Thursday, February 28, 2008

No turning back now...

February 27th was a big day for another reason too.  Our Residency Rank List was submitted! Ok, well, it's been submitted for a few weeks now but we could change it at anytime, and we did, several times.  Yesterday was the cutoff date to make changes and submit - so it's FINAL!  And today is exactly three weeks from Match Day!!!  That still feels like a long time to us so let's hope the time flies.  I'm sure it will once Match Day comes - then we have 8 short weeks until graduation and moving day!  AAHHHH!  So exciting - and nerve wracking at the same time : )

Birthday Festivities

Alex was VERY excited about her birthday this year, she was so funny.  When she woke up in the morning and we were snuggling she kept giggling and whispering, "I'm the birthday girl!"  

Here are the gifts, wrapped and ready to go (including the picnic table from Grandma).
Opening presents
Thank you and kisses
(sidenote: Alex can be a REAL stinker...but she ALWAYS says thank you.)
Alex got 2 pretty new dresses and a matching hair bow from Grandma Hunt - she insisted on putting the hair bow in immediately.  Oh, the difference between boys and girls!  We recently watched a video of Noah's second birthday - when he opened a gift that had clothes in it he started crying and throwing a tantrum : )
Paul and I were so excited to give Alex this backpack (she's been wanting one of her own since Noah has one for preschool) because we found one with a mermaid on it.  For anyone who doesn't already know...Alex is OBSESSED with mermaids.  In fact, one of her favorite presents wasn't a present at all - it was the mermaid birthday card her grandma sent her.  She carried it around and showed it to everyone all day!
Alex also loved the keyboard that her big brother picked out for her - nice job Noah!

I let Alex pick out her cake, frosting, and ice cream at the store the other day.  She insisted on chocolate everything...I really have no idea where she gets that : )  She and Noah helped me bake the cake that afternoon and of course we had to eat some of the batter.  Noah said, "Mom, that's the best part!"  I don't know where he got that either...
Decorating with sprinkles...
and sneaking a few bites.
Alex LOVED when we sang "Happy Birthday" to her!  She was just beaming!
She tried to put the candles out with her fingers...
Then Noah taught her how to blow them out
Finally...time to EAT CAKE!
Our Big Birthday Girl!

Just so you don't all think I'm a bad wife, Paul really hates being the center of attention and so I'm not allowed to throw him a party...in Paul's world a surprise party would practically be grounds for a divorce.  We're not even allowed to sing to him.  Ok, well Alex did.  So Paul and I will be enjoying a romantic dinner date this weekend, when we get to drop the kids off for babysitting group.  Hurray!  It feels like my birthday too!  


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Double Birthday

Today is both Paul's Birthday (29) and Alex's birthday (2).  Here are a few of my favorite things about them 

ALEX:

She's playful and silly, always laughing and joking
She is a sweetheart, who loves to snuggle and give "loves" and kisses
She adores her big brother and copies everything he does
She's tough and brave - she's the daredevil, willing to do things that Noah wouldn't dream of
She's strong-willed, knows what she wants, and can hold her own with her big brother (and anyone else for that matter)
She's got a sensitive side - her feelings are easily hurt when scolded by mommy and daddy.  It's hilarious to watch her cover her face, whimper, and run and hide.
She is always singing and dancing
She is currently teaching me a lot about patience and forgiveness 
She loves me!  Our family wouldn't be the same without Alex and I'm so glad she's mine!

PAUL:

He makes me laugh everyday, even when I'm trying to be mad at him
He has a real soft spot for the kids, especially in the middle of the night, when I don't have much of one at all.
He works hard everyday, without complaint
He sees the bright side of everything 
He's adventurous and likes to try new things
He cooks  A LOT
He's really good at surprises
He does the right thing, even when it's hard, even when he doesn't want to
He helps me be a better person - I wouldn't be who I am today without Paul, who is always supportive of me and sets an example for the whole family.
He loves me, and he even likes me (after almost 6 years of marriage)!

I love you both!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Reunited

This is Noah and Alex the night we got home.  What sweethearts!

Noah wasn't the only one excited to see Daddy and Alex.  I was SO EXCITED....so excited that I left both of my suitcases sitting on the curb at the Cleveland Airport.  And we didn't realize it until we got home and Paul opened the empty trunk.  This is really embarrassing, but in my defense, I have never once put my luggage into the car when Paul is there.  I always do the kid-thing and Paul always does the luggage-thing.  Anyways, this being Cleveland I was SURE the bags would have been stolen but luckily the police had taken them to the Southwest Baggage Services Office.  Poor Paul had to go all the way back to the airport that night.  I couldn't bear to leave Alex!

My Utah Trip

After Paul got home from snowmobiling we had 2 days together, including Valentine's Day, which was great.  Then Noah and I were off to Utah.  Paul had to work a little and couldn't come (if you are feeling bad for him, don't - see previous post) so I left Alex with him and had a friend watch her when Paul had to be at the hospital.  This was a tough decision for me, not to bring Alex.  I felt really bad but Paul assured me I would have much more fun without her - and considering that we were going to attend a baby blessing and the MTC bringing a 2-year old, especially mine, really wouldn't have been a good idea.  It was so hard to say goodbye to her though I was bawling at the airport!  It was especially sad because she is so attached to Noah and he was leaving her too!  Noah gave her big hugs and kisses goodbye but didn't seem sad at all.  When we got inside the airport I told him I was sad to leave Alex and I asked him if he was sad too.  He cheerfully replied, "No, I'm not sad.  I'm excited!  I'll be excited to see Alex another day!"  So funny.  Noah was really excited to go on a special trip with mommy, and I was too!  Traveling with one 4-year old was a total piece of cake, even with switching planes, a delayed flight, an almost 4-hour layover, and arriving at midnight cleveland time.  I got to READ on the airplane!  My dad and my 2 brothers surprised us by meeting us at the airport and from there we headed to the hotel to eat, hang out for awhile, and crash.  The next morning we headed up to my sister Michele's house to meet my new nephew Boston.


He is so cute!  Noah loved holding him (for about 2 minutes at a time)
Sunday was Boston's Baby Blessing, which was very nice.  We're lucky we didn't miss it!  Noah kept telling me (after the meeting had started of course) that he needed to go potty, so I made him wait until after the blessing.  Then we jumped up and ran for the bathroom, where Noah aimed very poorly and ended up covered in pee - we had to go home a little early : )
Here are the proud parents with their beautiful boy!
And here are the sisters doting on that beautiful boy!

Monday we spent the day eating and shopping.  I met up with my in-laws for dinner at the The Mandarin (yum).  Noah went home with them that night, very excited about his "sleepover" with Grandma.  I had been looking forward to a kid-free night with my family but when Noah drove off with Grandma and Grandpa I sat in my car and cried.  I missed my kids!  Don't get me wrong though, I had a great night without them!
That night we had a special FHE.  My father was able to set my brother apart as an Elder, being both his Stake President and his dad.  It was a great experience for all of us.

Tuesday morning we attended a live session at the SLC Temple - a first for everyone.  I went and picked up Noah who loved spending time with his Grandma Gunn, Aunt Ging, Aunt Kori, and Cousin Jack.  Then we spent the rest of the day with my family: shopping, eating,  and just soaking up our last day with my brother Tanner.

Wednesday morning we were off to the MTC.  Noah was riding in the car with me and my sister Tiff.  We learned on the drive down that he was a little confused about this whole experience when he said, "When are we going to be there?  How far away is Mexico?"  We (laughing) tried to explain to him again that we weren't taking him to Mexico City (where he'll be serving his mission) just to the Missionary Training Center, or the MTC.  Noah kept calling the MTC the "empty sea."  
No one in my family has ever done an MTC drop-off before so we were all a little anxious.  Ok, maybe not a little...As soon as we took the Provo exit my sister and I were hyperventilating and trying not to throw-up.  
Here we all are.  This picture is pretty cool because I can't remember the last time we had a picture of my parents and all 5 of their kids together!
And here is the handsome Elder Hunt, anxious to go!  The goodbye was heart-wrenching but Tanner was so ready!  After we'd all said our goodbyes he pushed his way through the crowd and was one of the first missionaries out the door!  Way to go Tanner!  We're so proud of you!

Noah was HORRIBLE at the MTC.  This was the only time I had a problem with him the whole trip...of course.  The other families thought he was crying because his uncle was leaving on a mission.  I didn't correct them.

Here are some things Noah DID love:
his cousin Boston
eating pink cookies
and wrestling with Grandpa and uncles (as is evident by the rosy cheeks).

My family members all flew home Wednesday night.  Noah and I stayed one more night at my sister's and took off EARLY the next morning.  It was a good time to end the trip.  It just wasn't the same without Tanner.

I'm so glad I had one more chance to create memories with my brother Tanner before his mission - and I'm so glad I was finally able to meet Boston and be there for his blessing.  Thanks mom and dad for making it all happen!

Paul's Snowmobiling Trip







So before I can blog about my trip I have to blog about Paul's trip - he was gone for a week before I went on my trip.  He flew to Utah, spent a day snowboarding with our old friend Tharren (from the Provo days), attended a wedding the next day (an old friend from Paul's Brigham City days) and then met up with my dad, my 2 brothers, and my 2 brother-in laws.  All the guys in the family on a trip together before my brother left on his mission!  They headed up to Island Park, just outside of Yellowstone, where they spend several days snowmobiling.  They had a great time, complete with crashes, wrecks, stuck snowmobiles, and near-death experiences but, amazingly, they all came home without injuries.  

Monday, February 25, 2008

I Like You


Last night Paul was heading off to bed earlier than me.  As he walked out of the room I meant to say "I love you."  But I was reading and I saw the word "like" at the same time and so what actually came out is, "I like you!"  Paul turned around.  "I like you?" he said.  And we both started laughing.  Today I got a voicemail which ended with him saying, "I like you."  So, here's the thing...I kinda like saying (and hearing) I like you.  When you say I love you to someone multiple times a day, everyday, for years on end, it becomes so automatic it starts to feel more like a salutation.  Like a "hello" or "goodbye."  It loses some of it's meaning, or you just don't pay attention to the meaning of it.  Too often I say it without thinking about it or putting any feeling into it.  Saying "I like you" reminds me that my husband is my friend.  He's someone I like.  I don't just love him, I like him.  I like who he is, I like being with him.  Maybe this doesn't make sense to anyone but me.  But, just for the record, I like Paul...and he likes me too : )  

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sledding Fieldtrip

The day after Valentine's Day we had a Sledding Preschool Fieldtrip.  Luckily for me, Paul didn't have to be in to work until the afternoon and I got to leave Alex behind.  She wasn't too happy about that, poor girl, but in my defense, she doesn't have any snow clothes and the temperature was in the single digits with blowing wind and snow.  She was much better off at home.  Noah and I had a lot of fun, despite the frigid weather...until about an hour into it, when he suddenly started whining and crying.  First he didn't want the sled I had, he wanted a different one, so we waited our turn for it.  Then when we got it he insisted he didn't want to go down anymore.  But he also refused to walk down the hill and get in the van.  I asked him what he wanted to do and he sobbed, "I'm cold.  I just want to sit up here all day!"  Now, that's reasonable.  I headed to the van and he eventually joined me...still sobbing of course.  Don't you hate it when a perfectly enjoyable outing with the kids ends this way?!?  Oh well, it was worth it! 

Yes, that little yellow speck is Noah
Noah never once pulled a sled up the hill...he made his friends do all the work
Are you in there Noah?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I know this is a little late but I've been out of town (vacation post coming soon) and didn't want to skip blogging about our Valentine's Day.  The kids were really fun - I know, I've said this about every holiday this year, the kids are both at a great age.  We all swapped Valentine's Day cards and the kids both had a little gift/treat bag from mom and dad.  Paul gave me a box of chocolates so as soon as breakfast was over we were all enjoying our treats : )  

I took the kids to Noah's preschool Valentine's Day Party.  I think Alex was more excited than Noah - she wanted to follow all the big kids around and participate in all their games, it was so funny.  She loves to be included in Noah's preschool activities.  They both loved eating heart sandwiches for lunch, playing games, and decorating sugar cookies.  Noah loved giving and getting Valentine's from all his preschool friends, it was really cute!

Paul got home early that day and surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, which I love getting.  I was so excited!  Noah and Alex were excited too and kept touching and smelling them.  Noah took one whiff and said excitedly, "They smell like chicken nuggets!"  Well, I can assure you that my flowers DO NOT smell like chicken nuggets - Noah just loves chicken nuggets so much I think that was supposed to be a wonderful compliment!

I made a yummy dinner for Paul that night, which we enjoyed as a family, of course.  It's kind of a tradition now to have a family candlelit dinner and drink sparkling cider - the kids loved it!  Paul was just thrilled that I made dinner, period.  

After we got the kids to bed I surprised Paul with the rest of his gift.  I had rearranged the furniture in the living room so that we could watch a movie on our new imac - I even borrowed ottomans to make it feel more like a home theater.  However, there was a glitch in my plans.  I had planned to rent a movie from itunes, which I did...right before we were ready to watch it.  I had no idea (I know, I'm an idiot) that it would take about 2 hours to download!!!  I was so disappointed!  We were going to watch the movie "Waitress" which I've seen, and I'd even made a pie to go with the theme of the movie.  Luckily, it didn't actually take 2 hours to download - just a little over 1 hour.  So we did get to enjoy the movie and delicious Chocolate Angel Strata Pie in our "home theater" - we just had to stay up really late to do it!  

Hope you all had a great Valentine's Day - ours was really fun!  

V-Day candy and a movie - what could be better?!?
Noah and Alex: Valentine's Day Sweethearts

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

No More Crib!

Yesterday (with Daddy out of town) we made the transition...from crib and toddler bed to toddler bed and twin bed!!!  Alex isn't even 2 yet and we were hoping to keep her in the crib until we move in 3 months - but that plan got thrown out the window when Alex learned how to climb out of her crib!  
It all started about a week ago...one morning I woke up to the kids giggling and I headed into their room to check things out.  To my shock Noah AND ALEX were sitting on top of the dresser!  Noah's response was, "Look Mom, I helped Alex get out!"  Definitely not a favor I wanted.  So 2 days ago I put Alex down for her nap.  She was pretty quiet, I assumed she was sleeping, but when I checked on her I caught her mid-climb.  That's when I realized that all the things that had been sitting on top of the dresser were in her crib.  She was climbing out onto the changing table, running across it to the dresser, and hauling things back to her crib!!!  That night Alex woke up crying at 2am - I went to check on her and she was hanging halfway out of her crib.  Then at 6:30am Alex came running into my room and said, "Mommy, I got out!"  So, after escaping 3 times in 2 days I knew there was no going back.  The crib days were over.  Sad, for more than one reason: that she's growing up so fast and also that I can no longer keep her contained at naptime and in the early morning hours!  
So, yesterday, all by myself, I took down the crib, hauled in Noah's "bed" which in our house means boxspring and mattress (hey, that's what Paul and I are sleeping on), and rearranged all the furniture (multiple times).  Let me tell you, it was NOT easy to fit everything in that little room!  I was worried it wasn't going to work but I managed to pull it off.  There's not an inch of wall space left and all the furniture is butting up to each other but...it works.  


Alex is very excited about her "big girl bed"
That is, until it's time to take a nap - which hasn't happened for 2 days now!
It took Noah some time to warm up to the idea...okay he had a complete emotional breakdown.  Poor kid, he thought this meant we were moving, which he does NOT want to do.  It was so sad, I was fighting back tears as I tried to comfort him!  He eventually got on board with the idea though and is now very excited to show daddy that we "changed the room!"  He even helped me re-hang his favorite pictures: a huge world map and a dinosaur poster, both directly over his bed.  
I talked to Noah a lot about how we'd have to help Alex learn to sleep in her big girl bed now.  He was so sweet he decided to pass down his treasured, giant, stuffed Nemo which he's been sleeping with since he was 1.  Now he makes sure to give it to Alex when she goes to bed.  He also "accidentally" woke her up her first night in the bed at 10pm because he was rubbing her back and filling up her bed with all her babies!  Annoying, but sweet at the same time : )  
Goof Balls
I have a feeling this might be happening a lot...
I can't believe I don't have a kid in a crib!  Now if we could just get Alex out of her diapers...

Friday, February 08, 2008

I'm not kidding you, this is what Noah said to his sister tonight. Verbatim

"Alex you have to understand...if we hit and cry Jesus will be sad.  We don't want to follow Satan, do we baby?"

What's with all the "satan" talk?!?  I swear I've never tried to scare my kids into good behavior this way...I'm scary enough without using that tactic 

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I told you he loves "ocean" books

video
He memorized this one.  Alex loves to "read" books too.  She usually wont let me read to her at bedtime anymore - she insists on reading to me.  

(And please just ignore the attention-seeking camera-hog talking over Alex...we're working on it)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Winter Boredom

Oh, what do you do in the wintertime, when all the world is grey...and snowy...and wet...and freezing...
Can you tell how much I love January and February?  The weather really isn't any better here in March, but for some reason I start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The winter isn't all bad though - we get to be a little bit lazy, and sometimes that's nice.  This is all we do these days:

Read books (the only place we ever go is the library or the grocery store)
Play Oceans.  I guess that needs a little bit of an explanation (and so does this picture).  Noah is obsessed with sharks and when it was my turn to teach preschool last month I did an Ocean theme.  Noah has talked about oceans non-stop since then.  We got "ocean" books from the library and when Noah earned a prize for doing his responsibility chart he picked out this packet of plastic fish (Target, $3).  It has provided hours of entertainment.  The kids favorite "ocean" game is "deep-sea diving" which consists of me dumping the plastic fish on the rug, covering them up with a heavy blue blanket and the kids crawl underneath and "catch" fish.  This picture is Noah with his beloved fish.  The pot on his head is where the fish "sleep."  Don't ask me, I don't know where he comes up with this stuff : )
Bake treats.  Today it was muffins.  We made a batch of 12 and within 10 minutes there were only 5 muffins left.  And my dining room was a disaster.  I like to bake and Noah loves to help me and we all love treats.  It's a nice little activity to break up the day and give us something to do.  The problem is it also gives us something yummy (and usually bad for you) to eat.  And I seem to have no self-control in this department.  This, combined with a broken treadmill and yucky weather (i.e. no running) is not good.  NOT GOOD, I tell you.


Thank goodness for preschool..I think Noah (and ok, me) would go insane without it.  Poor Alex, she sobs every time Noah leaves.  

Well, it's 11:30 and I think we'll do some pilates now.  The kids usually have fun rolling around on the floor for about 10 minutes...then they start climbing and jumping one me while I lay on the floor...why do I even bother?  Oh well, it's pretty funny : )

And yes, it's 11:30am and we're all in our PJ's.  My excuse: we've all got colds and therefore won't be leaving the house today so, really, what's the point?  

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Gospel through Noah's eyes

After church yesterday Noah was cooking with Daddy in the kitchen.  He suddenly said, "Dad, do you know that Jesus calmed the waters?  There were lots of big waves, like this, [lots of wiggling and twisting of his entire body] but he calmed them.  Because he has the POWER."

I've been talking to Noah a lot lately about making "good" choices and "bad" choices.  When he lost his temper with Alex I asked him if that was a good choice - he said no.  Later that day I asked him to clean up his toys while I put Alex to bed.  He usually ignores me so when I came out and saw him cleaning I praised him for obeying mommy and making a good choice.  Noah said, "Satan makes BAD choices." It was really hard not to laugh.

I was singing "Follow The Prophet" with the kids this morning but apparently Noah is a little unclear on the words.  The rest of the day I heard him singing this version:

"Follow the prophet
Follow the prophet
Follow the prophet
Don't be a stranger!

Follow the prophet 
Follow the prophet
Follow the prophet
Don't be afraid!"

Not bad, I think he's got the gist of it : )

Sunday, February 03, 2008

We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet

It has been a week since Gordon B. Hinckley passed away.  I miss him.  I love him and feel, like so many others who never met him, that I knew him.  I am so grateful that he was my prophet, the prophet of my youth.  I will be forever grateful for his example.

The morning after he died I wanted to tell Noah about it.  I started out by asking him if he remembered who the prophet was.  He stated confidently, "JOSEPH SMITH."  Ok, so we've got some work to do but that's something right?  Don't worry, I think we got him all straightened out during FHE that night : )

Friday, February 01, 2008

She looks innocent and sweet...


but looks can be deceiving.
Here are my recent interactions with Alex from her crib:

Monday morning
6:30am - Alex wakes up crying (she's been sick and waking me up all night long) so I go get her a drink of milk and wrap her back up in her blankets.

6:45am - Alex starts crying again.  I go in to her room again and she says, (in a bratty tone of voice, I might add) "I want daddy."  I said ok and went back to bed.  Paul was in the shower so she was just going to have to wait a few minutes.

6:50am - Alex is crying.  AGAIN.  I go in and try to pick her up and what do I get?  A slap in the face (literally) and a "GET DADDY!"  That's the kind of thanks a mother gets after being up all night with her sick child.  Whatever, at least I got to go back to bed : )

Thursday afternoon, after naptime
I went in to get Alex out of her crib and she didn't want to come out.  She was in a silly mood and I asked her what she was doing.  Her response was, "Ummm, taking a nap and pooping."  Ok.