Thursday, February 4, 2016

a big catch up.

the website i use to store the photos i put on my blog has been on the fritz for a couple weeks. therefore, i haven't blogged.

to catch up, i am going to mention the most recent big events/accomplishments, and then move onto some of the lighthearted/funny things that have happened in that time.

first, the bigger things:

CHET got his cast off! yay! ... unfortunately, i was unaware that when you remove a cast you aren't immediately back to normal. dang it. a week after removing the cast, chet is still quite sore and limping around slowly. poor kid. but, even if he still isn't 100%, we are thrilled to have that silly cast gone. 
some details from chet's cast experience:
- chet chose to never let anyone sign his cast. (although i definitely preferred it that way, i swear i never swayed him to leave it neat and tidy!).
- he wasn't super enthused about learning how to use crutches (he thought we should buy him a power wheel chair instead!) but chet did eventually learn to be a crutches master. he can now scoot around on those things like nobody's business.
- he pronounces them 'crunches', not 'crutches', despite many attempts to teach him otherwise.
- when his class moved to different parts of the school (i.e. gym class, music room, etc.) chet got pushed around on a wheely office chair. he thought that was awesome. and everyone wanted to be his buddy because that meant they got a ride too!
- i am proud of the positive attitude chet had about his cast. kids always impress me with their ability to adapt.

chet drew a self portrait of him with his blue cast.

MATT has been studying for the GMAT like a madman the past 4 months. he ended up taking the exam 2 times, and i am very proud of the scores he received. i am actually super impressed with how smart matt is in general! i knew he was smart, based on his grades and job offers in university, but man.. sometimes he would ask me for input on the practice questions he would do and my brain had not a clue where to even begin. it was kinda depressing because i swear i used to be smart. shoot!
matt has completed the applications to 2 of the business schools he plans on applying to. he has a couple more to do, but the worst of it is certainly over. feel free to cross your fingers for him!

HOLDEN and i started learning the alphabet this year. we only learn a new letter on days when chet is at school (and only when we don't have something more exciting to do) so we haven't made it too far yet. we are on the letter F. holden is so eager to learn and thinks he is just so special when we sit down and do his 'school'.
i love the way his tongue sticks out when he focuses on writing his letters or making his crafts. and i love the way his crafts always turn out - they make me so happy!
holden can be the sweetest little guy - so happy, helpful, complimentary, independent, loyal, forgiving, and silly. holden has also become pretty buddies with tank lately. he loves to get tank to do tricks, take him on walks, and give him treats. 

TAD has passed the 5 months mark. which means he is close to being half a year.. and then a year.. then starting kindergarten.. then getting married. ahh! well perhaps that's a bit dramatic but, my goodness, he seems to be growing up so fast. he doesn't do anything especially cool yet - no rolling, sitting, eating - but we will cut him some slack since he joined our family earlier then anticipated! some of his best skills these days are smiling, sleeping, and DROOLING. based on the amount of drooling he does, i am guessing we have a tooth (or 7!) on the way very soon.
tad weighed in at 12lbs 3oz at his check up this week. that is exactly triple his birth weight of 4lbs 1oz. crazy!
tad has officially been moved into the boys' room. our house only has 2 bedrooms, so he either has to be in our room or the boys' room. matt and i are not the type to keep our babies in our room for very long, but we also aren't the type to mess up chet and holdens' great sleep routine. so tad has been hanging out in our room until this past week. now that he sleeps a solid 8-9 hours, he gets to join his big brothers. i have thoroughly enjoyed watching the 3 interact in the mornings on the baby monitor! chet and holden melt my heart with how smitten they are by tad.

to demonstrate just how much tad drools..
i ordered 3 cute drool bibs for tad and was super pumped to try them on him. i took the following picture 3 seconds after i put the first one on him. he put that bib straight to work!
(i have since ordered many more bibs. 3 is NOT enough!)
{tad is the easiest child to take pictures of - mostly because he doesn't have a choice - hence the excess amount of tad pictures in this post.}

PAM... hmm, i don't really feel like i have anything neat to write about me from this past month. how embarrassing.
that's not true.. chet and holden request to have pancakes for breakfast EVERY morning lately. so i am turning into a pretty fantastic flap jack maker.

and i have cute kids.. that has to count for something!

now, moving onto the other little things that have happened recently:

1. i am not really one to meticulously watch the cost of things that we need to buy (gas, groceries, etc). i just kinda feel like those things are needed and stressing over their slightly fluctuating price isn't worth it. (i know that thought process would disgust many!) but lately i have been more aware. slightly. i mean, i know gas is cheap right now. and i know produce is absolutely ridiculous!  aaand that is about it.
i took a bunch of pictures the other week of the most outrageous prices and sent them to my sister, in texas, and my mom, in arizona, and they were blown away.
here is a good one:
can you imagine the outrage you would feel if you cut into that $17 watermelon and it wasn't the most delectable thing you'd ever tasted?

2. holden gave his first talk in primary a couple weeks ago.
and by holden i mean me.
but, despite the fact that he didn't actually talk during his talk, holden was very excited to get up in front of the other kids, hold up his props, and say amen at the end, so i think we have some serious potential!
this was his talk:

i like fruit.
[holds up mason jar full of fruit]
i like to eat lots of fruit.
fruit makes me happy.
heavenly father wants me to be happy.
he has given me the scriptures so i can learn how to be happy.
[holds up book of mormon]
if i feast on the scriptures, like i feast on fruit, i will be happy.
in the name of jesus christ, amen.

i could probably make a living writing primary talks.
i would have recorded the talk but matt was away that week sooo that was impossible. next time!
this is proof that it happened though:

3. i have been trying to get tad to sit in his bumbo. but he clearly isn't ready.
i also try to get him to strengthen his next muscles through tummy time, like this:
but it always turns into this after about a minute:
he prefers to just be held. don't blame him.
he also tolerates playing on his mat:

4. my sister sent me this the other day.

she said it made her think of me.
matt and i both laughed. it's so true!
poor me :(

5. but my need for outside time/fresh air sometimes makes me do crazy stuff like:
- open all the windows in our house on a day where temperatures are barely above freezing.
- take the boys on bike rides on paths surrounded by piles and piles of snow.
- let our gibbled child play in icy/slushy messes with a broken foot and crutches.

6. we learned all about groundhog day on the 2nd - learned a song, read about the origin, made some crafts - and i gotta say, it's one really weird tradition. but i am thrilled that the most magical/important of all groundhogs, punxsutawney phil, predicted that spring is on its way!

7. tad had a really bad attitude about taking these selfies.
and i was terrible at taking them!

8. my fingers were stained yellow from sprinkles, and were bright pink from pain, after making these ridiculously tiny star shaped rice krispie treats for chet's space party at school.
i swore, right then and there, that i would buy something pre-made next time.
but that was a lie.. we all know i will try something just as tedious (and un-appreciated!) next time.

9. for some reason, i think i am capable of cutting chet and holden's hair. perhaps it is because i watched my mom cut a gazillion heads of hair during my childhood. but, turns out, 'watching' and 'doing' have proven, once again, to be very different things!
i totally butchered their hair last week. luckily, they don't care.

10. matt made this lovely cheese & pickles tray to take to a family gathering at his parents house. to say i was proud is an understatement.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

missing: pacifier.

after 22 weeks of tad using the only pacifier he got from the hospital, i just had to go and lose it.
last night, i thought about spending this morning backtracking the places i went yesterday..
but it was snowing when we woke up.
of course.
more. snow.
so the hope of finding that pacifier is gone. until spring.
and spring is like 8 years away.
soo.. wish us luck trying to convince him to like a different pacifier.
so far, he's not buying it!

i drove to the hospital last night to beg the NICU for a new pacifier.
it was strange to do the whole routine again - drive, park, elevators, hand washing station, ring the bell, wait to get let into the unit, check in with the nurses.
although it all felt so familiar, i don't miss it one bit!
my heart ached a bit for the babies and parents who are taking their turn in there.
i also couldn't get over how tiny all the babies were, even though tad was just that little a couple months ago.
i sneaked a peek at the baby who is currently in 'tad's bed' and he too cute. 

anywho.. i got the pacifier. yes!
and, as soon as i popped it in his mouth, tad was content. it was magical!
i swear, he refused to take any other pacifier over the past 2 days and, as a result, ended up crying himself to sleep rather then happily dozing off.
it was frustrating for everyone. especially him, i'm sure.
i have been very adamant on taking away pacifiers by a certain age with our other 2 but, for now, i am happy that tad has something he finds so comforting.

here is tad wearing the most ridiculous combination of clothes.
i think he looks like he is ready to do a little jig.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

new church year.

our church time moved to 11am this year - woohoo!
chet moved up to CTR 5.
and holden started sunbeams!
holden wasn't nervous at all.
he felt pretty darn special sitting in with the big kids, even if it meant he didn't get to play with any toys.

these pictures were taken after church, but they boys still look very snazzy.
...except tad, because he spit up all over himself (and has creepy devil eyes).

the last bit of christmas.

we have spent oodles and oodles of time with matt's family this christmas season.
it has been so fun for our kids and so nice for us.
that is my favorite part of christmas - the family time.
i am sad we didn't get to see my side of the family over the holidays, but they were partying down in texas this year and we just couldn't make that trip.

i can't remember all the specific things we did on each specific day in the second half of our christmas break, but some of our favorite parts were:

- visiting with family is, hands down, number one on the list.
- playing 'name that tune' at the annual leavitt adult christmas party.
- all the adorable christmas art work plastered on our fridge.
- ping pong tournaments.
- the talent show on christmas eve.
- lots of tasty appetizers and treats.
- watching our boys on christmas morning.
- sledding.
- the way our boys think christmas lights are so magical!
- the fireworks on new years eve.

christmas 2015 was a success!

christmas eve:

this is the only picture i got of the nativity reenactment this year. luckily, it has 2 of our children in it!
tad was the perfect 'baby jesus' (he never made a peep). and chet played the role of 'star' very well.
holden chose to be an audience member this year.
chet and holden performed a lovely rendition of 'feliz navidad' for the christmas eve talent show.
it didn't pan out quite how it did in rehearsal, but it was still pretty cute. i will post a video eventually.

christmas morning:

i pride myself on keeping christmas very simple at this point in our lives.
(i realize it will get harder to do that as our boys grow, and the cost of their wish lists grow too!)
this year, from us, the big boys got a couple fun things in their stockings (including a teeny toy helicopter they asked santa for), some star wars gear (to wear when they go see the new movie they are all pumped for), and a new sled.
they also each got a fun gift from both sets of grandparents and both sides of cousins.
they were thrilled!
tad? well... he got screwed this year.
matt and i saw no point in purchasing him gifts just for the sake of purchasing gifts. we knew he would get a couple nice things from my parents and my sister, and figured that would be plenty. (sorry buddy!)
but it gets worse.. it wasn't until christmas eve that we realized we had completely forgotten to buy him anything for in his stocking (which wouldn't matter.. if he didn't have older brothers who'd notice!). oops.
so he got some diapers, formula, and a $1 flashlight we had kicking around!
i promised tad we wouldn't forget about him next year, and he forgave me :)

(holden is holding up the flashlight tad got from santa! haha)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

tad: 4 month update.

tad turned 4 months on december 23.
he is at such a fun stage these days.
he smiles, and coos, and has even laughed a couple times.
he had his 4 month immunizations a couple days ago, and weighed 11 lbs 4 oz at that appointment.
on a scale adjusted to his due date, rather then his birth date, he sits between the 25-50 percentile for all measurements.
we tried to put him in his crib in the boys' room the other night for the first time, but he was a bit too noisy. so he still sleeps in our room for now.
chet and holden love entertaining him when they are all squished in a row in the back of our car.
he wore jeans for the first time yesterday (much later then our other 2!)
he has been to 3 movies.


we have gone sledding a lot so far this winter.
(proabably more then the rest of our marriage combined!)
chet and holden just love it this year!

click here to see some sledding videos!

(see chet and holden are in the background?)

chet's broken foot.

i have never broken a bone.
maybe that's thanks to all the milk i drank in my younger years?
or, perhaps, it is because i am too chicken to do anything that might cause injury to me?!
either way, i am a broken bone virgin.
matt has only broken 1 bone - his leg, when he was 4. 
none of his siblings will really fess up who did it, but one of them double-bounced him on their trampoline and that landed him in a cast.
matt has fond memories of his broken leg days.
he remembers liking the extra attention, and getting around by scooting on a skateboard.

despite our quite good track record, when it comes to breaking things, our family already got its first broken bone on monday night.
matt was wrestling with the boys, to burn up some of their energy before bed, when his big ol' butt sat on chetty's foot and squished it.
chet screamed. and, when asked to walk on it, he buckled over in pain.
buuuuttt... since chet tends to be a bit dramatic when it comes to injuries, we assumed it wasn't as bad as he thought it was.
we gave him some tylenol, tied a make-shift bandage around his foot to put him at ease, and piggy-backed him up the stairs to bed.
he fell asleep instantly so we assumed he would be all better when he woke him up the next morning.
unfortunately, he wasn't.
come morning, he still couldn't walk. dang it!

long story short, we took chet to the urgent care center, waited a couple hours, spoke with a few nurses, then spoke to a doctor (who also thought nothing was wrong!), got an x-ray, and... were shocked when we were told he had broken 2 little bones in his right foot.
[talk about feeling like a crappy parent!]
once it was determined that chet had, indeed, broken something, we were moved to the casting room.
i quickly looked up a video on youtube to show chet what a cast is/how you put it on, because he had no idea what was going on.
he wasn't happy about the idea of getting a cast, but he was very brave and cooperative.
he picked a blue cast.

our whole family was at the urgent care center to start (because tad actually had an appointment in the same building, at the same time, and i had asked matt to come give me a hand.) but, by the end, it was just chet and i.
like i said, he was a trooper throughout the whole process.
and, i must say, i handled the whole situation very well too!.. until the last 10 minutes.
everyone we met at the clinic had been so kind to chet, expect for the nurse putting on his cast - she was short with us.
and that didn't go over well with me.
at that point, two things worried me:
1. chet's comfort level and happiness.
2. (as selfish as it may seem) my sanity!
chet is my oldest. and he is my most reliable/constant helper, no matter how preoccupied/tired/moody he may be - how would i manage if he is now one of my needier children?!
i get easily (and pathetically) overwhelmed by being a mother of 3 so i couldn't handle the thought of adding a complication in the mix of it all.
and, as silly it sounds, winter is truly a challenge for me.
at the start of this winter, i had made a resolution to be more positive with this one and to get outside often with my kids.
and i was doing (what a thought was) a good job so far!
but this broken limb is going to make it super tricky to keep up with my goals.

soo.. when the busy nurse was less compassionate then i needed her to be, i had a wee emotional meltdown.
right in front of my oh-so-brave 5 year old.
ugh pam, come on!
luckily, i don't even think chet was phased by it - it happens often!
although, i still wish i could have held it together for him the whole time.
once the nurse saw that i wasn't someone she couldn't easily brush off, she sat next to me, slowly reviewed our instructions, and gave me a hug goodbye!
then i plopped chet on my back and piggy-backed him out to the car.
to this day, he has been such a good sport. i have been so impressed.
he scoots/hops/crawls his way around the house without any complaining.
and he is working on learning how to use crutches.
holden has been so kind too. he loves to be chet's helper when he needs something.
man, i love those boys!
turns out i really didn't need to worry so much.

i am grateful for matt's side of the family who has been so sweet to chet, and so helpful to me.
and i am grateful for my parents who, despite being 2000 miles away right now, have made chet feel so special.
what would we do without our family?!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

chet's kindergarten christmas party.

on thursday, the 2 kindergarten classes at chet's school had the cutest christmas party.
what a fun way to finish off the first half of kindergarten!
chet's teacher has been amazing so far, and she certainly lived up to her amazing-ness with this party.

parents, grandparents, and siblings were invited to the party too.
matt was able to skip out on work to make it some of the party, and grandma maralyn was able to come too!

first, the kids got to make couple crafts.
then we had lunch.
then santa arrived!
then the kindergartners performed the songs they have been practicing.
and last, but definitely not least, there was the magic show.

chet thought his party was so special, and he loved including holden in all the fun.

the boys both agreed that the magic show was their favorite part.
the magician was hilarious and (surprisingly) very tricky!
matt, maralyn, and i were watching him like a hawk, and we could not figure out the majority of his tricks of the life of us!
.. like when he showed us an empty balloon, blew it up, and then, when he popped it, a dove flew out. what the heck? devilry, i tell ya.
chet was called up to be a helper at one part of the show. he felt so special!
i agree that the magic show was super entertaining, but i also liked watching the kids perform their songs.
5 year olds are too funny - they have no shame!

click here to watch the kindergarten classes perform 3 songs.
up on the house top, if you can't wait for christmas, and call rudolph.
chet is 5 kids from the left, in a light blue shirt.
(but you may want to direct your attention to the loud girl in the red dress, closer to the middle of the group. she is pretty adorable!)

in september, i was quite worried about chet starting school but, i gotta say, it has been such a great experience so far.