Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Party anyone?

Click here.

And check out my moms new collection of special occasion dresses

Don't you want them? 
(One of each please!)

My personal favs...Delaney, Chloe, and Ava.
In case you were wondering.

Happy Shopping (or at least wish-listing)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It was good

Yesterday, on Noah's actual birthday, we had his "family party."  You see he's got it all categorized.  Noah keeps reminding everyone that he has "4 special days"
one at church (when they sang to him last week and he got a birthday treat from the Bishop) 
his Ocean Party with his friends 
his family party
and his special day at preschool (which is Monday).
And so the party continues...

But Yesterday.
Yesterday, part of my present to him was that I would spend the day, THE WHOLE DAY, playing with him, paying attention to him, and pretty much doing whatever he wanted.
(i.e. no cleaning, blogging, reading, long social calls, errands, appts, etc.)
It was really nice for both of us.  We didn't go anywhere, just hung out at home.  We didn't even watch tv (except once, when we watched the animated version of the Nativity).
One thing Noah was really excited about was getting out all of the Christmas decorations.  So that's how we spent the entire morning.  Yes it really did take all morning.  Because first I let the kids do it all themselves.  Then I made them gather everything up and let mommy help.  They rolled with it.  (Really though, would you want a stuffed snowman sitting on top of your trash can?  Or tree ornaments hung from the nobs of each and every (bottom) kitchen cabinet?  Or stockings hanging from light switches?  Or how about a box of Christmas cards propped up on your coffee table?)

The kids wanted to pose with some of their favorite Christmas decorations

Noah is holding a tree ornament with Humpty Dumpty on it (nursery rhyme included)
while Alex giggles at the puppy who's santa hat has become detached
I admit we are lacking in the Christmas decorations department.  This year especially, I noticed how...ummmm...small everything is.  That's just how it goes when you've lived in cramped apartments your entire married life : )

But Yesterday.
We decorated
We listened to Christmas music
We sang and danced
We read books
We baked and decorated a cake
We watched The Nativity
We ate some of Noah's favorite foods (waffles for breakfast, quesadillas for lunch)
And we tried not to watch the clock too much
Noah was DYING to open his presents.  Which, of course, I told him he couldn't do until Daddy got home that night.  When Paul got home about 5:30 (hurray!  and that was a close call.  somewhere out there there is a resident to whom I will always be grateful) Noah immediately gathered us around the presents.
Sorry the picture is blurry but he couldn't stop moving he was so excited!  
Noah loved all of his gifts (thanks again Grandmas and Grandpas)!
But we were starving so we headed off to Wendy's
His choice.
When I asked him earlier this week what he wanted for his birthday dinner he rattle off in 1.3 seconds "chickennuggetsfriesandsprite!"
It was nice actually, being the day after Thanksgiving and all.
Back at home we sang to Noah, he blew out the candles in one shot, and he and Alex dug into the cake.
Don't even ask about the cake.  Seriously, whole'nother story.  But yes, go ahead and laugh (I did).  If there's one thing I'm confident about in the kitchen it's dessert.  So this was totally not my fault.
After cake we had some fun with Noah's new stuff
(puzzles, bowling game, books, art project)

It was a Happy Birthday

As you can see.

I overheard today

Situation:  Noah chasing Alex with his stuffed shark and pretending to attack

Alex - Noah!  Your shark is biting me!!!! (at the top of her lungs)
Noah - (with a shrug of his shoulders) Well Alex, he hasn't been trained yet.
Alex - (incoherent SCREAMING)
Noah - (sighs) Ok I'll take him to shark training.
Alex - Yeah, and train him not to bite me Noah.

Situation:  Noah helping Alex "read" from the Book of Mormon 
(she repeated everything he said so when you see the ... just imagine it again in Alex's voice)

Noah - And it came to pass...that they pitched their tents...and roasted marshmallows and hot dogs.  And they went forth...and drove a minivan

Giving Thanks

We had a nice Thanksgiving.  

The kids helped me cook and bake all morning (and watch movies intermittently)

They were worried about their daddy, who had to work:
Noah - where's daddy?
Me - he had to work today, remember?
Alex - (with a dramatic gasp and hands to her cheeks) but he will be so lonely!
Noah - (worried) but daddy has friends at work, right mommy?
Me - yes he does

We spent the afternoon with good friends
The food (mine and everyone else's) turned out great
The kids loved the pinata

and best of all...
Paul showed up that evening 
He got a kiss from me, a cheer and a hug from Noah, and a squeal and a tackle from Alex
I was surprised, given how busy he'd been at the hospital that day.  
His response, "I hope I didn't kill anyone."

When I think about what I'm grateful for it all comes down to this:
The gospel
My family

But I wouldn't want you to think I'm taking the easy way out so here's a more specific (but also short and sweet) list
I am Grateful...
When my husband says/does something I know is not part of his nature but he knows I need it/want it
when my kids make me wish I could freeze time and keep them that way, in that moment, forever
when my friends make me laugh so hard I cry
when I remember that Heavenly Father is directing my life (when I let him)

I am grateful for where we are in life, right now.  
I'm grateful for my 2 kids and the ages and stages they are in right now and all that we've been able to do and enjoy because of it - yes we want more kids
I'm grateful to be living in Rochester - yes we miss our families
I'm grateful for Paul's residency (I think) - yes, we'd love to have him around more.  But I think (I think!) we are learning, stretching, changing, and growing 

On a daily basis, there are always things I wish I could change about my life.  But when I look at the whole picture...I don't want to change it.  I don't want to rewind or fast forward.  I like it here.

Hope you do too.

Happy Thanksgiving

Friday, November 28, 2008

Five years ago today

Noah Paul Gunn came into the world
(all 9 lbs 2 oz of him)
and joined our family.
It was the day after Thanksgiving that year too.

And, amazingly, this little baby

has grown into this boy

in just 5 short years.

Here are a few things about Noah at age 5 (and in no way a comprehensive list):
1.  Loves Discovery Channel
2.  Obsessed with sharks
3.  Talks a lot and loves to tell (make up) stories
4.  Asks lots of questions - wants to know how and why 
5.  Gets really excited about the little things in life
6.  Loves to come and snuggle in my bed every morning before he eats breakfast or watches cartoons
7.  Loves to be a helper
8.  Has lots of energy, always going a million miles an hour
9.  Very stubborn, everything has to be his idea or on his terms
10.  Cannot entertain himself - follows me around the house all day
11.  Always wants to win, be right, or go first
12.  Loves to be busy.  Wakes up every morning and says, "What are we doing today?"
13.  Likes to be social, a lot less shy
14.  Is usually an angel for other people (who then think I've got the easiest kid in the world)
15.  Loves preschool, wishes it were everyday
16.  Still a picky eater - doesn't like his foods to be mixed.  Has made progress though and will now (sometimes) eat sandwiches
17.  His emotions are always extreme: very happy, very upset, very sweet, very mean, very obedient, very naughty.  There is no middle ground with him
18.  Doesn't like change (at all) but always adjusts very quickly
19.  Reminds me of his dad every single day
20.  Says the funniest things and is so much fun to be around!

We're so grateful for Noah.  For who he is, who he is still becoming, for what he teaches us, and what he brings to our lives.  

I'm grateful to be his mommy.
Year 4 has been so much fun and I can't wait to see what age 5 brings

Happy Birthday Noah, we love you!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Noah's 5th Birthday Party

Beach Theme
The kids wore swimsuits (we cranked the heat)
Beach Boys playing in the backgound
Noah handed out Lei's to all his guests as they arrived

Noah loves art projects so we painted seashells
(messier than I thought, but washable)
We played Pin the Fin on the Shark
We played "Shark Attack" in a roomful of ocean blue balloons
We also played Limbo and Wipeout
Limbo was hysterical - their faces!!!
(Paul was laughing so hard he couldn't hold the limbo stick)

Noah opened presents
Sharks, cars, dinosaurs, transformers, art projects.
He loved it all
We ate  Goldfish and "Ocean Cupcakes" (i.e. blue jello topped with whipped cream and a swedish fish).
Yeah, I ate one.  And it tasted about as good as it looks - but the kids loved'em.
Can you tell?
Noah loved handing out the goody bags at the end
Alex loved it all - and keeps reminding me that her birthday is in February.

Overall - it was chaos
But the good kind - fun chaos.
Wish I had more pictures of the kids in action but I was busy trying to manage all that chaos.

So glad it's over
But totally worth it
Noah loved every minute.

Kill Me

That's all I could think.
Monday night
(especially monday night!)
By Tuesday night (when I finally saw my husband) and he said "how are you?" my response was,

Here's why:
1 full day and night of 2 kids puking
1 full day of laundry, scrubbing and cleaning
2 full days without leaving my house
2 full days of the kids cooped up in the house

I think "Kill me" and "Depressed" pretty much sum it up

But here's how it went:
Monday morning Alex and I have just left the gym (and not a moment too soon, it turns out).  We're on our way to pick up Noah at preschool when Alex stars puking - bucketfuls - in her carseat.  I had to slam on my brakes and pullover when she started choking.  I don't have a single thing to clean her up with, not even a tissue for her face.  I called a friend to see if they could bring Noah home...only to remember (after leaving a frantic message) that they're on vacation.  Nothing to do but go pick up Noah.  Alex threw up 2 more times before we got home, then fell asleep in it.  I'll spare you all the gory details of the cleanup (which included power-hosing the carseat).

Poor Alex, it went on all day and into the night.  So I let her watch "princess movies" and enjoy her pedialyte (which she didn't) to her hearts content.  

Now, besides having a very sick child, here was the problem: it's the week of Thanksgiving and Noah's birthday and I had about 8 places I needed to go and 10 billion things I needed to do.  Like THAT DAY.  One of which was the grocery store...

Paul gets home that night after a 30+ hour shift and with a terrible head cold that the kids and I had last week.  And I don't have a single thing to feed him for dinner.  Not only that, but I explain to him that he can't go to sleep just yet because Alex is puking and I HAVE to get to the store because we don't have laundry detergent or paper towels, necessary items when dealing with puke.  At least she only threw up once while I was gone (right honey?)

Paul crashes.
I watch movies with the kids.
I eventually get the kids to bed (despite the fact that Alex only wants to sleep in my arms, where she's been ALL DAY).
I go downstairs.
I come back upstairs.
And I smell it.
I run in to check on Alex, who is fine, but upset that I flipped the light on and needs to be soothed back to sleep.  So I check on Noah and find him sound asleep - surrounded by GALLONS of puke.  WHAT?!?!?!

And so the clean up begins again.  And now I am cursing bunk beds because Noah's puke is on his (top) bed, dripping down the slats onto the bottom bed and all over the floor.

When I woke Noah to move him to the couch he was so confused.  I said, "You threw up."  He looked around and said, "I did?  I thought I was just coughing."

And now I have a big dilemma known as "where are we all going to sleep???"  The kids obviously need me to sleep with them (Alex is crying every 15 minutes) and I don't want them puking in my bed.  Neither does Paul (although he probably wouldn't have even woken up).  We ended up with Alex in her old toddler bed mattress on the floor, me on the twin mattress from Noah's top bunk (after much cleaning) also on the floor, and Noah in the bottom bunk.  The three of us in the kids room.

Luckily the kids made a miraculous recovery.  There was no more puking after that.  The downside was that Alex missed her playgroup and Noah missed a friend's birthday party - and they knew it.  So they weren't too happy to stay home all day.  I spent the day de-germing our house so we'd be ready for Noah's birthday party the next day.

By Tuesday night (when I finally saw my husband) and he said "how are you?" my response was,
I still needed a bunch of things for Noah's party so Paul immediately sent me to Target.  Alone.  I've never been so grateful.  That 30 minute trip to Target saved my sanity.  By the time I got home I was happy, smiling, and ready to stay up late and tackle all the birthday party prep I hadn't been able to do the past 2 days.

And I did.

(Wasn't that a fun story?)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


[This post requires a little bit of background information:  Alex changes her clothes about 87 times a day.  It's annoying.  There.  Consider yourself informed.]

It was dinner time.  But Alex was wearing her church clothes at the moment (Outfit # 63), and we were having spaghetti.  So I sent her to change.
Then Alex licked Noah's shirt, leaving a wet spot behind, which he can't stand.  So I sent him to change.
I sat down at the dinner table - and the kids came out in their swimsuits.
Part of me was annoyed.  I opened my mouth to scold them...but a giggle slipped out.
And then it was all over.

I ate dinner while the kids danced to Christmas carols in their swimsuits.

And we all laughed.
A lot.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Sick day
Snow day
Stay in bed and snuggle day
Sweat pants day
No shower or make-up day
Read books 'til mom can't stop coughing day
Hold Alex ALL day
House littered with (used) tissues day
Introduce kids to Egg Nog day
Listen to Christmas music day
Watch movies and eat popcorn day

How was your day?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Snow not required

Yesterday we woke up to snow again - just a dusting, but snow nonetheless.
Which meant that from 7am on Noah was begging me to take him sledding.
But considering how long it takes to get all of us in snow gear - not to mention that we struggle everyday to get to preschool on time - I made him wait.
So we took Noah to preschool
Took Alex to "kid-care" at the gym
Took myself to the treadmill

45 minutes later...

I picked up Alex from "kid-care"
and picked up Noah from preschool
and the begging started again.

But all we had time for was a quick lunch.
Then it was off to a VT appointment.

We got home
and the begging started again.
But now it's after 2pm and I'm still in my gym clothes and 
Alex is begging for a "princess movie" and I'm begging for a shower.

So I made Noah wait again
But I PROMISED I would take him - that day - no matter what

One hour later...

we were sledding

in the mud/slush/ice.

Pretty sure there wasn't any snow left at all - but I'd promised

I warned Noah it might not work too well
His reponse?
"I promise I won't cry if I go slow mom"
It's a deal then
This was the look on Noah's face the entire time
And for a while he was going pretty fast...
but after about 30 minutes we'd melted all the slush

Alex enjoyed herself too, sledding down all by herself
Noah taught her how and would position the sled for her and send her down.
But, as you can see, Alex still has no snow clothes
She was wet and muddy after a few runs and ready to head inside.

Luckily daddy had just got home
Post-call, but home

So Noah and I stuck it out a little longer

Noah was hilarious, he was so happy and excited.
It was so much fun!

And our yard is perfect for sledding
Now we just need some snow to stick

Don't worry, Noah prays for this every night

Monday, November 10, 2008

The First and The Second

The First...
Snow of the year!

Noah woke me up in the morning, whispering in my ear that he had something really cool he wanted to show me.  I'm thinking he's built me another lego tower and mumbled something about getting up soon.  (I know, I'm an AWESOME mom in the early morning hours, totally my best time of day).  When I did finally roll out of bed I walked into the kitchen to find Noah, not watching cartoons as usual, but sitting on top of his little picnic table that he'd pushed right up against the sliding glass door - sitting there, chin in his hands, gazing out at our yard covered in white.  Without even glancing my direction he said softly, "It's so beautiful."
Shoulda taken a picture of that.  Sweetest thing ever.

The kids were beyond excited about the snow, but by the time Noah got home from preschool this was about all that was left.  It didn't stop them from gearing up and having some fun.  And those boots that Noah's wearing?  Yeah, last years - 3 sizes too small now.
And poor Alex still has no hat or mittens.
It's all on the list...

A few days later

The Second...
Primary Program for Noah!

I actually remembered to take his picture this year too.  Alex is in all of them because, well, she just looked too dang cute not to be.

Love all the hand-holding, arms around each other poses.  As you've heard me say before, seeing my kids this way with each other tops my mommy list of favorite moments.

So, Alex's jacket - you want one just like it don't you?  I do!  We have Grandma to thank for that!  Not only is it a beautiful coat but it was a real lifesaver this past sunday.  You see, Alex has a thing about being "fancy".  She can always be found in her (or someone else's) princess dresses.  So, in Alex's opinion, her church dresses are NOT FANCY.  And it's a tantrum every week.  This past Sunday, Paul was working and I'm trying to get us out the door on time and Alex is tearing her clothes off and having a complete meltdown, sobbing and screaming on the floor, "IT'S NOT FANCY IT'S NOT FANCY IT'S NOT FANCY!!!"  And then I remembered...the coat!  It hasn't been cold enough for Alex to wear it until now.  I ran to the closet, showed Alex her new "fancy coat" and she was instantly all smiles.  I couldn't get her to take the thing off for the rest of the day!

As for Noah and the primary program - he did awesome.  I'm always a little surprised that he's not nervous or shy.  He marches right up there with a smile.  He said his part perfectly, he's had it memorized.  In fact, he was a little upset that it was only one line!  This year he knew a lot more of the songs but every time they got to the second verse he looked confused, it was hilarious.  He did a couple of songs with sign language, also very funny too watch.  And he beamed his sweet little face at me while singing "I Am A Child of God".  I love the primary program!

And I love my sweet kiddos!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Do Over

Delete.  Rewind.  Start again.  Back to Start.  Erase.  Try again.

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know, where you wish you could start over?  Pretend it never happened?  

That was this morning for me.  

I'm tempted to put us all back in bed and...try again.

I'll probably have to settle for simply trying harder.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Last thing

...about the elections...cuz' I don't know about you but I'm kinda sick of it and glad it's over!  But Noah was just so funny about the whole thing, I had to document some of his comments.

Noah:  Mom, who is dad voting for?
Me: Obama
Noah: (GASP) That's who we voted for!

But the funniest was definitely last night when Noah was watching the results come in with us.  He kept staring at the numbers on the screen and updating us every 3 minutes on who was winning.  He was obsessed with Obama's "points" (electoral votes).  At one point Noah had to go to the bathroom...number 2...which means he's in the bathroom for about 30 minutes.  So he kept yelling at us, "Is Obama winning?!?"  "Mom, how many points does Obama have?"  We did eventually make him go to bed, and promised to tell him in the morning who had won.  Noah didn't forget.  The first thing he said to me was, "Did Obama win?"  When I told him he had Noah said, "Yes!  We voted for him and he won!  Cuz he's cool."  When I picked him up from preschool today he said to me, "Mom, I told Michael that Obama won!"

I was really surprised at how interested he was...and I wonder if he will remember this day.

A Good Day

Obama won.

So did Prop 8 (in California, my home state)

Yep, it's a good day.

I'm happy - and grateful

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Did you do it?

I did it.
Noah did too.
He voted for snack at preschool (and a few other things...)
His vote won.
Hope mine does too.

Noah was excited to come with me to the "grown-up vote" today.
I got to show him how we do it - and he told me about how they did it at preschool.
Not too different.

Added bonus for voting today?
Free cookie at Great Harvest.
There's some motivation for you : )

Noah kept asking me, in our little voting cubicle who I was voting for (even though he already knew the answer).  I told him we'd talk about it after we left.  For some reason I felt strange saying it there, surrounded by other voters in their cubicles.  Not because I don't want anyone to know - I'm open about it.  But it seemed inappropriate.  So is there some kind of "voting etiquette?"  Just wondering...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I couldn't choose just one...

or 3...
or 5...
Not me.
So you get 14.

Spiderman with no mask
Masked Spiderman showing his muscles

But you've got to see the facial expression that goes with that

Did I cover all the options???

Preschool Parade
Straight-faced of course

Spidy and the Snow Princess
Alex has been dying to wear this for an entire month now
(but she's 2 and it's white...I mean, come on)
This is what I got when I asked her to show me a princess face
But this is simply adorable
Trick Or Treat!
These are the neighbors across the street, dressed like witches and sitting around the firepit in their driveway
(and giving out entire bags of candy to each child)
At bedtime Noah said 
"Mom, I love my life!  It's so fun.  Cuz I'm a kid.  But grown-ups aren't that fun."
Then the tears started.
"Mom, I don't want to be a grown-up, I want to be a kid forever!"

So I guess you could say we had 2 satisfied kids tonight

And oh yeah...
One Happy Prankster.
(maybe grown-ups are fun after all)

Happy Halloween!