Thursday, April 29, 2010

Carter's 4th Birthday

Photobucket
Carter was thrilled to find out his actual birthday would be when we were at the river. Forget parties. He was counting down the days till we left because, in his eyes, this just so happened to be the prime location for his birthday.

Since it was Carter's special day he got to plan out the day however he wanted.

We went...
Photobucket
Carter caught his first river fish! Whoo hoo, Carter!
Photobucket

Photobucket
Of course, it helped that he had a fantastic pitcher.
Photobucket

We also cruised around on the golf cart and let him drive. No wonder he loves his birthday at the river. There's a ton more activities to choose from.

He loved his presents. Monster trucks "like Nate," swim toys "like Saxon," and legos "like Aaron."
Photobucket
Carter specifically requested a "rainbow cake." I tried to talk him into a cool skateboard or pirate ship but to no avail. So, a rainbow cake he got. I just did the same thing as Alexis' rainbow cupcakes but in a cake form and I saw my friend, Beth, use skittles to make a rainbow on her daughters cake. Carter loved it.

Carter is already requesting the location for his next birthday. The river, of course!

Happy 4th Birthday Carter! We love you! (Now, could you slow down and not grow up so fast!)
Photobucket
10 things we love about Carter:

-He hates disappointing people.
-He tells me on a daily basis "You're the best Mom ever!"
-He takes pride in following the rules. He rarely forgets his manners. There's most always a "please" and/or "thankyou."
-He is an extremely picky eater like me. Whoops.
-He's loving and gives anyone in his family the biggest hugs ever.
-He is well behaved and sits so reverently at church. Seriously, a sunbeam teacher's dream.
-He is still very shy and doesn't like talking to anyone he doesn't know.
-He loves T-ball and gives us a thumbs up when he gets to each base...and holds it up till we give one in return.
-He looks up to Alexis and adores Owen.
-He can be super emotional and cry at the drop of a hat. (Especially, if he is in trouble.)

We just love him to pieces. He is such a great kid and we are so grateful for his sweet & loving personality. When he gets past his shyness and you get to know him...he will have you wrapped around his little finger.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

6 3 0

"Hey, Mom can you hold my drink?"

(It's a water bottle with a home made name tag taped to it.)

"Sure. But, why does it say six, three, zero?"


"Oh, that's not a zero. That's a picture of a quarter because I'm six and three quarters."

"Thank you for your call"

Whenever someone calls and leaves a message on our answering machine a robotic voice replies, "Thank you for your call" when you finish your message. If we are home...we hear it all. You leaving your message and the robotic voice saying thank you.

We usually answer our phone when we are home but earlier this week Chad was working and I was feeding the baby so we let it go to voice mail.

Chad and I were both in the Owen's room/Office. Carter and Alexis were eating lunch in the kitchen. The person didn't leave a message...but stayed on the line long enough to set off our answering machine.

So, the machine automatically says out loud, "Thank you for your call."

To which Carter yells out, "Thanks for nothing!"

Busy or not...we heard him and we started busting up laughing.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pictures are worth a thousand words

Photobucket

So accurate

A shirt doesn't get more spot on than this... (Gifted from Aunt Jana before he was born.)
Photobucket
FOOD. Forget it! Who needs it?

Owen couldn't be more thrilled with his decision to spit out ANY food forced into his clenched mouth.

Rice cereal? Disgusting.
Oatmeal? Yuck.
Sweet Potatoes? Not a chance.
Banana's? You're not fooling anyone, Mom!

"Mom, if I eat that nasty stuff then I might just sleep through the night. And well, let's be honest...that's NOT gonna happen!"

I've tried. For 2 months. I give up!

Owen and Nathan: Friends for Life

Because friends let friends touch toes. (Right, Sara?)
Photobucket
Seriously though, how cute is it that they each have toes curling around the other babies toes?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Easter at the River

I love Conference Weekend. Who doesn't love to stay home in their pajamas for church and soak in a ton of good information? The day was so relaxing we realized by 3pm we hadn't even had our Easter Egg Hunt. We lined the kids up, had a rocking earth quake that was forever long (Chad mentioned he thought he was getting sick during it and he LOVES earthquakes. For real.), and then ran out to collect eggs.
Photobucket
My Dad spent a lot of time studying for his mission.
Photobucket
I saw this idea to fill Easter Eggs with rice krispy treats. They loved them. Plus, they were great snacks in their school lunch the week after. I spray the inside of my eggs with pam so they'd come out easily. But I missed spraying one egg and it's pictured below.
Photobucket
I love this picture of Owen. He is constantly checking to see who is holding him. He doesn't care who it is...he just wants to flash a huge smile at you for showing him some love. He is very social.
Photobucket
Alexis and her cousin, Chelsea. These girls are a big ball of energy together. I said BIG, right! I'm a little scared they will be in the same ward and school soon. They are fun, rambunctious, playful, bossy, and both want to be in charge at all times. Good luck to those teachers!
Photobucket
Chad loves getting his picture taken. :)
Photobucket
We did a lot of swimming.
Photobucket
And a lot of tubing. (Clark, Carter and Sadie)
Photobucket
Chelsea, Emily and Alexis
Photobucket
This picture is CLASSIC. Can you see BOTH of Chelsea's thumbs up to go faster, Emily's thumbs down to go slower...and Alexis busting up?
Photobucket
This was right before they caught air and Chelsea flew in front of the girls catching a handful of hair on the buckle of Alexis' life jacket before flying into the FREEZING river. (That will teach her to hang on with at least one hand.) She was laughing when we turned the boat around to pick her up. PURE ENTERTAINMENT!
Owen in all his cuteness!
Photobucket
If only he could be hanging out in a boat throughout the NIGHT. Then I might not have bags under my eyes.
Photobucket
Owen loves getting kisses. And so do we!
Photobucket
We had lots of fun minus Amber accidentally eating hot cocoa powder and Alexis' run in a with a large white poisonous scorpion!

She was helping my mom clean up the toys in the garage and reached in a kids golf bag and felt a little pinch/scratch on her finger. She didn't know what it was but she quickly pulled her hand out and got my mom. Smart girl! That's when we looked inside the bag and saw...a flaming mad scorpion with it's tail curled up in the air ready to sting the next thing that came near it. So Chad put an end to his life. We think his pincher claws barely got Alexis. Just enough to make her nervous. My mom said, "Wow, Heavenly Father was definitely watching over her!" We think so too.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

OCMCO Concert

Alexis did a great job in the OCMCO concert a few weeks ago. She practiced for a part that they sang in smaller groups on a chair in our family room. She started getting all pop on us by putting a million runs in one syllable. We had to nip that in the bud...quick. Brett hates that kind of stuff.
Photobucket
{Pictured above: Sunbeam Chorus (4-6 yrs.), Children's Chorus (6-8yrs.), Youth Chorus (8-12yrs) and Concert Choir (12-18 yrs) the orchestra and Brett's tiny little self directing them}

It was a really special concert in particular because it was Brett's Oratorio. Have you ever watched Amadeus? You know when he locks himself in his room writing his masterpiece? That's an Oratorio. He didn't go crazy...although he worked on it day and night. Then when he said he was finished he'd get a vision and leave a family get together to go back home and write some more. It was truly amazing. I still can't believe my brother-in-law wrote the whole thing from scratch. We were all left speechless. The oratorio was written to the words in 2nd Nephi when Jesus Christ visits the America's.

The 1st video are the kids 4-18 singing together. The 2nd video is part of his oratorio (mostly adults).
video video

Hot Lava

Carter: "Dad, put your seat belt on!"

Dad either ignores Carter or isn't paying attention.

Carter repeats his request at least 3 times. But on the 4th time he changes it up a bit.

Carter: "Dad, put your seat belt on or the police will get you and throw you in the hot lava."

Chad: (Now, interested in the conversation.) "Carter, they are not going to throw me in hot lava. Do you see any hot lava?"

"Um, Dad...it's in the volcanos!" (Duh...dad!)

"Yea and do you see any volcanos around here. They aren't around here so they can't throw me in one."

"Yes they will, Dad. They will drive you there and throw you in."

Chad and I were just cracking up. He was so matter of fact about it and Chad wasn't going to stump him.

We get some food and we are getting back in the car 30 minutes later. Carter was stalling getting in the car.

Chad: "Carter, you better hurry up or I'm going to throw you in the hot lava."

Carter: (completely devastated by Chad's threat.) "What!?. You're just going to kill my wife!" (he pronounces his L's like W's)

"Carter, I'm not going to kill your LIFE!"


"Yep. You're going to kill my wife!"

Chad reassuring Carter says with more emphasis: "Carter, I'm not going to kill your LIFE!"

"Yea! You are going to throw me in the hot lava and kill my wife."


He wouldn't let this go either! He kept acting like Chad could care less about "his wife."
Where did all this talk about hot lava come from anyway?
Too funny that kid!

The Holy Ghost

Recently, Alexis and I have had numerous conversations about the Holy Ghost. It all started a few weeks ago when Alexis wondered how you can "hear" the Holy Ghost "because she never heard him."

I explained that many times we don't hear the Holy Ghost with our ears. But when we have hard choices the Holy Ghost will help us know what choice is right by giving us a good feeling inside about the right choice.

Over the last 3 weeks she has come home from school so eager to tell me how she felt the Holy Ghost give her a good feeling inside..."to go help this person, or include that person, or help solve an argument between two of her friends."

I love that she is looking for ways to recognize the Holy Ghost guide her in her choices.

Then a few weeks ago at the river when the front door slowly opened on it's own. She looked at me shocked!

"Mom, was that?...(A questioning look turned to an enlightened look.)....THE HOLY GHOST!

I was afraid she'd be let down when I told her it was most likely the wind that blew the door open because someone didn't shut it all the way. But, she actually handled it quite well.

Man, I love kids and their eagerness to learn and soak everything in.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Amanda's Wedding

A little late...but I'm finally getting around to posting pictures of my friends wedding.Isn't her dress beautiful. So unique...so her. She designed it on paper and had it made. Not that I would think a visual merchandiser for Nordstroms would do any less! But if you really want to see cool pictures of her...go to our other roommates photography blog Jamilia Jean Photography. These are some of my favorite bridal shots. There are so many cool ones. I feel like my pictures were taken by my 4 year old when I compare them to these works of art.Photobucket
She got married in the Newport Beach Temple. Here she is with my parents outside the temple.
She is the only member in her family so they had a ring ceremony just before the reception. She had my Dad be in charge of the ceremony. He did a really good job. He was so nervous especially since her parents do not support her being a member even though he has a good relationship with them. I'm so proud of Amanda. We spent more time together in the weeks leading up to this wedding than we have in the past 5 years. I loved spending time with her again.

Some of the roommates.
Good thing we had our babies to dance with. Because, honestly, getting on a dance floor for the first time in YEARS...felt a little awkward.
Britney and Jamie are some of my favorite people to dance with. They taught me all my moves in college. They literally can make me laugh for hours. We went to Target to grab Amanda some necessities. Let's just say we were in a very uncomfortable aisle when Britney decided to ask a young dude (looking at the same items as we were) to take a picture of us to send to her husband. (Britney please let Jaren read this...I can hear his laugh now!) Jamie and I were dying laughing the rest of the shopping trip. Britney....I wish we got together more often. Jamie helped a ton with the wedding. She is so talented. I'm still telling people about all of her areas of expertise. Permanent make-up (she did my permanent eyeliner while we were at BYU), hair, photography, photo-shop, etc. The list goes on!
I made the table numbers since it was a formal sit down dinner. They turned out really cute. Amanda gave everyone seed packets of flowers that said, "If I had a flower for every time you made me smile." They were super cute. The night went smoothly. I packed her car with a bunch of her favorite food...because if I learned anything about Amanda all those years we lived together it is that she does not eat when she is stressed. So I knew she'd be starving the minute she left the reception.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Owen and the Doctor's Office

If you totaled the amount of times we've been to urgent care, our pediatrician's office and talked on the phone with our Pediatrician...I'm sure there would be one for each week since Owen was born.
Photobucket
(Picture taken at the river...not at a Doctor's office)

No Joke. It's been tough. Owen usually has such a happy disposition at the Doctor since he got his hours of screaming in at home. Sometimes it makes me feel like an even more incompetent Mom considering I look like the paranoid Mom who brought in her smiling baby.

This week was no exception to our regularly un-scheduled visits. The Doctor ordered blood work for Owen. Lots of it.

I knew it would be tough. I made sure he was well hydrated before going. The nurses walked me through what would happen and I needed to stay strong and hold him down. What I knew and those nurses didn't know is that Owen would fight even harder than an average 5 month old. It takes both Chad and I holding him down to get ANY medication in Owen's mouth. He's a fighter...that is for sure.

So I was strong. I pinned his legs between mine. Used my left arm to pin his left arm to his side. And used my right arm to pin his right arm fully extended out on the table. I was ready and determined. I had a death grip on him and he wasn't going anywhere.

The nurse talked her baby talk to him as she prepped the area. She was ready too.

She inserted the needle into his arm. I waited. I thought, "It's coming any minute now." I leaned forward to get a better view of Owen's face to see when exactly that ear piercing scream would come. That's when it happened...the shocker of all shockers...

He smiled. Not a little smile...a big cheeky all the gums showing smile.

He looked around the room just taking it all in. Every now and then glancing at each nurse that one by one gathered around watching him...giving them a full blown gummy smile.

"Oh he's perfect!" says one.
"He's so cute!" says another.
"Look at those gorgeous blue eyes!" says yet another.
"Yep, I knew from the moment I saw that Mom bring him in. Just the cutest baby ever. So happy. Adorable. Always smiling." Says the nurse taking his blood.

The needle was in him for a little under 2 minutes. Not a single cry, whine, whimper or sad noise came from him.

I'm not complaining. Who wouldn't want the happy baby that shocks everyone in the lab and smiles the whole time getting his blood drawn.

I'm just saying (and I know he's only 5 months) but does he understand what I say and take pride in making me look like a really looney Mom?

RESULTS: Our Doctor called last night. No allergies. That's good news. This whole dairy/soy thing is temporary, an "intolerance." Hopefully, he will be like most children and outgrow it by the time he's 1. The plan is to stay away from those foods til then. I can do 6 1/2 more months of this, I think!?!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brotherly Love

I was folding laundry on the bed next to my cute boys when I saw this out the corner of my eye...
What could top off a good laundry folding session more than seeing your boys holding hands while they watch a show?

Nothing.

A Traumatizing Cat Fight

For months we have had a grungy stray cat hanging around our apartment complex. A calico cat whose owners left it behind when they moved. It runs in our homes when we open the doors, it poops on our patio furniture and all over the lawn and in the flower pots. It is your typical alley cat and I hate alley cats. To top it all off, we now have a white alley cat who found our apartment complex and is now trying to oust "Scrapy," (this is the name the children in the complex have given to the original Calico cat).

Today was the first day that my children saw two alley cats fight. Well, they actually only heard the cats fight, but it was VERY loud because they were fighting on our porch. All of the sudden we all heard the two cats start screaming and bouncing off all of our patio furniture. I have seen and heard many alley cat fights so it didn't phase me, but I turned to look at my children's faces and it was priceless. They looked at me as if a human being had just been mangled. They were terrified. Alexis ran to the door to see what was happening and Carter cautiously peeked around her only after he felt it was safe to do so.

The neighborhood kids who feed the cats quickly came to the rescue of Scrapy and broke up the scuffle. We went back in our house and I didn't think much more of it until Carter woke up tonight at 12:35 a.m. Here was our conversation:

Me: "Carter what are you doing up? It is the middle of the night. Let me take you back to bed."
Carter: (mumbling and still 95% asleep) "White cat is mean"
Me: "What?... What did you say?... Come on, back to bed."
Carter: "The white cat is mean... he tried to beat up Scrapy today"
Me: "I know"
Carter: "That is why I want to stay inside all tomorrow"

I guess this was a pretty traumatizing cat fight for Carter.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What I was looking for.

I dropped a baby gift off to a friend this morning before she moved. When I told her I had to sneak out of the house before Chad came over to help them move she said:

"My husband and I were just talking and wondering how many people would show up to help. We thought 3 or 4. We said Chad will probably come. He's the nice one."


I responded, "That's Chad. He's always willing to help everyone."

Then I came home. Chad was getting ready to go, doing some stretches because his back hurt. Finished his stretches, said goodbye and walked out the door with no complaints.

It got me thinking. When I responded to my friend it was like an involuntary response. I had no real feeling behind saying it. It was a matter of fact...that's always how he has been. It made me think back to when my Dad would advise me on what to look for when dating someone. He always stressed "find someone that puts the gospel and church first."

Would you believe I broke up with a guy in college because I wasn't convinced he did that? Because I did. Partly, because I was comparing everyone to Chad. And no one measured up! That's what made it so easy to wait for him for 2 years.

Chad always was "the nice one" from the day I met him when we were 15. (And I was the cranky one...that's what made people so shocked we started dating. But that's besides the point.)

I really wanted what my Dad had told me. I found it young and held onto him. Thank goodness I did. He truly puts our family, the gospel, church...and SERVICE first. I feel so blessed to have him as my husband and father of our children. He sets such a good example for our kids. I hope they recognize it and grow up to be just like him.

I really do love him. He was just what I was looking for.

Family Get Togethers

We enjoyed spending time with my siblings while they were all in town with their families. My oldest brother lives in Idaho and another brother lives in Washington so we don't get to see them as much as we'd like.

We spent some time at the beach, ate at Ruby's on the pier, played Volleyball, and played in the water. We took family pictures at the Newport Beach Temple. Had some nice family dinners.

It doesn't get more classic than this: playing soccer in the side yard after church...dresses, sandals, church socks...pretty much, anything goes.

And went to The Balboa Fun Zone. We rode on the carrousale.

And went on a tour of Balboa Island. They gave us our own boat because our family was so big.
I was surprised how interesting the tour was...learning all about what TV shows were filmed where and who lived in what houses and how they came to be.

Loved these pictures of the kids.

We got to check out the sea lions too. Definitely the kid favorite.

Sometimes the only way to get in a picture is to have your kids take one.

Carter decided he wanted to learn to ride a bike without training wheels one of the days we were all together. He got it down on the 3rd try! Whoo hoo! He was beaming. He managed to squeeze in learning that while he was still 3 years old...beating out Alexis by a year. I need to get a picture and video still.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Poor Owen!

I sprinkled what I thought was cinnamon sugar on a tortilla Saturday while on vacation.

It wasn't. It was hot chocolate. Do you know what's in hot chocolate...MILK powder!

6 hours later Owen was spitting up curdy milk. Then came other symptoms and then the one we dread the most...not sleeping. He woke up every hour...inconsolable for 3 nights strait.

Owen started getting sick again yesterday at the river. He's been sick for a month. Mostly a horrible cough and wheezing a ton. He only had six healthy days before this started up again.

Last night we got home late...he did better...he actually had a 2 1/2 hour stretch. Just one though. I was off to work by 6:15am. Got a call by 8am from Chad. Owen was wheezing bad and now had a fever. I was working till 2pm with no break. (Remember...I'm also functioning on no sleep for 3 nights.) Luckily, my 10:40 patient got called into work. I had a 50 minute break to meet Chad at the Doctor.

The doctor was afraid he might have pneumonia. There was a spot on his chest x-ray...possibly the start. So he's now on:

-acid reflux medicine
-tylenol (for the fever)
-breathing treatments every 4 hours
-antibiotics (preventing full blown pneumonia)
-an inhaler because the doctor is afraid he has bad seasonal allergies.

And we have to rinse his mouth out with water after we give him his inhaler twice a day since he is now more prone to fungal infections.

Seriously, how much more can this little...ok...chubby 5 month old take?

It's killing me!

I have a million things I need to do.

catch up on blogging about our family happenings * clean my house * unpack * start working out again * start eating healthier * read more to my kids * start cooking dinner * relieve my husband from cooking every night * start picking up after myself * start packing for our upcoming move

and stop yelling at everyone around me!

No one likes a crabby Amber. Hey, I didn't get the nickname "The CRANK" for no reason in high school. Sad, but true...ask Chad.

First things first. CATCH UP ON SLEEP!

Good night.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Our Chubby Little Owen

Had to get this picture up. Owen is such a happy baby!