Friday, January 24, 2014

Ryan the Adventurous

Ryan has quite an adventurous little spirit. He is almost 15 months old and he is in to EVERYTHING.

Within a minute or two I can pull him off the top of the toilet, out of the bathtub, off the table, off the piano, and off a bed...

My eyes have to be glued to him constantly or there is no telling where he'll be next. He figured out how to pull down the dishwasher door and the oven door yesterday... and also is very good at stealing food from the trash. Such talents in such a small little guy.


His smile is so darn adorable... as is his little laugh... so it is hard to get annoyed at him. I think he's going to have the best pictures out of all of our kids... the other two weren't nearly as creative with what they got into.

Ryan knows he doesn't want to be a baby and wants to be a big kid so he is already protesting if I treat him any different than the big kids.

(Ryan fighting with Catie over a

If their shoes are on... he goes and gets his shoes.

If they are outside in the backyard he bangs on the door until I let him go out.

If they get forks for their food he squawks until I get him his own... and I think he might use the utensils better than Catie... just trying to prove himself.

He does not want me to carry him from the car to the house... he wants to walk by himself. It is so cute how determined he is!

Earlier this week I did a game to go along with a product review on my Toddler Approved blog... Ryan had to participate too... so I let him show the big kids the cards. He was so proud of himself.


Ryan is also a man on a mission to find dogs. He is constantly looking for them and then taking off after them. He also stands at the front window and watches for them to pass by. He will read and re-read and re-read any book with a dog in it.

Ryan is also the cutest little snuggle buddy. He is obsessed with me and will just play and then come give me hugs and then play and then come give me hugs again. I love it! Such a good cuddler! He even likes to cuddle with his basketball :)

Love this kid! I wish he'd slow down and not grow so quickly.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Catie the Rock Star

I desperately need to start using my new phone so that I have better photos when I don't use my bigger camera... but for now these will have to do.

This post is all about Catie. 

We've had a rough year with this little cutie and I've been positively delighted to start potty training her this past week. Seriously. 

I feel like I waited the perfect amount of time and she is figuring it out. Some people like to potty train their kids when they are super little... I'd rather wait. So far that seems to work well for my kids and my sanity. Catie just turned three and things started to click. Hurray! 

The week has been filled with such positivity, lots of hugs, and Catie constantly telling me "I love you mom!" She is so proud of herself! We've definitely had some accidents, but that's to be expected. 

Ryan and Andrew have loved getting to be part of potty training. Everyone gets treats when good things happen... so they are super supportive of Catie. The first day was a bit crazy with Ryan running around getting in Catie's way, but things have settled down now.

We have to leave the house for drop off and pick up and occasional sanity park breaks... but other than that we've been mostly hanging out inside this week. I am making lists and lists of indoor active activities for us to do to keep us occupied and get everyone tired out. 

After each sticker chart is filled up Catie gets to pick a special activity. Tuesday we got take-out lunch and went to her favorite park. Wednesday we got squishy animals (50 cent plastic animals) at the mall along with cookies for me. 

I am keeping myself pulled together by doing a McD's drive by on the way home from school every morning so I have my diet coke fix on hand while I try and be super positive supportive mom during potty training boot camp. 

Our house is a disaster and we've gotten very little done this week other than potty training, but I have loved it! Let's hope we can keep up the momentum. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Blog Header for 2014

Back in November we had family photos done. If you managed to get our family Christmas card (there are still a few stragglers that have yet to leave my house... so sorry!), then you have already seen some of our photos. Our friend Wendy VonSosen took them and did a great job. I'll share more of them on here soon.

I included a few favorites in our new 2014 blog header. I love seeing how the header changes each year to reflect our growing family. Here is the sequence from the past 4 years. I love our family motto too- "Enjoy the journey, stop for treats." We definitely work hard to follow these guidelines we've set for ourselves! ;)





Now back to doing more productive things with my evening. :)

We have another Sunbeam!

This one did not go into Sunbeams kicking and screaming (unlike Andrew). She was a little nervous, but so excited to see her friends and be in primary. Hooray! We made it through the first day. Who knows how next week will go... but for today, we're good. 

Catie sits right in front of Andrew in junior primary, so she loved having a buddy in there. When I picked her up at the end of the two hours she told me that she was a really good singer in primary!

We celebrated by having her favorite food for lunch and letting her watch a special movie after church. 

The day was bittersweet. My kids are really painful when they move into nursery and take a long time to get acclimated. They spend a lot of time hugging their leaders and getting lots of special attention in class. Because they have such a hard time getting used to nursery, they become really attached to their nursery leaders. Catie loves loves loves her nursery leaders and I was really worried today would be a hard transition. I was also sad to have her leave such a safe and happy place where I knew everyone loved her... despite how hard she could be. 

Normally we host a Christmas caroling event in December to thank the nursery leaders, but December was too crazy and sickness filled this year, so instead we made treats today and took them around to her nursery leaders tonight. I thought it was a sweet way to transition into her next class.

She skipped up to each door with Kevin and was so excited to hug each nursery leader (she had 5 different ones), give them the special card and treat we made, and she even spontaneously told a few of them how much she loved them. If you know Catie well, you know that she can be very particular with who she will hug, which makes them all the more special. She came back to the car after each delivery with the cutest smile and was so happy that she'd made her teachers happy.

I sure love her! What a great way to end the day! I am so proud of her.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Things That Make Me Smile Today

I have a whole bunch of pictures from December to post, but today I just wanted to share some of the things that have made me smile this past week and remember how much I am blessed.

The weather in CA is gorgeous right now. Last week in Utah it was cold and the air was gross... so I couldn't breathe well and had to use an inhaler. It was annoying. Yesterday we hung out at the park till it was dark.

Andrew and I played basketball and I sunk a few free throws. His optimism was so darling... he really thought I would make each 3-pointer I tried to hit. I think I need more practice. It has been too long since I actually played. I missed every single one. He was convinced I made one. They were all air balls though.

While we played, Catie flitted about and picked berries and Ryan stood by us like a little doggie. He was just waiting for his turn to touch the ball. Andrew gave him a turn to hold it after every shot he took. It was adorable. What a thoughtful big brother.

Catie loves this cookie cutter science activity we have been doing lately. It buys me about 20 minutes to do the dishes and clean the kitchen and whatever else I want to do... She makes a big contained mess and ends each session drinking vinegar from the pipet. She thinks it is good. Ick!

I like to tell Kevin that if I get in an organizing mood stay out of my way and don't complain... because as quick as the urge comes on... it can disappear for months and months. This week I organized my closet, Andrew's closet, and Catie's closet. I also decluttered all the toy cupboards/bins and am donating several things. I unpacked everyone within a day of getting home from Utah too. Usually that takes way way longer (even months sometimes)... All I have left is to box up Christmas. Right now it is all sitting on my dining room table. Walking in my pretty closet makes me feel so happy now. I finally feel settled in our new (7 month old) remodeled space.

Kevin and I went on a date night last night. Cheesecake Factory had a super long line so we loved having about an hour to shop around in downtown Walnut Creek. I think we tested out every single couch in Crate & Barrel.

Then we proceeded to eat way too much food (and bread) and drink way too many diet cokes... and then we shared a big hot fudge sundae. It was the perfect size. It was so nice to get home and hear that Catie & Andrew had behaved well for the sitter and had gone to bed without a fight (we put Ryan down before we left). Such a great feeling to enjoy good food and chat without interruptions. Nights out like that are so necessary!

I had way too many blogging work commitments in October, November, and early December, so I made sure I took almost two weeks off over the holidays to relax. This week I loved getting caught back up, organized, and refocusing. I still have a long ways to go to feel ready for the new year, but being back in touch with some of my bloggy buddies made me smile. The cakebites I ate while I worked did too.

This morning Andrew and Kevin played Star Wars Trouble and then stood around reading all of the rules intently and learning every single one. I loved that Andrew was just as fascinated with the rules as Kevin was. Meanwhile I would probably just make up my own rules. These two are two peas in a pod and such cute buddies.

Andrew also loves to talk to Kevin about anything related to football right now. He loves getting updates on scores and he is so excited for some of the upcoming freezing bowl games. He remembers every single detail that Kevin tells him. It is adorable how much he looks up to his dad.

Ryan is the busiest little boy ever and such a smiley kid too. He had a rough few weeks with the croup and colds and now new teeth coming in, but sure is still happy through it all. This photo cracked me up.  

He has now fallen once or twice off the chair (not the table) and seems to have learned his lesson and hasn't been climbing any more. Knock on wood.

Today all this little boy wanted was me. I loved every single minute of hugging him. At one point he grabbed me and I just sat in the middle of my kitchen on the floor with his arms grabbing me and head on my shoulder and we just sat... and sat and hugged. 

Tonight when we had the sister missionaries over he kept giving them high fives and stealing their scriptures. At one point I just looked at him and opened my arms and he gave me the most adorable little grin and raced over to fall into my arms and hug me. 

I am seriously smitten with this little one. What a cuddle bug! 

I feel so grateful for our little family and the chance I have to be with them each day.