Friday, January 1, 2016

2015: a post-dated year in review post

The thing about picking up new things to do in a day is that inevitably something falls down. This year we picked up a 5th family member and actually, quite a few other responsibilities, and it seems that one of the balls dropped has been blogging. I still didn't want to miss my annual year in review, since I use it to help me track fun things we've done and I find them so fun to go back and read. So with that, we'll head all the way back in 2015 to:

January: Started with me 6 months along with boy #3. We saw quite a few old friends; Marie and hubby, and Amy and Nate stopped through. I loaded up helping out at Wesley's Preschool so that I could be done before I got to close to my due date. I worked on a logo and some book covers for a series called Bramble Glen

February: We were in full force trying to do things before the baby came. Invitations for KayCee and Andrew's wedding, doing our plant starts, and getting outside in all weather were all top of the list. I co-hosted a "galentines" party with some new friends. My Dad's Dad passed away just a month after we celebrated his 80th birthday. Lots for family came into town and I was able to work with family members to figure out who are in the pictures in a very large picture box that he left with me to digitize. 

March: Cameron had a CE conference in Seattle, so we decided to make a weekend of it while Cam's parent's watched the boys. He went to class, I went shopping by myself! It was fabulous. My little brother stayed with us a couple weekends while my parents traveled to my sister's gymnastics meets. Dawson started nursery and LOVED it - never looked back.

April: Cameron surprised me with a planned date on my due date (he said he figured we'd need the sitter either way). Three days later, Everett was born. His chill birth was followed by his chill babyhood and I got tons of painting done as my mom took WandD to the Zoo, OMSI, and other fun places. Three days after He was born, it was announced that our ward was splitting and Cameron was asked to serve as the Elder's Quorum President.

May: Everett was blessed on the first Sunday of our new ward, and lots of family that lives nearby was able to attend. Dawson disliked the new nursery (and took until September to get him to go on his own again). Since we knew the new bishop from our previous ward, I was also asked to give a talk a couple weeks later, and to plan the first ward activity (see June). Cameron took Wesley on his first backpacking trip (Eagle Creek Trail: 9 miles round trip) which he handled like a boss, and took an epic nap when they got home the next day. Ev-rigator started being my "smiley guy."

June: My sisters got into town for KayCee's wedding, but I told them not to come over because I wasn't feeling well. When nothing changed two days later I went to the doctor and learned that I had strep throat which miraculously passed to no one. We attended, helped with, and generally looked awesome at the wedding. Cameron went rafting. The next weekend was the ward party (an old-time-baseball themed kickball game and BBQ). I was asked to serve as primary secretary. Wesley asked for a "running" theme birthday party, so Cam orchestrated a variety of races so that each child could win something and we awarded everyone a medal in true millennial fashion.

July: We headed to Loon Lake in Southern Oregon with Cam's family. The boys loved playing on the beach and staying in the cabin. Everett rocked at napping on the beach and in the cabin. We detoured to the coast on our way home which was windy and chilly and learned that there is a limit to what Ev will put up with. We got together with family at splash parks a few more times as everyone trickled back out of town.

August: We hiked in the Ape Caves at Mt. St. Helen's and crawled through petrified logs. We tripped it up to Cameron's family reunion in central Washington, where we learned how to wake surf and got to see some friends from our Seattle days. Wes helped give flyers out for the "Stuff the Bus" Drive. Cam and I watched the meteor shower.

September: Wesley started preschool (for the 3rd time) and decided to set up a vegetable stand on our street corner for things he grew in our garden. On the days Wes is at school, Dawson gets to go to my Mom's house and eat snacks and have her read him books. Dawson had a "Very Hungry Caterpillar" themed birthday party (combining his two favorite things food+books).

October: The boys and I went to the pumpkin patch with Wesley's preschool. I worked on illustrating a book as a surprise Christmas gift. Wes was excited to wear Nathan's old batman costume for Halloween even though he didn't know who that is, and Dawson was a dinosaur. We made pumpkin pie out of a real pumpkin with grandma.

November: Dawson decided to potty train himself (I can still count accidents on one hand). Cameron sang in a quartet at church. I went to Time Out For Women with my Mom. Everett started crawling. Thanksgiving was with Cameron's family, as was shopping the next morning. I made the decision to make WandD matching bedspreads for Christmas.

December: Wes was Joseph in his preschool nativity play. He also went tromping trough the North County with Dad to get a Christmas Tree in the rain.  Cam sewed the boys matching Christmas jammies and made me a tufted upholstered headboard. He also decided to reduce our sodium intake. I finished the quilts with two days to spare, in time to spend Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas day with Cam's, and meet the boy's cousin Eli H. for the first time.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Kids Look Great in Bow-ties

Having someone in my family getting married is awesome. It's a super happy occasion, we get to see lots of family, have a big party, and if we're lucky we even get to get our dance on. If you're immediate family then there's also pictures and lunches and all the fun that goes with planning

But I've learned that there is one relationship that gets to be blown way out of proportion at weddings, and that is being the cute toddler nephew of the bride.

I'm pretty sure they managed to be in more pictures than anyone other then the happy couple themselves.

I mean seriously, did they share a room with her for years? Why, no. 
The same full size bed in fact? Never. 
But here they are in some more pictures looking adorable in bow-ties:

(My Brother with his son and daughter on the left)

Like I said though, we always have lots of fun with our family. And we lucked out in the "dance" department.
A little dance action

A lotta dance action. 

Proof that I may not be the best looking sister, but I certainly am the funniest. 

I wanted to give a shout-out to the Fabulous Michelle of Sugar Momma's Bake Shop in Forest Grove because this cake looked and tasted FABULOUS.

Also, isn't this location just lovely? It's brand new, called Fallen Leaf Lake in Camas WA.

I also got to help out a little:
The centerpieces - a chrome-ized pvc frame with poof balls hanging from crystals for some awesome bling. 

Some cream-filled strawberries I asked to do... because yum.

And a glitterified invitation because, "she who leaves a trail of glitter is never forgotten." And I love doing maps. I think I'll encourage Nathan's reception in an other obscure location because they're that fun. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Minute in my Life

A Minute in my Life: A Photo Essay

Two boys were playing together nicely... so mom got out her camera

Dawson Noticed

And has no concept of personal space

Wes Attempts to show Daws the proper way to be photographed

Dawson tries again

Thanks Wes for your tutelage

And... it looks like that's what we'll get.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A little everyday normal

This post is more for me than anyone else: just a few things that I wanted to remember.

Wes has been into the children's non-fiction section in our library recently. In the last couple months, in addition to many other things, we've gotten books on owls and eagles. He learned that baby owls are called owlets and baby eagles are eaglets. So of course in a discussion about flamingos he deduced that flamingos must be called "flamingets."

I was pretty sure that that wasn't right, but since I didn't know what they really are he wasn't about to believe me. So we went to one of the few sources he won't dismiss, which was Google (others include Grandma, Uncle Nathan, and Daniel Tiger). It turns out there is no specific name for a baby flamingo and they are just referred to as "young flamingos." Obviously that's not satisfactory so flamingets it is... add it to your dictionary.

We've also discovered that Daws can in fact speak, but prefers to answer when possible with one of the following phrases:
  • "Yeah" said with an air of "I guess so"
  • "NO!" (because it must be yelled) most of the time this is actually his automatic response as in: "Dawson, would you like a cookie?" "NO! ... yeah."
  • "I no" (I don't know) as in: "Dawson do you love Mom?" "I no" 
  • "Me!" as in "it was me" 
  • "I do!" generally meaning "I want one too!"
  • "Oh" for pretty much everything else.
He also loves to talk about Everett "Ev-et" (which is also how he says elephant... so he might just have a new favorite animal?) But he likes to know where he is at all times, so sometimes we'll just be going about something and D will stop and say "Ev-et?" or "Baby?" and I have to be able to let him know where he is, which is usually sleeping. Of course he replies with "oh."

Daws also has a sixth sense involving food - he can hear the fridge opening or someone chewing from anywhere in the house... and comes running while pointing to his open mouth "I do!"

Hasn't been up to much to be honest except sleeping, which he does well and often. At least twice a day I find myself having to wake the kid up to make sure he's eating enough. He would rather play on the floor than be held, and he is seriously considering starting to smile at us.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Third Time's a Charm

I just did something that I was pretty sure was going to be epically hard. For the first day since baby #3, Cam had to work and my Mom couldn't come over. That's right, I just handled 3 kids from 8:15 am through bedtime armed with nothing but a freezer meal and the first four seasons of Daniel Tiger.

Which brings me here at 8:15pm with three kids asleep and an overdue blogpost about our new baby. Per my usual, the Cliff Notes version is in BOLD.

So there was his due date a solid two weeks ago at which point my doctor called me (generously I think) at a 1... and then there were three more days that were excruciatingly boring. Then on the fourth day I woke up feeling awesome which I was pretty sure was not a good sign, but by just a few minutes after Cameron left for work I started to notice that my contractions (which I'd had on and off for the last two months) were feeling a little more frequent and regular. I pulled out the lap timer on my phone and tried to time them, but never managed more than one before some small person or the other pulled my attention away.

I texted Cam that I thought my contractions were about 8 minutes, which means nothing since that's what they were, oh, the entire day before Dawson was born. But, I suggested and that he should probably plan to come home at lunch to avoid another Dawson story or Cam's worst fear, that this kid would be faster and he would be delivering in the car. I also called my mom who came over to watch the boys.

By the time Cam got home I wasn't in any pain, but we decided to head to the hospital (20 minutes away) a little early because we'd rather be safe than in a drainage ditch. We stopped by his office to tell them to cancel his afternoon, and joked and had a generally good time all the way to the hospital.

We arrived obviously not in enough distress because they sent me to an exam room for monitoring (the nurse said maybe a 2), and then to walk around, which we did for an hour. We came back an hour later and the contractions were not much different, so she sent us to walk again. Over the next half hour I went from a pleasant walking companion to having to stop through each contraction. The nurse checked me again, and I was at a 5. She said yikes! And that it would be 20 minutes until they could get a room ready and have the anesthesiologist there. Cameron, my super-advocate requested that as soon as we get in the room they check again. And then I was a 7. 

At that point the nurse leaned out into the hall and said, "Can I get some help in here?" Two nurses walked in and very quickly set up for a delivery. And Cam again requested the anesthesiologist (He learned his lesson last time). Who came in promptly and I did get my epidural this time! In fact it was the most perfect epidural I could have asked for; I could move but not feel anything (unlike Wesley's).

The epidural slowed everything way down and I didn't progress for the next half hour. At that point the doctor checked me and realized the reason we weren't progressing: the baby hadn't descended and he was turned a little funky. Also of note, my water hadn't broken, so they had to worry about my water breaking and having the cord get washed down and pinched off.

So rather than trying to speed things up again, I spent the next four hours turning different ways to try to get the baby to turn the right way and descend. Cam used this time to read his kindle. I may or may not have taken a nap and surfed Pinterest. Yeah, the epidural was that awesome.

At 9:30 at night the doctor decided he had descended enough that it would be safe to break my water. She did. A few minutes later I said, "I think I'm going to push now." I did. 3-4 totally easy pushes and there he was.  Seriously, easiest birth ever.

We call him Everett, he weighed just two ounces more than Dawson did but is an inch longer: skinny kid. And his brothers think he's great and they like to look at him. Dawson calls him "tiny baby," said in a little tiny voice. 

Fact: He has awesome ears. They're both like that. 

And my awesome friend Kristi made this adorable hat and shoes for him. 

And this one's for Dad's office. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

We don't wait for the Sun

So a couple times in the last few months, I've made the mistake on a Saturday morning of asking Cam what he wants to do that day. I should know by now that the answer is always "Let's go hiking. right now." Consequently, we've found ourselves out hiking, nearly every weekend: Me in all my third-trimester glory, in the rain, and several times now on days that turned out to be sunny around lunchtime.

At this point in their lives both, Wes and Daws have exhibited strong "hiking personalities:"

Wesley's includes not wanting to go in the first place (he's quite the homebody) and then requiring that we bring a snack (for a hike of any length at any time). His favorite part is seriously where we all stop together to eat our snack. We can't bring the backpack for Daws anymore or Wes will claim exhaustion 50 feet in. He does love taking the pictures though, of every pinecone or random blade of grass that he sees.

Dawson on the other hand has earned himself the nickname "Nature Baby" (sung, like it's a theme song title) because he has to interact with nature as much as possible while on a hike. He doesn't mind holding hands for stability, but he has a need to walk about 6 inches off the trail alongside it, so that he can walk in the grass, get hit in the head with ferns, and stop frequently to stare at any and all bugs. He also compulsively collects pinecones, and has gotten pretty good at picking up a third when each hand is already busy, although more than that is usually counterproductive.

Some of our new favorite hikes are the ones along the Lewisville river, which has falls up and down it. Every time we have been so far we've seen some huge salmon trying to jump up... and generally falling back down. We finally got a pretty sweet video of it, so here it is, among pleas from Wes to have the camera so he can take pictures of the ground. About 00:54 there are even 3 at a time.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 in Review

As of this week we are up to a whopping 6 years of Cameron and Kim. This year's big ticket items meant that there was certainly less blogging than we've done in the past, but let us assure you that adventures were abundant around here ("here" meaning our house, whichever we were in.) So in case you've forgotten, way back in:

January we were living in an extended-stay hotel of sorts at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. My best friend from High School got married so Daws (at 3 months old) and I took a trip out to attend... and got to stay a little longer than planned. We fed giraffes at the zoo , visited the stables, and spent a lot of time playing at indoor play places because frankly, no one should be out in -17 degrees F. 

 We hiked around Colorado and even found some Dinosaur bones. We spent a really romantic Valentines Day packing, cleaning up vomit, and trying to leave without doing anything too gross. We took nearly a week to limp our way to our new 3-story-walk-up in Issaquah, WA. We got things set up and Cameron started his VERY last rotation!

March We explored every inch of downtown Issaquah on foot (Daws in the carrier... 3 stories is a bit much for hefting a stroller). Most especially the two parks within walking distance and the fish hatchery across the street. We were also an easy walk from the library, so we got on first-name basis with the children's librarian. 

April We traveled to Port Orchard, WA and Portland, OR to visit family, and to Bellingham, WA and Eugene, OR to check out some job offers. The boys got moved into the same room and instantly started sleeping better than before. 

May Cameron graduated and is now a Doctor! We spent a week at the in-laws (of unseasonably warm and sunny weather). We did lots of hiking around and Cam went deep-sea fishing. Wes accidentally discovered the classical radio station and is now totally sold. 

June We visited some Seattle classic attractions and took one more trip down south to SIGN A CONTRACT... for a REAL JOB! (Student loans, get ready to meet your match.) We went on a two day camping trip for Wesley's birthday, rode a ferry, and visited family all over the Olympic Peninsula. Grandma came up to watch the boys so mom and dad could go white water rafting. 

July signaled the end of an era as we moved one more time, but this time with a 12 month lease (so much commitment!) Before skipping town we rode the trolly and visited every splash park in the area. Then we worked on adjusting to having our own (rented) house with a yard, a big first for us. We bought a vacuum and the large container of baking powder... that's how you know we're serious about being here awhile.  

August We had family in and out of visiting for most of the month, but still had time to explore the lakes in the area, and pick blackberries at the end of our street daily for smoothies. Cam rode his bike to work and Wes got really good at pedaling himself, and we were able to go on whole family bike rides. Dawson started walking well, and got his first 4 teeth. 

September We visited some friends from our long-ago school days ;) and Wesley started in a co-op preschool (which means the whole family is now enrolled). Dawson turned one, and then we got a round of the stomach flu that culminated with me getting it on my (golden) birthday.  

October The boys experienced their first ever time trick-or-treating and LOVED it. They even had real costumes and everything. They also enjoyed digging bulbs up in the yard and going on walks to the library down the street. 

November We learned that we had boy #3 well on his way (due next April). We had a Thanksgiving dinner with family (and hit black Friday hardcore the next day... for all the things that we had put off buying while still in school). 

December We got a real live Christmas tree that clearly was compensating for last year's borrowed, fake tree. We threw a Christmas party for Cam's office, had a nerf war with family, and the boys got a sweet powerwheels Jeep for Christmas that they have loved cruising around the neighborhood. 

We recognize that we've had many blessings and things that worked out miraculously well this year, and we would be amiss not to thank our Heavenly Father for them. We are also so grateful for all the wonderful people we met along our way that have helped us in a million ways. Thanks!