Sunday, September 28, 2014

a fall update!

Hi friends, sorry I've been MIA for a few weeks. We've had a busy couple of weeks with family in town visiting, birthday parties, and the beginning (finally) of "fall" like weather. Fall weather in Phoenix basically means it might dip into the 90's and the second it hits the 80's I start dressing my whole family in long pants and shirts. Hey, we have to get use out of our winter clothes where we can!

Anyway, last week my parents came into town for a quick visit. It's the fist time they've been out since, like, May and it was good to see them. They are still figuring out what their next step is after selling the house in Reno, and one option is spending more time down here. They house they own right now they bought for a steal about six years ago, so they are considering selling it and buying something more permanent and becoming "snow birds". It would be great to have them down here more, it is really hard sometimes not having any family around. Also, I love real estate and house hunting so I had fun spending a few days loping at properties with them.

(My mama and me! We spent the day at Ulta doing makeovers!)

The boys love having their grandparents around, and they also love having a little shake up in schedule. When we have people here visiting they tend to have later bedtimes, more snacks, and more fun! My parents also brought me some more stuff form the house that they just sold. It's stuff I wanted, but I have no idea where to put it all! They are also "willing" us (if you were ever in a sorority you get what I'm saying here!) some of their old paella gear. It's a long story, but we have some old childhood friends who were from Spain and we spent some time over there when I was younger. One thing we took away was the love of the food. My Dad's been perfecting his paella for almost 20 years now, and I have a great affinity  for prosciutto, ham and cheese croissants, and Spanish wine. My dad made us one of his famous paellas while he was here and then left S all the tools to be able to make us one! I"m excited, and I think he's excited to take on a new cooking challenge!

(We have Paella pictures like this going back to when I was like 9! So crazy to have one with all my kiddos in it!

(Even my picky boys loved it! R ate a ton, but he has yet to meet a food he doesn't like!)

My parents left at the end of the week and then we all had colds we  were fighting off. I hate when my boys are sick, but it's even worse when I feel bad! I'm good at taking care of others, but I'm kind of at a loss when others need to take of me! Thankfully, no one got it too bad, and while we all still have coughs it seems to be on our way out. We had a busy weekend, S's soccer season started again and I had a baby shower for one of my sorority sisters and I also met up with S's aunt for breakfast. Aunt D is  S's mom's best friend, and while we are so lucky she lives in the same town as us (but on the way other side!!!!)  we don't see her nearly enough! It was so great to catch up and let her meet baby R! It definitely made me realize we need to make the effort to keep the connections we have out here, even if they are out of the way! It was a great weekend and we capped it off with a lazy little Sunday and some time spent at our neighborhood park. 

I feel like we haven't been to the park in months, and honestly, we probably haven't been. Unless we sneak in super early before pool days it's just too darn hot from May to August. While the rest of the country is rejoicing in turning leaves and sweaters and Pumpkin lattes for fall, we are rejoicing the the ability to go to our park at 5 PM in shorts and tshirts and not die of heat exhaustion! Hey, we will take fall where we can get it!

Hope everyone is having as good a start to fall as we are!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy 5th birthday L!!!

You guys….. I have a five year old! A five year old little person is now standing in the place where my tiny little first born baby used to be….how did that happen?

I admit, I love birthdays. I love all celebrations and reasons for a party and gifts and a mix up in schedule and just that general good feeling. But, man, these kids birthdays are a little bittersweet. It's hard to believe that five years and one day ago, I wasn't a mom yet. I can't imagine a time when my whole life didn't revolve around the needs and feeling and moods and whims of my little guys, but it really wasn't even that long ago. I remember, in an abstract sort of way, all of L's firsts. The first time he crawled, the first time he walked, the first time he said mama, the first time he rode a bike. There has been a lot of first in five years, and while I remember and cherish them all, there's also a part of me that can't imagine him ever not being exactly who is right at this moment. I can barely wrap my head around the fact that my sweet little red headed, fuzzy headed, baby is the same child as this auburn haired, handsome, sassy, smart, kind, funny little boy. He really is amazing. He is in his first year of Pre-K, and  he loves school. He can write his name, and spell it. We are working on reading and tying his shoes. He loves being read to and singing and dancing. He loves music, especially Pharrells song "Happy". He likes to help me pack his lunch and cook. His favorite shows are: Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Octonaughts, Little Einsteins, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He can be very stubborn and he will throw a tantrum if he doesn't get his way. He is learning how to push our buttons and how to test us. He is an amazing big brother, very loving and helpful, but he also knows his role as the oldest and can be pretty bossy. He loves his Daddy  but can also be a bit of a mama's boy. I love him with my whole heart.

OK, OK, enough of the mush. I could go on for pages and pages and pages about everything that he is doing. It's amazing how complex someone can be at the tender age of five! But I am so proud of who he is becoming, and even though watching him grow up tugs at my heartstrings I can't wait to keep watching him grow!

L had a pretty great "birthday weekend". I was going to plan a party, but between both boys starting school and everything else going on, it was just too much and I ran out of time. Instead we had his best friend J over on Saturday. Luckily, S and I have become very close to J's parents, and his little brother R is the same age as L2! It works out pretty perfectly and the more time we spend with them the more grateful I am that they ended up in our lives! Anyway, we kept it low key, ordering pizza and making cupcakes and letting the boys play. They had a blast and we had fun being able to relax with friends!

On Sunday L and S went with J and his Daddy flying. That's right, I said flying. Like in a plane. J's daddy has his pilots license and a little plane and so the four of them took a short fight over to Payson for breakfast. L got such a kick out of it, and even though it made this mama a bit of a nervous wreck I know it was an awesome experience for him!

We spent Sunday night wrapping presents and blowing up balloons to surprise L with on Monday morning (his actual birthday!) and S also took the day of work to surprise him. L has been begging Daddy to take him to school so this was a great gift for him!

After waking up to a room filled with balloons (he was a little more confused then excited…. he asked if I had accidentally dropped some balloons in his room!)  we took the big boys to school and daddy got to walk in and meet there teachers and see where they go everyday! We then had a few hours to kill with just baby R before we had to go get them so we went over to a coffee shop and had a nice breakfast and then walked around the bookstore. I know this was  L's day, but it was pretty nice for mommy and daddy to have some time together too!

After we got both boys from school we took them to see Dolphin Tale 2. Cute movie, although I did cry a few times! It's nice that we can take the boys to kid movies that aren't necessarily cartoons. Then we ran a few errands before going to dinner at our favorite spot. At this point L2 was starting to feel the effect of a long day and no nap so we headed home for presents.

There were two presents we knew we had to get L this year. The first is a Jack and the Neverland Pirates pirate ship that he has been asking for for about 6 months, every since he saw it at J's house. The other was a watch. I don't know why, but he has been asking for a watch for months! Luckily, S managed to find a really cool, really sturdy watch with a snap on bracelet. L loves it. And when he opened the pirate ship he yelled "Oh my gosh, it's what I've always wanted!" We also got him a book and some flip flops, which he liked, but the watch and ship were the real winner in the present department!

(R "helping" L with his presents!)

After present S took L to soccer practice and I stayed home with L2 and R. Poor L2 was in bed by 6…. he was so tired! Apparently he still needs a solid nap during the day!

It was a great fifth birthday, and I'm so happy and proud to be able to call L my son. He's truly just a light in our lives and we love him so much!!!

I'll leave you with a few pictures of L as a baby and the big boy he has become!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

10 months

10 months old and we have a walker!!! Just in the last week or so R has started getting much more confident on his feet and is now taking about 5-6 steps at a time! His main method of "transportation" is still his super fast crawl, but you can tell he's really proud of himself with the walking and that he's excited about it! We're excited too, of course, although I must admit it's a little bittersweet. I suppose it's that way with all the kids and every time they hit a new milestone…. you are so proud, but at the same time it's that little reminder that they are growing up! I heard a quote the other day that really resonated with me; "The days are long, but the years are short." So, so true. I swear some days just feel like they drag and I count down the minutes until S gets home and I have some help… but then I feel like I blink and it's suddenly September and I have an almost five year old, an almost three year old, and an almost one year old!!!

Anyway, back to R's 10 month update! Like I said, I think we can officially classify him as a walker! He is also super into climbing, any chance he can get onto the couch or onto a bed or onto any higher surface he just keeps trying to get even higher! He's even figured out that he can drag his toys over to the couch and use them to climb up! Oh, the life of a mom of boys!!!He's still not talking, but he's very vocal. He's getting to the age if you take a toy (or potentially dangerous object) away from him, or take to long to feed him, or try to stop him from doing something, he will let you know he doesn't appreciate it! He also enjoys bossing his brothers around and yelling at them if they don't do exactly what he wants! It's pretty funny, but the big boys are super patient with him I think it's hilarious that this little baby boy pretty much rules the roost! 

We are still exclusively breast feeding! Yay! I am not seeing us stopping anytime soon, so I would imagine we will go past a year. I'm still not getting as much when I pump, but I'm not letting myself worry about it. We still have a decent freezer stash and in two month we will start introducing cows milk, so I'm thinking I will probably stop pumping completely at that point and just nurse on demand. I've also been throwing around the idea, since I do produce so much, of maybe donating some milk, but I need to look into it a little more! We are still nursing about 5 times a day, and eating baby food twice a day and also getting little bits of whatever "grownup" foods we are eating. If we are just hanging out at home he tends to nurse home, but if we are out and about and he is distracted he can go longer stretches. He loves food and if anyone else is eating around him and doesn't offer him some he will get mad! He still nurse once or twice during the night, but I'm positive that is more comfort nursing than he is actually hungry and I am trying to get him out of that habit!

Speaking of sleeping, it's going….. OK. He is definitely not the easiest sleeper we have, and part of that I know is that he a little spoiled with sleeping in our bed. I can't help it…. I love cuddling with him at night! He is still in our room, he starts the night in the pack and play and usually between 1 and 3 will wake up and come into bed with us. On the bright side he is getting better about just coming in and going back to sleep and not needing to comfort feed back to sleep! Baby steps, right? I know S is ready to move him into his own room, but honestly I just don't think he's ready and I don't think I'm ready. The bottom line is he really isn't sleeping through the night and it's just easier for me to have him right there next to me then to be running across the house to get him. Especially now with two different school schedule to keep, mama needs her sleep!

R's personality is still just the sweetest ever. He is so loving and giggly and cuddly and funny. This kid literally had the whole family just enamored with him!

Happy 10 months R!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

L2's first day of Pre-school

Today was my sweetest middle child's first day of Pre-school. I cannot believe I actually have two kids in school…. where is the time going, and can it please slow down? Obviously, L2 is on the young side for school….. L started his two-half-day a week preschool, when he was about 3 1/2, and L2 will be 3 this October. Because of the speech issues we've had, L2 has been receiving speech therapy through the state since right after his first birthday, and has now "graduated" from the early intervention program and entered into the state preschool. It's actually been quite the headache…. a lot of red tape and hoops to jump through, but I really believe this is going to be so good for him. When we had him evaluated his speech delay only came out as moderate, mostly because his cognitive language is so good. He doesn't have a lot of "understandable" language right now, but he tries and he follows directions and understands what you are saying to him. We know that he is going to be having another surgery on his mouth in probably the spring or Summer of next year, and that will hopefully fix this problem. Until then, I think the socialization aspect of school, and having to communicate with his teacher and his peers is going to be so good for him, and we are all so excited!!!

Getting him into the school has actually been a several month process, full of headaches and angry phone calls and tear on my part, but we finally got it worked out last week and we were so ready to have him start after Labor Day Weekend. So, of course, what happened? L2 got a horribly high fever and was sick ALL weekend! First of all, he never gets sick, and second, I was freaking out. Basically, he had to go today, whether he was sick or not, because he wasn't technically enrolled until he attended one day and we could lose his spot if he wasn't there! Thankfully, the fever broke late last night and he seemed to feel fine by today!

(I realize he looks completely miserable in this picture…. he was just mad that I was making him sit for a picture! Little stinker!)

I knew he was ready for school. We've been taking L for the last month and every time we go into his classroom L2 immediately goes and sit down at a desk and starts playing. I also knew that he might have an issue when he realized I was going to drop him off and actually leave him. And, boy, was I right. He was all smiles in the parking lot and when we went to find his classroom. He ran in and started looking at he toys and even gave his new teacher a big hug! I was talking to the teacher, just going over everything ,and at this point I started getting teary, because, I mean…. It's my baby. And he's starting school and that a big deal!!!! So I said my goodbyes and went to leave before I lost it, and all Hell broke loose. L2 lost it. Sobbing, clinging to me…. it was awful. I went outside and I could hear him crying and yelling and pounding on the door with his little fist. I'm telling you, it took everything in my power no to run and scoop him up, all while telling the teacher, "Oops, no sorry! There has been a mistake!! I'll take him! Sorry for wasting your time!" But I didn't. It was hard, but I left and I knew in my heart that he would be fine.

(Big brother's school was closed today for teacher training, so he was with us to send L2 off for his first day!)

(Drop off…. right before I left…. he's still happy!!!)

I half expected to get a phone call telling me to come and get him, but it never came, and when I went to pick him up he was sitting with all the other kids listing to the teacher and smiling. I'll tell you though, the smile and running hug I got when he saw me come in definitely brought me to tears again! The teacher said after a few minutes of cuddles he calmed down and did really well for the rest of the day. He got along with everyone and listened to directions and even spent the whole day in big-boy pull ups with no accidents! I was one proud mommy, and despite all the headaches we've been through I'm feeling really good that this is a good step for us. I know the rest of the week will probably be the same at drop off…. it usually takes him a week or so to acclimate to something new, but I think in the long run he's going to love it and so are we!!!!