Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas bells are ringing

It is amazing how Christmas gets more exciting every year as the kids the older. Just when I think it was so fun, it gets "funner." We had a really special elf come live with us the beginning of December. Her name was Bells. She brought the kids random things like bubble bath, gum, pistachios, peanut butter cups, and red/green M&M's to make cookies for Santa with. She also would leave love notes reminding them about the way we should act, as well as thank them for the nice things they had done. She was amazing. Bells even came to the store with us and school a couple of times. Bells left everyone PJ's before she headed back to the north pole on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning the kids were very spoiled. They got scooters from Grandpa Brian and Grandma April. A remote control car (Branson) and princess tent (Maycie) from Grandma Sue and Larry. Pillow quilts made by Great Grandma Ashcroft. An 8' trampoline from Santa. An outfit, walkie talkies, and their own book of mormon from Mom and Dad. A box full of Christmas books from Grandpa Halversen. A popcorn popper from Grandma Hipwell. Spoiled! Santa sent the kids on a treasure hunt all over house until his final clue was to go look in the backyard. That Santa is so stinkin creative. He must have had Mrs. Clause put that together. After opening presents we put down our Christmas decorations. YESSS!!! Then headed to Enterprise to see some of AJ's family and have dinner. We are very blessed and are very aware and grateful for it. Branson was so fun this year. He kept reminding us how many days until Christmas and kept things exciting around our house. Maycie was so sweet and was just chilling Christmas morning. We had to remind her that it was her turn and to go ahead and open another present. Jerik was so fun to watch when you gave him something. He'd get so excited moving his feet all around and hitting at whatever it was. Just a little side story that I never want to forget.... On the 23rd, Maycie woke up throwing up at midnight. She threw up 6 times (every hour until 5:00am.) Jerik was up at 11:00 and 2:00, then was up for good at 6:00. I am not exaggerating when I say that I slept for one hour 10:00-11:00 and was able to function the entire day on that tiny hour of sleep. Well after picking throw up off the blanket, I asked AJ to shake it off across the street. However he shook it off on our grass. Christmas morning Branson ran out to see if the reindeer ate his oats to find out that the reindeer had thrown up. He came in and said, "What? The reindeer threw up on our grass!!! Why in the heck would the reindeer throw up? I have never seen a reindeer throw up. I think he must have eaten too many treats." I was laughing so hard I was crying. It was really gross but so funny!
Here are the kids sitting on Santa's lap at the mall. Jair Bair just stared at him. And stared and stared and stared.


















Making cookies for Santa...



































All of Bells' notes....
























































































Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jerik - 6 months

We had Doody's 6 month appointment to find that he weighs 22lbs. 4oz. (98%.) His height is 28" (93%.) Head circumference is 46cm. I am pretty sure I am stronger then I have ever been from packing him around all day. However, he is actually on the charts this time for weight now. I think he is going to start slimming down and here is why.... He is too busy to eat each time & gets very distracted, he is now rolling all around and sitting up, and we have started him with real food a little. The rice cereal in a box was making him sick. He would cry for 5 hours following the meal. At 5 months I made my own brown rice, did double the water and put it in my blend-tec. He was a lot happier after but I totally had to shove it down his neck. At 5 months and 1 week we started to add a tiny bit off food here and there. We have done 4 days of avocado, 4 days of carrots, and 4 days of sweet potatoes. I really had to shove it all down his neck but he didn't scream for 5 hours afterward. We love this little guy so much! But I have totally jinxed myself. He now wakes up about every 4 hours during the night. I can't make him scream because it wakes up Branson. Hopefully we can figure something out in the next couple of weeks. Jerik's nicknames are Doody, Boom Boom, Lay Lay, Berik, Jair Bair.









































Friday, December 9, 2011

Leaves, Leaves, and more Leaves

So we take care of our neighbor's yard and they had a ton of leaves. I have always loved everything about leaves. The beautiful colors that they turn each year and the thought of putting them in a pile and jumping in it. I realized a while back that jumping in a pile of leaves isn't as much fun as I thought it was. I still love the idea but know that I am not going to do it. So yesterday I lived vicariously through these four kids! PS AJ HATES leaves. This time of year he has gathered approx. 40 bags of leaves from all of his clients and isn't a fun anymore.





Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy turkey day!!

This year for Thanksgiving I really wanted to teach my kids to "be thankful." I also did a lot of fun crafts with them throughout the month. I didn't want Thanksgiving to be looked over as the little holiday in between the big one. I guess I should have taken a picture of all our crafts we did..... maybe next year we'll do it. My Dad and April came over to eat Thanksgiving dinner with us. After we ate, our family and Grandma April walked up to the Highland Park (in our short sleeve shirts.) We played outside for about three hours and enjoyed the warm sun! Maycie found a pet prey-mantis. This girl has no fear of any animal or insect! We also put together 6 puzzles during the day.










































































































Saturday, November 26, 2011

Maycie Lou Who

Our poor little Maycie girl has had her fair share of sickness lately. We started noticing about a month ago that she wasn't eating very much at all - maybe a bite or two at a meal. Also small tasks like getting her pajamas on was more difficult. She was even being clumsy and falling a ton which is SO not like her. There were also 4 days of a fever, 5 days of diarrhea, 2 days of throwing up, etc. All were spread out over the last month. We were going to take her in to the Dr. but I knew they would want to draw blood and I wasn't ready for that. Last Sunday we had our home teachers come over and help AJ give her a blessing. By Tuesday she was getting her energy back and we were very relieved. But unfortunately she started with croup Thanksgiving night. That has made her more than miserable especially during the night. Then to top it all off.... She was on the counter and fell off onto the tile floor landing right on her forehead. I saw her as she was going down and how she landed. The way her neck bent was so scary. But as I picked her up I saw a HUGE bump on her head. It was about a golf ball in diameter, bright green, and stuck out 1/2" from her head. I almost called 9-1-1 but called my Dad instead. He was working so I thought he could maybe ask a labor and delivery nurse. In the mean time I had Branson running over to our neighbor Linda's house to get a second opinion. My Dad happened to be working security at River Road hospital instead. I decided not to sit on the kitchen floor thinking about it and go in. I told him to call AJ and meet me at the ER. I called Dr. Cain on his cell phone on the way. Thank the heavens for him. He asked me if she was knocked out but she wasn't. He told me that I probably didn't need to go to the ER and just watch her. Make sure she wasn't too tired, throwing up, acting crazy, etc. I had picked AJ up at the Village Bank parking lot on my way and we were almost at the ER so we just headed there anyway. We got her out and were checking her out. My Dad and his friend came out and gave us another opinion. We decided not to go in but just watch her. She fell asleep on the way home for about 5 minutes, then was better all night. I don't think I have ever seen something more horrific on one of my kids. It scared me SO bad. But I am grateful for the little miracles of the day..... #1- That my neighbor Linda that lives full time in Salt Lake was actually down visiting and home so she could run over and give me her opinion and help me get the kids loaded in the car. #2- The fact that AJ had just clocked out as my dad called him (30 minutes early on black Friday.) #3- That my dad was working security at the ER. He hasn't worked there for at least a year and is always at labor & delivery. #4- That I have Dr. Cain's cell phone number and he was able to calm me down in our 2 minutes conversation (love him!!) And the biggest one that our Maycie girl is just fine. We thank the heavens!!! We also pray that we are done with her being sick (after the croup is gone.) Here is a picture of her that night about 4 hours after it happened.



































The next morning...



































2nd day...


















Day 3.... The bruise is spreading down her face and into her eyes. Her nose is even swollen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's a Surprise Party!

In September of last year I realized that my Dad would be turning 50 this year. I knew right away that I wanted to do a surprise party for him. He is a really good Dad, friend and person but sometimes doesn't get a lot of recignition for it. I sent out triangles to make a banner to friends and family that live out of town. They all wrote memories and love notes on them. I also gathered some baby pictures of him and pictures of when he was younger to display. We got balloons. And I made a sign that April set out in the morning that said, "Honk! It's Brian's 50th Birthday." It only took him until 1:00 in the afternoon to figure out why people were honking. :) So the plan was for him and April to go eat at 4:00. I would be waiting on the next street over for her call as they were leaving so that I could go start decorating. BUT he conveniently decided he'd rather eat at home because his stomach kind of hurt. Luckily when we got there he was taking a nap. We put up the decorations before he woke up at 4:30. When he came out, we told him Happy Birthday and that Branson wanted to make a few decorations for his birthday. He started walking around looking at everything. He said every time he turned around he found something else I had done. He started to read the banner and was really surprised. He was almost through reading them when he asked me to come here. He was crying and said, "thank you for being such a special daughter." I was totally crying by this point. I had been anticipating this moment for 14 months! April too was crying. It was such a sweet time! He hasn't cried since the day I got married! How would that be? So the first person showed up at 5:30 and was the bishop. We invited him in and he said Happy Birthday. We started getting out the cake and water bottles. My Dad said, "What is going on? Who got this cake?" I said, "I may or may not have told a few people that it was your birthday today." He said, "You mean people are coming over tonight??" It was the best night! There were about 7 people from work that stopped by, 6 of his favorite neighbors that we invited, 4 of his good friends he has worked with over the years, and his bff Troy. April even missed the "Forgotten Carols" practice to stay because it was so fun! Happy Birthday Dad and thanks for being the BEST! He got this Vikings Jersey that is certified by the NFL from "Simi." AND you know he had a good night by the look on his face! He never feels like smiling for pictures.











Monday, November 14, 2011

Jerik speaking in tongue I mean WITH tongue.

If you have met Jerik, you have probably met his tongue. He loves that thing. He always has it sticking out and even "chews" on it. Here are a couple of pictures....



























































Speaking of "Chew" this little 4 1/2 month old baby has a bottom tooth that cut through already. He is seriously so handsome. We just love holding him and how snuggly he is. He brightens anyone's day. No matter how much purple smoothie gets spilled on the carpet.









































One of the funniest things! Jerik was kind of being fussy so AJ was rocking him. He was standing up and apparently spit up all over AJ's pants. Then he started to bend over so AJ just let him do it. Next thing he knew, there was spit up dripping on his shirt. He looked up and saw Jerik's head covered in spit up dripping down his face. We all ran over and started laughing so hard. He just looked up at us like, "What's the big deal?" Then he even started laughing so hard!



















Here are a couple of pictures taken from some camera happy children.... I really probably shouldn't post them but I guess the kids need to know in the future what their Mom looked like.... in the morning without a shower yet! :)











Hard candy
















There was a Thanksgiving craft that Coral Canyon was doing Saturday morning. I had forgotten but quickly got everyone ready and headed down there. One of the crafts had candy inside of it. It was yummy peach flavored pumpkins. When we got home I started folding laundry in the living room. The kids were all in there with me and eating their candy. I heard a noise that didn't sound right. I looked over and saw Branson holding his throat and making the choking - I can't breath noise. His eyes were huge with fear and he started coming over to me. In about a half of a second, I dropped my stuff, grabbed him, flipped him around and starting doing the Heimlich maneuver on him. He finally started to cry and I knew he was ok. He was crying, I was crying, Maycie was crying. It scared us all so much. He laid on the couch for the next hour crying off and on and saying his throat hurt. I hoped that I would never have to do that to anyone in my life... especially my own child. But I am glad to know that my adrenaline kicked in and I was able to help him without hesitation. Branson said that he never wanted to eat hard candy again. I agreed! We have banned hard candy from our house for a long time! I went through their Halloween candy and threw away everything hard.

Visit from Grandma

Grandma Sue and Larry came down for a couple of days to visit. Larry had a work meetings to go to so Grandma Sue jumped on the chance to come down and see her grand-kids. When they got here, we ate homemade chicken noodle soup (yum!) then headed to their hotel to swim. (Forgot my camera.) Sunday after church we had dinner and played games. Then Monday we went to Puss In Boots and Brick Oven Pizza for dinner. Here we are at the movie...


















Jerik boy laughing at Grandma!


















And Larry having a turn giving Jerik his nightly rub down - starting at the butt! It is one of his favorite things.