Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Growing Plants In The Desert

What a great year for oranges!  We got such a giant crop and it was fabulous and they are delicious and sweet and juicy. We filled a bunch of baskets and bowls, a giant bucket and even gave away a few bags!  I feel so accomplished growing them in my very own backyard.  With the oranges, the grapes and limes, we could make a fruit salad...that is if the lime tree would actually produce and it wouldn't be a very good fruit salad, but STILL! :) Maybe next year I'll get a pomegranate tree to round things out a bit.

In other growing news, I FINALLY planted some pretty flowers and plants in the backyard and we added a drip so they will hopefully continue to live through the blasted summer.  I have been determined to make the backyard a little more appealing this year.  I want to be able to look out my window and see beauty.  We also planted some tomatoes, carrots, oregano, mint and basil in a very mini garden.  I keep putting off trying a garden because of not-so-perfect conditions and I just decided I needed to do it and quit thinking about it.

The plants only get morning sun and all afternoon shade so I am really hoping they make it.  I have a section of dirt between my patio and grass that I would love to fill with plants, flowers and herbs.  I got a good start on it this year and I'll continue to add to it this fall and going forward. 

Hooray for not being pregnant and sick.  I have soooo much energy and I'm excited to be doing the projects I've been planning for about a year.  It is amazing.  I can move and eat and work and be so productive.  I love it to pieces!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sweet Spoiled Baby

This kid has stolen our hearts.  He is the easiest baby.  He puts himself to sleep, sleeps about 6-7 hours a night and talks and squeals all the time.  He is soooo close to laughing and giggles some little half-laughs.  He LOVES his pacifier and when he's tired, you just pop it in his mouth and give him a blanket to snuggle with and his eyes immediately get heavy.  It is adorable.  Miss B was exactly the same way, and of course she is ecstatic that he takes after her.  He gets held, played with, talked to, rocked and sung to quite frequently.  He is a very lucky babe. :)

And I have a SERIOUS problem.  I cannot, for the life of me, stop snapping pics of this adorableness.  There are pictures all over my iPhone and camera...plus there are videos...a plethora of them.  To say his life is documented is an understatement.  But can you really have too many photos of a babe??  I think not.  He's even adorable when he makes a sad face for heaven's sake!  It makes me want to cry and laugh and hug him all at the same time.  :)


 {2 - 2 1/2 months}

Also, this kid has crazy eyebrow control and can make all sorts of expressions in a matter of seconds.  He is very skilled.

I sure am glad I have a buddy to hang out with during the day.  We go on long walks, hold hands and chat.  He takes naps and I catch up on stuff or sometimes we both take naps in the sunny front room on my favorite couch.  It is the best nap-taking location bar none.  My sisters know this to be true.  They fought over it one afternoon while they were visiting when the light was streaming in invitingly.  It makes one want to curl up like a kitten and snooze the afternoon away...which is exactly what I do when I'm tuckered out.  I have to stay refreshed and on my game for when the other four get home and it's a mad scramble of homework, dinner and running to and from various activities.

{2 1/2 months}

{3 months - approx. 16 lbs}

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Call of The Ice Cream Truck

Q has been so so very sweet and rule-following and helpful and mature and grown up that I nearly forgot about his youthful antics...until the other day.

You see, the boys love, LOVE the ice cream truck.  They can hear it's siren call ten miles away.  It's uncanny, especially because they can't seem to hear me calling from the next room...

There we were one afternoon.  It was a typical afternoon fraught with chaos.  I was helping a couple of kids with homework, trying to get others to practice piano and do their chores, make dinner and hold a crying baby.  It was hectic, loud, and crazy as per usual.  Q offered to pet the dog and play with him outside.  I was thrilled because the dog has been neglected a bit lately.  I sent him outside, thinking to myself all sorts of virtuous thoughts about the helpful boy.  In fact I couldn't believe he was so determined in his chore.  He stayed outside for a good 45 minutes.  Finally I looked for him out the window and couldn't see him, so I figured he was on the side of the house.  I called to him here and there in between the twelve things I was doing at once.  He eventually came inside, saying he didn't hear me call for awhile.  Then Dennis proceeds to ask him why he has a blue mouth.  At this point I am half listening because I'm trying to figure out how to put the now angry babe into a wrap so I can hold him and continue working at the same time.  I am sweaty, flustered and still trying to make dinner and "encourage" kids to do piano, homework and chores.  The conversation between the boys continues for quite awhile until I finally give it my full attention and realize Q's face is blue because he had an ice cream.  It takes my frazzled brain a few seconds to catch up and put the pieces together and start asking questions...like "Wait, a minute...WHERE did you get the ice cream???"  Q tells me he heard the ice cream truck, ran to get his wallet, sneakily went back outside and scaled the six foot block wall using a pallet as a ladder.  He then found the truck, bought his treat and came back.  Incredulous (sort of), I asked how he got back in.  He said he used the stacked bricks against the wall and then the water spout to climb on.  Then he walked across the top of the wall back to where the pallet-ladder was and climbed back in to enjoy his spoils.  Sheeeeeeeeeeeeesh!  I was pretty speechless.

He still is a sweetheart even if he is an escape artist.  Since having the baby, he has taken extra care of me.  He prays every night that his new brother will sleep well so that I can sleep.  He prays that the baby will get lots of exercise in the day so he will be tired at night.  He has climbed into my bed ahead of me to make sure and find the most comfy spot for me.  He has left me love notes on my bed, on my desk and all over the house.  He makes his lunch for the next day every night on his own.  So I can't really get too mad at him.  Although we have now had VERY serious conversations about running off without an adult to catch the ice cream truck...and climbing block walls.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Travel Valentine's Party

We had an another fun weekend filled with parties and family!  It's been lots of fun getting so many visitors...they all wanna see the babe.  For our Valentine's Day breakfast, I cut out hearts from an old atlas of all of our favorite places including states we've lived in and our best vacations.  I strung them together to make a quick garland for our travel party.  I also found the cutest 3D airplane bunting from a sweet lady in the Netherlands.  My dad served a mission for the LDS church for two years there and so I knew he would appreciate them! I plan on hanging them in the baby's room after. Oh they make me smile. :)

We had a simple breakfast of muffins and berries because everyone had places to go very early that morning.  I wrote my yearly love notes to everyone too.

For our cards this year, Q decided he wanted a suitcase valentine (not exactly sure why, but I aim to please)...so I made a little suitcase printable that we wrapped around Hershey's miniatures and then added a cardstock handle.  I made a postcard-type card to attach it to.  Dennis is really getting into reading, so we decided on a book-themed card. We patterned his after an old library checkout card...do you remember those?!  It was so fun to see who had checked out the book before you.  Good times!  Anyway...we put Dennis' name under Author and the recipient's name under Issued To and stamped the Date with Feb 14.  It was such a riot for me to make!  I am sure the kids won't get it, but I do and it cracks me up.  :)  He and I made a bunch of chocolate books patterned after these with two Hershey's nuggets, some brown cardstock and a piece of paper made to look like a chapter in a book.  The boys and I sat down one afternoon and had a huge assembly line of cutting, gluing, taping, filling out names, etc.  It was a grand (and only slightly tedious) process.

Q and I made a suitcase Valentine box for his card exchange at school to go along with his travel cards. We just covered a photo box and lid in brown paper and added brown duct tape straps and a handle.  He wrote his name on the "luggage tag" and was so proud of his box.  

I ordered some lovely, delightfully beautiful and tasty cupcakes from my friend and we took them up on the mountain for a hike and BBQ for our Valentine's dinner.  We had fantastic weather and a fine time, even though we forgot mayo, a lighter (we borrowed one) and a grill brush...it seems like I always forget something!  But we improvised and the sunset was breathtaking!

And Q made me the sweetest valentine!  It was completely his own idea, work and pun.  He totally takes after me. :)  He only needed a little help with spelling from dad.  What a sweetheart he is these days.  He loves to leave me notes and letters and it totally melts my heart and makes up for all those years of ransacking the house and giving me a heart attack on a daily basis.

My nephew and dad both have birthdays this month, so we kept up the decorations (I planned it that way- two birds with one stone) for a combined birthday party the next day.  We set out a cheese plate with smoked Gouda and Brie topped with tiny Netherlands map flags.  We set out some tulips as well as some cupcakes with pale blue frosting and sweet origami airplane toppers that my brother made.  They were seriously amazing!  My dad was in the Air Force, so the planes were very fitting as well.

I also ordered box airplane stickers and let the boys go crazy making personal airplanes.  'Twas a hoot and a half and we so enjoyed the visits and company!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Baby Blessing

We blessed The Cuteness a couple of weeks ago.  He is so sweet and snuggly and I could just eat him up!  I loved his outfit and little crocheted loafers...and I was so relieved he still fit in it as he has grown so much!  At his 2 month appointment he was 25.4 in and 97% for height and 13.8 lbs and 85% for weight.  He is growing some very nice rolls and they are delectable!  He is cooing and smiling and it is intoxicating, I seriously can't get enough of him. My mom gave me a sweet white and turquoise crocheted blanket to wrap him up in (which is a good thing because it was a balmy 83*-sheesh February!). 

We had a lot of family visit and had a grand whirlwind of a time visiting, keeping people fed, making beds all over the house, visiting the Phoenix Temple and holding babies (there were three sweeties to pass around).  Mr. C also gave his first talk on Sunday and did a fabulous job...he even used the word "aforementioned".  He has quite the extensive vocab and cracks us up!  Dad gave a superb blessing and we had a lovely time.

I still feel like a very lucky momma.  I get to be the mother of five excellent children.  Don't get me wrong, they are not perfect and neither am I and we are all still trying to figure it out, but more and more I am just feeling pleased as punch that they are mine.  

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