vacation last week….. still in it. So I got up with him and we went out on photo walks. (That photo a couple posts down of the lone dirt road was from an early morning in Mountain View)
Sunrise at the falls
While out on our drive on one of the early mornings (yep we are still both in our pjs and jackets), we stopped at the lovely Falls. And I asked Eli if we could do a picture together. I set the camera on some drift wood and pressed the timer and ran back to him at the shore. He was laughing so hard. And kept saying “again, again, again”. So I took many many of the two of us.
Sunrise with me and you
I’ve realized that I need to be grateful that I get this time in the morning with him. Getting up at 530 – 630 am is not something I would choose to do. But Eli is happy in the morning. He is delightful and energetic and happy to see the sun come up. I am not. And I need to be. It’s all in my head. I can imagine that it is good. I can choose to be happy no matter how early we get up. Then I can see the good part of this. The positive. How lucky am I to get one on one time with the third child?!
So instead of being crabby that he got me up on holidays, we went out and spent time together. And it was magical.
August 4 – Imagination
Does that mean I am ACHING to get up at 5:45 am? NO. But it does mean that I am working on enjoying the moments we get together if we do have to get up then and sleeping in more if Reg gets up with him 🙂 (you know, lemons into lemonade kind of deal).

And to see some of the mmmmmmaaaaaannnnnnnnnyyyyyyyy pictures I took in banff you can look at some here at rhondasteed.com.
August 4 – Imagination

Eli and his daddy

Eli and his daddy

Lately this little boy LOVES his dad. He wakes up and the first thing he calls out is DAD over and over again. He wants dad to put him to bed and dad to play with him and dad to give him his bath. It’s funny all my kids have gone through a stage like this when they want their dad the most while they are still small.

And to be totally honest with every kid, I always feel a bit sad. I think wait, what about mom. I am supposed to be the favorite. I know they will get bigger and find out that Reg is way more fun than me. But when they are small and no one in the world makes it better like the momma. I like that. It can be tiring but I love the love in it. Does that make sense? But really, he has a great dad. So I totally understand. I love him too 🙂

If you haven’t lately, go check out my photo site here and look at the sessions from lately. I’ve got LOTS more the I am editing too!

Family Saturday

So this past Saturday we were all home together. No work for Regan (in between rotations) no weddings for me. No soccer or sleep overs or anything. We were just home together. It was marvelous.

We lazed around for a bit in the morning then got our acts together and decided to do some fun family stuff. Went to the farmer’s market first. Picked up some fresh veggies, mini donuts (which the kids LOVED) and some of these.
Gooseberries
Gooseberries. (it’s been one of those recipes from the Martha Stewart Handbook I’ve been putting off cause seriously where do you FIND gooseberries. Thank goodness for Hutterites and their fresh produce 😉 If you want to know, I made them into this. It was pretty good. I’d adjust the recipe a bit in the future. But not bad.
Gooseberry Pie
Then we went out to the Bird’s of Prey center in Coaldale where we saw lots of neat birds.
Burrying Owl
Us feeding the ducks
Bald Eagle
Gordon the Owl
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And the kids got to hold a couple too….
Alden and GordonAlden and the mini owl
Lucy and GordonLucy and the mini owl
Eli hiding from the big scary birdRegan and Gordon
While we were there Regan told Alden that he could take pictures with his iPhone – which Alden was VERY excited about. He loves taking pictures of things. A collection of some of his shots. Notice all the strangers? He was walking up to people that were there and telling them to say cheese and taking their pictures. hahahaha When I asked him about it he said I took pictures of people all the time. Looks like he is getting the hang of this thing early 🙂 I’d sure love to buy him a real digital camera. Maybe one day!
Snapshots from Alden
When we came home we went to the spray park for a little bit too. Eli was too afraid of all the sprinklers to actually go into the spray park. He likes the idea but just can’t take the uncertainty of when you are going to get sprayed. So he just watched instead.
Watching from the sidelines
Then came home to a late supper and bath and bedtime. It was a good day full of family time.

What’s been keeping up busy around here lately….

• trying out the new tent in the backyard (while Dad and Alden worked to set it up, Lucy came over to pose for me 🙂 ) the older two kids slept in our backyard with Regan one night and then in the backyard at G&G Steed’s another night
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• had a Pioneer Primary party where I took vintage photos of all the kids
Vintage Alden
and they enjoyed ice cream in costumes
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• had 8 photo shoots in the last two weeks. Two weddings, a vintage grad shoot (which was AWESOME), an engagement shoot, a group of 6 girl friends and and 2 family shoots. (not including the pioneer shoot I did for the Primary)
• Regan finished his 1st year of residency (yipee – we are half way done!)
• enjoyed some time in Waterton as a family
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where Reg mountain biked down a mountain where he almost rode right into a black bear. Yep just him on his bike in the middle of know where with a bear on the trail. So he moved to the side of the trail and the bear walked on by (scary!)
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(waterton was SERIOUSLY windy when we were there)
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• had a group of people over for Chinese Food night – and had some people not show up that said they were coming (which always makes me feel a bit bad)
• celebrated Eli’s birthday with a little party where he did not touch his cake (second year in a ROW)…see Alden’s hands trying to make Eli look at the cake
Must eat CAKE
with his two bestest buddies – Sawyer and Owen (yes it was hard to get these three busy boys sitting looking at the camera)
Eli and his two bestest pals
• had three days of celebrations between Hill Spring and Raymond for first of July
• stayed up super late to many nights
• celebrated Grandma Steed’s, Brooke’s and Eli’s birthday with a joint birthday dinner
• editing editing and editing
• Alden finished up grade one
Last Day of grade 1
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• enjoyed having Regan around since he took off the last 10 days
• reading lots of books – finished the Percy Jackson one (The Lightning Thief and the second book in the series)
• baking cakes and other treats
• having lots of fun

Tuesday in photos

Well thanks for all the encouragement 🙂 I appreciate it.
So yesterday I made this. Two recipes in one.
One for the pastry and one for the filling. I’m trying to think long term with it. I don’t have to rush it. I’ve got lots of time!
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And on another note…. when do girls stop doing this??
Sad Lucy

Guess they start out doing it too….
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Sweet snuggle stop with dad…
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And one more shot to share.
Just cause I love it.
One of these things is not like the other……
The Individual

Old Fashioned Potato Salad

A few wanted the recipe so here it is…

Old Fashioned Potato Salad
from the Barefoot Contessa at home (one of my very favorite cookbooks!)
3 lbs small red potatoes
salt
1 cup good mayo
1/4 cup buttermilk or milk
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill (fresh is best – but can use dried stuff)
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup medium diced celery
1/2 cup small diced red onion

Place potatoes and 2 Tbsp salt in a large pot of water. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with potatoes over the empty pot off the heat and cover with a clean dry towel. Leave potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender but firm.
Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, buttermilk, mustard’s, dill, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Set aside.
When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters or halves. Place cut potatoes in a large bowl and pour enough dressing over them to moisten. As the salad sits you may need to add more dressing. Add the celery, red onions and 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Toss well, cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend well.

Just try cooking the potatoes like she says. It makes them better. instead of those falling apart ones you get in most potato salads. I really like them this way. And I love this potato salad.

The fruit salad was as natural as the day it grew. (sans pesticides 🙂 ) I like to make one with lemon pie filling cooked and cooled and mixed with cool whip – but I was feeling just the freshness of the fruit for dinner so that was what we had. And my kids are more likely to eat it with nothing on it.

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Today we went to a playdate at a friends house. Lucy was still quite worried about people seeing her eye, so she wore her sunglasses. I over heard this conversation:
M: “so those are nice glasses”
L: “So one night I went to bed and woke up and then walla (voila) I had a huge eye.”
M: “Do you like that dress”
L: Looks at her like hello I just told a serious story here. But gets no response so just puts them back on and moves onto something else.

Last week:
Alden: “Mom did you know there are some people who are fat and some who are tall and some who are short and some who are skinny.”
Me: “Yep. God made people in all shapes and sizes”
Alden: “Well if you are short you are fat and if you are tall then you are skinny”
Lucy: “Well mom’s tall and fat”
Me: “HEY that’s not nice to say. In fact that kind of hurts my feelings”
Lucy: “why?”

And Eli calls me “BUM” not “mum” but “Bum”. he walks around the house yelling “BUM, are you? BUM are you?”

I’ve recommitted myself to exercise as of late thanks to the kids. Thanks guys… I guess.
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And the bean wreath that I was talking about is here at Dana Made it.

And any of you are welcome to come and eat any time 🙂

6 things I am bad at

(or as positive Reg would say I’m working to improve upon)
Someone wanted a list of things I’m bad at. 🙂
So here you go.

1. Returning books to the library on time. Let’s just say that I just paid off all the family library cards and it was more than $100 and less than $300. Ouch. Thank goodness for our recent tax return. (I’m helping the library. I’m helping the library. I’m helping the library. I’m helping the library. I’m helping the library)

2. Patience. Really. I am not that patient some days. Too little sleep equals crabby mommy. I wish I could just fake it and just be happy. But I have never ever been good at that. People usually can tell how I feel quite easily. Also something I wish I could change.

3. Keeping up with the laundry. I really just need to learn to do at least one load a day. Not just wash it – but actually wash it and dry it and fold it and put it away. While I should be doing laundry, I am crafting something instead.

4. Playing with my kids. I am really not one of those mom’s who will lay on the floor and play cars. Or pretend play house. That’s not me. I actually used to be racked with guilt on the whole thing – but I’ve talked to my mom a LOT about it. And she was never like that either. She always says that’s why she had multiple kids. To play with each other. 🙂

5. Guilt. I have a good friend who once told me she didn’t understand motherhood guilt. I am racked with it. Should I be doing that, should I have done that, and on and on. It is a terrible thing that I have tried to change. Just let it be. I am constantly reading parenting books and talking to my mom about it.

6. Often I feel like fitting in. When I was a kid I didn’t fit in. I got teased. And I still remember coming home from school crying. I am constantly worried about what other people think of me. It’s a terrible way to live. But it is how I live. Worried about how to fit in better with my SILs, with the women in my ward, etc. I have been placed in many situations where I am the one saying I don’t want my kids to do that. Or that isn’t okay and I’ve never wanted to stand out. I just want to be me and be okay with that and not worry about what others think of it.

I’ve got lots more but I like to keep the ol’ blog a bit more positive. 🙂
Besides, who likes to see others’ dirty laundry? Not me!
And speaking of cleaning supplies…..
here’s a picture from my photo class for last weeks assignment. (something that was translucent.)
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Spring Soccer

has been filled with canceled games from lots of bad weather. Snow and rain. We had a game on Monday. A really really really wet and dirty game.
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The best thing about the soccer season this year (Alden’s first) is that he has two friends on his team. Colton and Kaden. And the good thing is that it is great for us moms and dads to hang out and visit. AND for the little sisters to giggle and run around and play (and pee in the bushes – oh wait that WASN’T good) and eat snacks and giggle.

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And I made all the flowers from on line tutorials. Would you like the links?

And the t-shirt was totally from an online tutorial right here

Looks like a little guilt encourages ya’ll to comment hey? 🙂 Nice work!

Mother’s Day

A great quote I wanted to share via Christal’s blog

Elder M. Russell Ballard on mothering:
“There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.” “Daughters of God,” Ensign, May 2008, 108–10

I am grateful to be a mother. And to have a wonderful mother my self. We have a marvelous relationship. She truly is one of my best friends. And I am grateful we have grown closer over the years. I am also blessed with a marvelous mother in law. She is so upbeat and energetic. So generous and kind.
How blessed I am!

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I had breakfast in bed (it was even waffles with whipped cream and fruit – Way to go Reg!), got a Sunday afternoon nap and lots of presents. I am lucky!

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I gave my oldest two kids a little quiz about me and motherhood.
Lucy
Lucy
How old am I? 32
What is my favorite food? Kind of every food, right mom?
What do I love to do? Read and bake cookies and watch movies.
What did I do before I had kids? Get married.
What do I do all day? Walk around
How could I do better as a mom? nothing
What am I good at? baking and cleaning up the house
I love it when my mom…. does stuff.
🙂

apr24
Alden
How old am I? 32
What is my favorite food? i don’t know
What do I love to do? Read and nothing else
What did I do before I had kids? Serve a mission
What do I do all day? cleaning and reading and crafts and nothing else
How could I do better as a mom? be a really good artist
What am I good at? crafts and hugs and baking
I love it when my mom…. hugs me.

How blessed I am with my little family!!!
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On Tuesday…

… there was ANOTHER rain/snow storm
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…. we ate leftovers for supper
… there was a bit of sewing of baby gifts for friends and family during nap time
Today's sewing pile
… Lucy had a fit cause we had to leave the house and then had another one cause we came home
… Regan and I got surprised by something that is good but will take some time to get used too (and no I am not pregnant)
…. I finally got Lucy and Eli to leave the house to drive across town to Costco and get in the store only to realize that I had not in fact put the two things I needed printed the most on my memory stick
… so I made two trips to Costco
….there were many emotional ups and downs with this one (as is usual)
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… I edited over 100 photos today
… we ate our leftovers as a picnic on the floor in the kitchen, well Alden and Lucy did. Even on a read checkered blanket. And I did not want to let them do it. But I realized…. does it really matter. NO. so they did it.
… after fighting a bit after school and both of them ending up in tears they hugged, made up and then started playing together like they normally do
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… I actually had a showered before 10 am
… I ate an obscene amount of candy (in fact it gave me a stomach ache)
… this one and I ran around the kitchen island about 30 times today. He comes over, taps me and says “RUN! RUN!”
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… I did in fact not feel like running around and around the island. But I did it anyways… almost every time he asked
… i reloaded and unloaded the dishwasher 3 times today
… besides my trips to Costco I really didn’t talk any adults today until Regan came home
… Eli wore underwear for about 1 hour today and then decided he didn’t want to anymore so he went back into his diaper. And he used the toilet twice
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… all the kids were in bed asleep by 7:30pm
… i talked to my mom and dad on the phone
… i washed and dried 2 loads of laundry and didn’t fold a single one
… i got another wedding photo shoot booked
… i procrastinated doing a few things AGAIN
… i laughed and giggled with these two
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… i NEED some sunshine and outside time. I am starting to feel quite housebound and nutty!

Hair cuts

I grew up watching my mother cut my brother’s hair. She cut everybody’s hair in our family. With 5 boys and a dad with ridiculously quick growing hair equals a lot of hair cuts! I have no idea if she just started cutting hair, but knowing my mother it was the case. That she just figured out how to and then did it.

Well I had given a few haircuts before we were married. Mostly to missionaries funny enough, they’d ask if I knew how and I said not really but I could try. And somehow that was enough for some of them. Not sure how THAT worked out, but anyways.

I gave Regan a hair cut when we were dating. And I did a T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E job! Like we ended up having to mostly shave his head from the bald spot I gave him when the clippers got a little feisty. (in my defense I had never used clippers before (always just scissors) and they were NOT a good pair. They would cut and then not cut and then all of a sudden start cutting again.)

Well over the almost 10 years we’ve been married my hair cutting skills have gotten better. It’s nothing amazing, but it works. And we don’t have to pay anyone to do it.

Well when Alden got older I thought, hey I cut Reg’s hair why not Alden’s. Well I have given him some bad hair cuts too. And I am lucky enough to live close to someone now who is a hair dresser. And we fixed up a trade. One that works for the both of us. She cuts our hair. And I took their family pictures.

Sometimes it’s good to say, hey I can’t do this. Alden sits politely there for her (which he never did for me) and she actually knows what she is doing.
Sounds like a good trade to me! 🙂
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Eli

First off thanks for all the input!!! I am going to go with #3 since it was EASILY the winner!!!!!

As for this little man….
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Last Tuesday he decided it was time to talk.
Up until now it has been a word here and there but he mostly was just doing sign language. But Tuesday morning when I got him up the first thing he said was “breakfast”. He’d never said that before.

Then after breakfast he said “I peed.” And pulled on his diaper. I said do you want a new one. He said “yes”.
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So I gave him a new one. And then he just would say things all day here and there. We went to Utah and then since we’ve been back he’s been talking more and more. His new one is “I poop.” So I’ll put him on the toilet.
And yes a couple of times he’s done it right then. (actually the first time he did it, he looked in the toilet and said “GREAT JOB!” to himself. 🙂
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So I guess next up is potty training.
Which I do not know how to do since my other kids were OLD when I did it.
They never showed signs like this at his age.
In fact Alden never really showed any signs ever.
He just finally consented to do it!
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And just in case you were wondering, I didn’t do a single thing to Eli’s eyes in any of these pictures. They were just super blue that day. Cute hey? 🙂

It’s about time I get back to crafting hey? I have a great project idea that I’ve already started one that I hopefully get time to finish tomorrow and share with you!

When we got home

we were so happy to see these guys.
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And I think they were quite happy to see us!

I am taking an online photo class right now that is 12 weeks long and pretty intense but oh so good so far. Lucy is my constant model. Alden’s often at school and Eli’s always running away from me as soon as the camera gets out. So it’s Lucy loo.

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Isn’t her new dress I got in her SLC so CUTE???
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And I think I can totally sew one like it now that I’ve looked at it closely!!

My favorite one of the bunch of her….
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I am itching to shoot more stuff lately!! I need some more kiddos to let me practice on and some sunshine to shoot in!

AND I am going to participate in this dress sewing project called A Frock By Friday. Such a cute pattern. and it’s all free and there is help to learn to sew it. Win-Win-Win! 😉

What are you up to??

Cousin Fun

So this last week I had my SIL’sLindsay’s kids stay with us while they went to Mexico. (we are doing the ol’ switcherooni so we can go to Utah this week). And I thought I’d share some of the fun we had around the house 🙂

Lucy and Alli are 6 days apart in age and good friends.
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LOTS of jumping off the couch 🙂
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Before the couch jumping started James was wearing other clothes… but then he said WAIT and ran downstairs and changed into his “game shirt” and shorts. Then he was back into jumping 🙂
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Playing games
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And just general goofing around…
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James saying “RHONDA take my picture!!! Hi Rhonda!”
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And lots of arts and crafts!
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It was a good week full of volleyball camp (which I’ll have to upload the pictures from that so you can see that soon too!) and lots of cousin time (and not much of Regan being around.)

In the last two weeks Eli has…..

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* colored the carpet downstairs with a marker
* tried to eat Tylenol and a whole bottle of vitamins (instead of swallowing he licks them and then throws them onto the floor where they stick)
* dumped toothpaste and tooth brushes into the running washing machine
* tried to dump soapy water and a whole bottle of vanilla into the wedding cake batter I was making (it was like SERIOUSLY close!!)
* dumped cereal all over the living room carpet
* dug his hands into the flour container and smeared it all over the kitchen cabinets
* learned to open the front door leading him to walk outside (twice while I was using the bathroom)
* stood or sat on the computer keyboard multiple times
* thrown multiple items of food onto the floor from his high chair
* learned to push chairs up to the knives drawer and pull them all out
* picked multiple things out of the garbage and tried to eat or use them
* tried to stuff a plastic rod into the pilot light of the furnace
* either been up for 2-2/5 hours in the night OR been up at at least 630am
* drawn on his high chair, the table and the floor
* dumped goldfish on the floor and then stomped on them to make crumbs on purpose
* phoned people on my cell phone
* pulled out a LOT of wipes and “wiped” his nose or sucked the “juice” off them
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Seriously people, CAN you SEE my gray hair yet???? Cause this child is giving them to me!!!! And we aren’t even into the terrible twos yet? YIKES. WHAT a ball of TROUBLE he is!!!

22 Things I’ve Learned as a Mother

Stacy Julian suggested making a list like this.
And since I’ve had a busy day and wasn’t able to make my last giveaway item, I thought I’d play along.

1. You can make breakfast food for supper and it’s okay.
2. Nothing combines pain, love and power more than the birth process.
3. Potty training is crappy
4. There aren’t many things a good snuggle won’t help
5. Sometimes crying IS the only thing you can do
6. It’s easy to make new friends. Just go introduce yourself
7. Everybody feels better with a good nights sleep
8. Some times it just doesn’t matter
9. The perfect ending to a day is a bath and a good book before bed
10. Trust those you love
11. The meal always tastes better when it’s a picnic
12. Nature is amazing
13. Art is part of everyday life
14. Because I said so is NOT a satisfying answer
15. Blowing bubbles in your milk is fun
16. Having friends over makes the day better
17. It doesn’t matter how good your voice is, just sing along
18. God loves us more than we realize
19. Boys think farts and poo are funny. No matter their age.
20. Never say your kids won’t do this or that cause they probably will
21. Spanking doesn’t make anyone feel good
22. Love never divides, it only multiples

Wanna play along??
AND welcome to all the new followers 🙂 Lots of pressure now for good posts eh??? 🙂

Random + Overheard

Me: “Do you want another pancake?”
Lucy: “Hey I know a Sarah! There’s one in my class.”
Me (confused at how she made that jump): “Did you know that’s Kenzie’s mom’s name, Sarah?”
Lucy: “So there’s TWO Sarahs??”
Me: “Yeah there’s lots, it’s a popular name.”
Lucy: “I know why, cause it rhymes with Syrup.”
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Lucy: “I’ve got 2 spences”
Me: “You’ve got what?”
Lucy: “2 spences, see?” (Holding out two nickels to me)
Me: “Lucy, that’s 10 CENTS, cause each one is worth 5 CENTS each?”
Lucy: “No i’ve got 2, 2 spences!”

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Alden: “Mom, take my picture like this…”
So i take it.
Me: “Why?”
Alden: “I just thought it would be cool!”
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I am behind on posting my 365 pictures.
But not behind on taking them!!
This week an update for SURE!

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I was missing my sister Kelly a lot this week.
When I am lonely I miss her more!

PBR (Professional Bull Riders)

Thanks for all the comments on my apron!! I’m gonna make up a tutorial this week so you could make your own!

On Saturday night my good friend Teale and I went to the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) at the Enmax center. We both took our little boys to it. Teale takes her son to it every year (See his signed hat?). This is at the end at 10:30 pm – don’t they both look SO TIRED!!
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I haven’t seen Bull Riding since I was a kid and I went with my dad.

It was a fun and very loud night 🙂
This is a little clip (that I took on my new D300s!)

As my mom said, a night where we made memories!!
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We saw someone from Hill Spring riding, saw an Olympic athlete, ate lots of mini donuts, saw some crazy cowboys and stayed up late!! Alden was so tired the next two days (and is still today) but he told me Sunday that he loved it. So it was worth it!

The magical ABC’s

It’s the time of year to think about school and preschool for next year.

Lucy and Alden are both born in October. We waited with Alden and put him in so he was one of the oldest in his class. And now I am seeing how good of a decision that was. He just flat out would have struggled in grade one a year ago! But now he is having success.

Alden said very little until he was about 3. Lucy on the other hand started talking in 2 to 3 word sentences at like 15 months.
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She could count to ten by herself when she was 18 months old. (i have no idea where she picked it up as I really didn’t teach it to her). She hasn’t stopped talking or learning since then. Even when you think she isn’t paying attention, she IS! She is eating up everything around her.
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I have been wondering about putting her in kindergarten or not for a while. When we move to Raymond in a couple years, the cut off for kindergarten is September, where as in Lethbridge it is Dec. So if we already lived there she wouldn’t even make the cut off. So i’ve been talking about it with my mom, Regan, my SIL’s, and Lucy’s preschool teacher (Melina).
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Well this past week Melina tested Lucy to see if she was ready to go to kindergarten. She got every thing right on that test. She knew all her letters upper and lower case, can write her name and recognize it (she can write Eli, Mom and dad too) she knows her numbers up til 15, her colors, and her shapes. Melina said “she blew the test out of the water.”

Last week Lucy came upstairs and said to me “mom, can you teach me to read?”
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So we’ve started having school time at home. Every day she asks as soon as she gets up if we can work on reading. In some ways I am not really sure what to do, since when I had tried to do all this with Alden when he was this age and he HATED it. (Goes to show you how different these two kids are!)

So now each day we are having a letter of the day and making crafts with them.
A is for Alligator
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B is for Bee (and bad lighting in this pic but here it is!)
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Practicing her writing of B’s
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practicing her cutting by cutting out her B
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I found a whole bunch of great blogs and sites online that give ideas (i did NOT think of these myself!!) Isn’t the net great 😉

I’ll keep working with Lucy and see where she wants to go with this all, no pressure, just fun and who knows maybe we’ll have two reading kids this year!

The newest Member of our family

is named D300s. It’s made by Nikon. And I am in loooooooooooooooooooove!!!!
She looks like this….

WOW it is SO AWESOME! I can’t even explain. And it shoots 7 frames per second. So it’s like a machine gun. Which is COOL. i might actually giggle every time it does that still…. cause it’s so awesome……

So OF COURSE I’ve been taking pictures of my kids
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And anyone else we’ve seen in the first few days I got it…
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(doesn’t she look pleased as punch to be holding our visitor, little Colby??)
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(yes she does in fact pick out her own outfits!)

My brother’s kids
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And since I had a wedding this past weekend I didn’t want to go to a shoot without using my new baby at a REAL shoot, I phoned one of the cutest couples I know and asked them if they’d do me a favor and let me shoot them for a half an hour or so….
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(ridiculously cute couple eh??)
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AND they dress good too…. (which is why I asked them to help me out! 😉

And my wedding was SO AWESOME. We got to shoot in the airport hanger with sweet airplanes and GREAT couple and fun family. It was AWESOME. Photos of that to follow SOON!!!!

I am so grateful for my new camera. I was going to upgrade eventually but more like when Reg was done residency, but since the ol’ D80 isn’t working, I was kind of backed into a corner.

But the view from this corner looks GOOD 🙂

And BTW, thanks so much for all the support and votes for Brooke’s giveaway. I didn’t win, but THANK YOU!!!!!! I REALLY appreciate it a LOT!

We’ve got a big problem around here people

And this is the culprit!
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His current wake up time. 5:30 am to 6:30 am. That’s EARLY people! Like REALLY early. Like to get 8 hours of sleep a person would have to go to bed at like 9:30pm And 6:30 would be a GOOD day.
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Sure he’s cute….
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But that’s EARLY!! So we have to keep him quiet (which is no small feat) until the other kids get up. Which is like 830 or 9. That’s when there is no school. Alden has to get up at 730am for school.
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But still if Eli is up at 5:30 that is 2 hours to try and keep the kid quiet.
And he’s not quiet.
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So by 11:15 he looks like this…….
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(and it is also how I feel come 11:15)
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But I have to keep him up until 1 so I can drop off Lucy at preschool. Which is always fun. And he is always happy during that time – NOT (I had an 80’s flashback when I typed that….)

I just don’t know what to do with him. Cause that is TOO early. He didn’t get the memo. Around here we sleep in. Like at LEAST 8.

He’s signing “all done” in these two and his hair is all spiky cause after he ate all he wanted he dumped his bowl of rice krispies onto his head and smeared it around. It was awesome.
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I feel all done with this crazy early morning business!!

School Time Blues

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For the past two weeks Alden has NOT wanted to go to school. Every morning it is a fight to get him out of bed, dressed, to eat his breakfast, to do his home reading at night. Even when I pick him up he is instantly sad once he gets into the van. He has been crabby at night and wanting to go to bed at like 7pm. Not sure why. We’ve both asked him over and over and he just says things like my head hurts, it’s too noisy at lunch at school, my stomach hurts, my back hurts. Last night dr dad checked him out. (how handy hey???) 🙂

He might be getting an ear infection – dr dad is going to check it again tonight (i love that he has an otoscope – that’s the thing they look in your ears with) But still what is the deal with school?

Today when I was in his classroom I talked to his teacher and she said normally it boils down to one of three things.

1. Trouble with friends
2. Bullying
3. School work

She told me she doubted the last one. I stayed around for recess and watched a bit and it confirmed what I had thought before. He has his best buddy Kaden who he is constantly with and a few other boys that he plays with too. It’s not that. And it’s not bullying. Since someone else he knew had that happen, we’ve had quite a few talks about it. I am pretty positive he would tell me if it was that. And he is quite tall and big compared to a lot of kids in his class. Doubt it’s that.

So his teacher called me today at lunch and told me she talked to him about what was going on. He told her that subtraction was hard and that he couldn’t do it. Math?? That is like his best thing. He does math for FUN in church. We give him a list of equations and he sits and does them. But it’s always addition, so perhaps he thinks he should easily get subtraction?? I don’t know. But his teacher said he got all choked up when talking to her about it. So she’s sending home some fun things to work on next week during the break and my mom gave me an idea about how to show subtraction using lego and his name.

I hope that working on this makes him love school again.
Cause he has LOVED school up til now!! And there’s still a whole lotta school to go!!
And I want my sweet easy going stress free Alden back!!!
Poor sad guy!!
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Family Games and fun

I don’t know about you, but I find this time of year hard. Christmas is over and there are still lots of months of winter left. And this year we are getting some really nice weather lately (except the CRAZY wind that has been here!!). But soon it will snow again. It’s ONLY January. This time of year I get a little stir crazy from being inside. And my kids to do. Eli was crying today to go outside but it was CRAZY windy!!

And we don’t watch a lot of TV around here. In fact Alden only sees about 1.5 hours per week. Lucy isn’t much more. Maybe 3 hours. There are lots of other things to do. My kids (Except Eli) play a lot independently. Eli is starting to do it in 10 minute segments (which means there is hope for him hahahaha) And I am always trying to remind myself to DO more with them. I don’t enjoy playing. Like driving cars…. playing barbies…. um no thanks. (I do love to build a good train track!)

But there are some things I do love to do with my kids.
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Games, Crafts, baking, dancing and singing.

And in the winter you need lots of these to choose from. I found this great list from a fun blog called I Never Grew up. I’ll just put my favorites since it’s a long list! But go read the whole thing here

What activities do you do with your kids when you are stuck in the house during cold weather? (You know, so you don’t LOSE YOUR MIND)…

Buy games and tuck them away just for the cold months

Collect new cookie recipes. Let them choose one each to use on cold “Cookie Days”

Lego competitions.

Make collages.

Have tea parties (lots of warm drinks with honey).

Bake yummy foods that keep the house warm and good smelling.

Play with yarn and lots of material.

Family drawing time.

Hold dance parties in your living room.

Have surprise birthday parties when it’s no one’s birthday.

Clear all the furniture out of a big room and lay out your picnic blanket. Sit on the blanket while you pop popcorn in the middle–with the lid off! It doesn’t
get much more fun than a dining room full of popcorn on a rainy day.

Scavenger hunts and treasure hunts

Have a day where you learn about another country and plan a small celebration.

Memory games

Let the kids decorate the floor with masking tape (you can usually find a roll for $1 -2). After they’re done make letters, numbers, and shapes. Play games like “who can find the circle” and have them run to stand on it.
Make homemade play dough. Each kid can have their own color and use cookie cutters to play with it.

Finger paint with pudding.

Have your kids look at old photos of themselves.

Another treasure hunt idea: Start by drawing a map of your house. Plant clues. Dressing up is optional- though definitely encouraged. Have the prize be anything from snacks to letting them wear your real jewelry for a day!

Watch a movie or two with fun snacks!

Playdate exchanges with other parents taking turns is fun. The children have lunch and play while the parents talk and have lunch

Plan a whole indoor camping experience for the kids. Make forts, do indoor friendly smores [using spreadable marshmallow cream and a microwave] and project movies on the wall. It’s almost like you are camping in the summer!

Have a carnival. Drugstores sell a huge roll of tickets (like 1000 tickets for $4.00). The kids set up their own booth. Have hula-hooping, snacks, dropping a ball into a vase, hop scotch on the rug outlined in masking tape, a coloring booth, etc. Have new activities each time and let your kids run it.

Great ideas eh??
What do you do to battle the winter blues and not go crazy indoor with your kids??

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To answer your question: I found the felt on the bolt at Marshall’s (on the north side)

And Haiti has been on my mind. CRAZY! Those poor people!!!!

18 Months

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At 18 months Eli…..
* is now attending nursery! (YIPPEE!!!!) Although he may have cried most of his first week as we excepted!
* is still not a consistent sleeper. Sometime he sleeps through the night and then we’ll go a week without it. This morning he was up at 6am for the day.
* has a nap each day. Also not really consistent. Most days he goes down around 1230-1 and sleeps til I wake him to go get kids
* loves his mom. He only wants me to put him to bed. He only wants me to hold him. He only wants me to sit in the bathroom while he has a bath.
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* is a little daredevil. Stands on chairs and rocks them back and forth til they almost fall over. Loves to climb on top of anything possible – the stove, the piano, the back of chairs and couches, the table, etc
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* FINALLY has a few toys he will play with. Hallelujah!!!
* Boxes to make towers, an insanely noisy popping mower and a few cars
* loves to be outside. If you can’t get him to be happy – take him outside!
* LOVES all electronic things. Phones, cell phones, computers, iPods, etc
* knows how to scroll with his finger on dad’s iPhone
* favorite foods: black olives, granola bars, chicken noodle soup, spaghetti
* drinks a LOT of milk!!
* only has 2 words. Mom and dada. (he has said “nana” and knock knock but only a few times.)
* uses some sign language. For milk, all done, please, thank you, down, more
* loves to have his picture taken and then see it on the camera
* LOVES to gibber gabber on the phone. a LOT.
* likes reading books – but only certain ones.
* loves to follow the older two around and play where they are
* has a bit of a hard time being reverent in church. (hates being trapped in the bench)
* waves with both hands going opposite directions for bye
* loves to dog pile anyone who lays on the floor – especially Alden and mom
* will climb onto the table and dump out anything left there (good motivation to clean up the table after dinner
* loves to help unload the dishwasher!
* doesn’t really like other people besides mom and dad. Does okay with grandma’s if we aren’t around.
* goes to play every Wednesday morning at the Wilde’s house with Lucy and now gets excited to do it (although it took a few months to get used to it)
* likes to draw on anything if he has a pen…. the wall, library books, dressers, etc
* has the sweetest little belly laugh
* points to everything. It’s a quick point and pull back to show directions, noises he hears, food he wants, etc
* is very aware of crying. Often watching the person crying very closely
* gives hugs (to crying kids) by leaning in with just his head
* if you stop him from doing something or take something away he shouldn’t have then he will lay on the floor and hit his head on the floor just hard enough to make a loud sound and then start crying. Sometimes then he’ll run to his room or he’ll come running for a hug from momma
* thinks peek-a-boo is the funniest thing ever
* is not a good long distance traveler but loves to drive around in the car (as long as we are going somewhere fun)
* is a fun little energetic boy who keeps us on our toes
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