Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grandpa's Visit!!

The day after Father's Day my dad came out to Rock Springs for business. His new company Sport Sites provides new software for Rec Centers and City Sports leagues and stuff and he had an appointment with the Rock Springs Rec Center in the morning so we met up with him for lunch when he was done!

The kids were so excited! Payson called him a couple of times the night before to tell him where she wanted to go to lunch and to ask if he would take her on a motorcycle ride (he was bringing his bike out). They went to bed so easy that night with the promise that we would be meeting up with Grandpa right after swim lessons!!

So we took Grandpa to Bonsai (a super yummy Asian place out here) and enjoyed way too much delicious food. We ordered way too many rolls by accident. But everything was good and the kids loved hanging out with Grandpa. And I had a blast chillin with my Daddy!

Of course, after lunch the kids had to go for motorcycle rides! Jack jumped on without hesitation which surprised me because as a baby he would cry whenever it would start. And when he got a little bigger he would run from it whenever it was on. :) But he LOVED the ride!! Which is great because he is in a family of bikers!


Halfway through our lunch Payson whispered in my ear, "I don't want to go on the motorcycle anymore." Which surprised me because her whole life she has LOVED the motorcycle! So Grandpa coaxed her. First she was just sitting with the bike off. Then she tried on the helmet. Then he turned the bike on. And finally he climbed on with her and she was okay going for a short ride. :) I think she realized that she still loves the bike. She just seems to get a little uncomfortable with new things lately. Funny girl.

Anyway, it's so fun to have family come out and visit us! We still see them pretty often, but it's not the same as living just down the street like we used to. We miss them and love them and LOVED having Grandpa out for a lunch visit! Hopefully everyone else will make it out later this summer for some time at the Lake or a river day!!

Swim Lessons

A couple years ago when we were living with my parent's for a short time my younger brother, Brennan, gave Payson private swim lessons. He was a life guard and my parents had a pool in the backyard so it was easy. Jack was still a baby and we spent pretty much every day in their pool. Payson started to jump off the steps and side of the pool when I wasn't ready (I was usually holding the baby) so she either needed to learn to swim or she was going to drown. She was just getting too brave.

Brennan taught her the basics and we've continued with that every summer since. Both of my kids have just always been natural fish, but Jack has never had any swim lessons of any kind and Payson seemed to be forgetting things she'd learned a while ago. So we decided to sign up for swim lessons here at our local rec center all summer! It would help the kids stay safe in the water and give us something else to do to keep busy this summer!

The kids had their first 2 week session earlier this month. We paid for the regular group classes, but because sign ups for the particular time we chose were slim and because the teachers were training new swim teachers we really got private one on one lessons. I wasn't complaining!!

Parent/Child classes are required until age 4 so I get to be in the water with Jack until next summer. At his first class the first thing his teachers, Miss Mary and Mr. Brandon, asked him was if he liked putting his face in the water. He shook his head no and clung tighter to me. He doesn't freak out like some kids do when you put him under water or splash water in his face but it's not his favorite thing either. But within a few days his teachers had him sticking his head all the way under completely on his own blowing bubbles and ENJOYING it!!

On his last day his teacher gave him his "report card" and left him a note calling him a "Wild Child" because he would go crazy putting his head in the water. He would throw his head back and then slam it back into the water to blow bubbles which scared us all to death! We worried about him slamming his face onto the bottom or side of the pool many times! But he loved it! He passed almost everything in his level so we'll mostly be working on his floating the rest of this summer. He's good at floating and kicking on his own with a life jacket or floaty of some sort, but hopefully he'll float on his own by the end of this summer!

Here's Jack showing Mommy how strong he is with one of the other classes floaty things. (By the way, "floaty things" is the technical name.)

Payson was so excited for swim lessons! She learned to swim when she was about 3. Not well, but well enough that she could get herself to the side of the pool if she fell in or she could jump off the diving board and swim to me if I was right there. But every summer she has forgotten and we have to completely start over. So I figured she'd need plenty of time to figure out level one this summer.

On Payson's third day of lessons one of her teacher's found me with Jack and let me know that she was being moved up with the older kids. They said she was a natural and later I heard some of the life guards telling each other that she should be on the swim team someday. :) I beamed with pride. Payson was so excited to hear that because Uncle Brennan was, and Aunt Madie and Aunt Maren are on the swim team. Of course she wants to be just like them.

Of course when she saw her brother posing she had to join in. :)

So instead of working on floating and learning to blow bubbles and breathe in the water and such, Payson is learning strokes and kicks and things. And she loves it!! You should see her back crawl. I was seriously surprised to see her do so well. Not that I don't have confidence in my children, I just didn't know they would pick this up so quickly!

Here she is showing me (in the shallow end) how she floats on her back).

The kids warm up together before lessons. They stretch and practice some strokes and then separate into classes. Jack wouldn't do it at first. Then he would only do it if I stood with him. But by the second week he was telling me to go sit down and leave him alone. :)

Oh! And here's a little video of Jack blowing his bubbles. And crazy enough, this was mild because he was busy playing.

video

Anyway, we can't wait for nest month's session to start! I love watching my kids grow up and learn new things. And I love the smiles on their faces as they develop confidence in themselves and their ability to learn. It is so rewarding to be their mother!!

Why?!?!?!?!?!

I have a whole bunch of fun stuff I want to post! But I can't because I can't find my pictures! Boo! They're on my computer. When I go into iPhoto they're right where I organized them. But when I come into blogger and want to choose a file all of the sudden they're not showing up! This has been driving me crazy for DAYS!! Maybe even WEEKS! Anyone know why or how to fix this? Mac users out there?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Jack's Bedroom Progress

Jack's room is on it's way! I have a super clear vision of it in my head and have found inexpensive products all over the place that I think will bring it together perfectly!! It's not exactly like the RH picture I posted before but I was only using the photo for inspiration anyway. And I think it's going to look even better than the picture, if only because we've made it our own.

I went shopping this week for a bed. I found a steal of a deal on a bunk bed and mattresses in Utah but with no way to get them back here I realized I was going to have to look closer. So I went to the only local furniture showroom that had bunk beds here in town. They had a few beautiful options. I knew they were good quality. But the bed alone was more than the deal in Utah and I would still need two mattresses. I thought about just getting a single twin bed for Jack, but when I started looking into it I realized that it would actually cost me the same amount for the bunk bed and mattresses as it would for the twin bed and mattress and box springs. So I just went with the bunk bed. It really was a good deal. Just not as good as the one in Utah. But by the time we rented a truck to get it here we wouldn't have been saving any money. And I hadn't seen the Utah bunk bed in person so who knows what the actual quality was.


The bed looks pretty much like this one.

So I'm happy with the bed I bought. And I can hardly wait for it to be delivered (for free) this Tuesday!! And Jack is so excited about his new bed. He was having so much fun in the furniture store climbing up all the ladders and trying them all out.

After purchasing the bunk bed we headed around town to find sheets and bedding. I had looked online and new what deals I could get on the things I wanted there, but I figured I'd check around town just in case. And I'm so glad I did! I found a killer sale and got some GREAT quality blankets and sheets for less then half of what I expected to pay online. The only thing I didn't find were the duvet covers I wanted. So I ordered the ones I'd found from overstock. They showed up today and I am in LOVE with them! I was a little worried about them after reading some of the product reviews (most everyone loved them but a few people said slightly negative things which freaked me out a tad) but they are exactly what I wanted! Now I'm even MORE excited for his bed to come so I can get his bedding all set up!!


The only thing missing on the bed are the decorative numbered pillows. I LOVE those RH pillows!! Initially I had planned on finding every. single. thing. for that room for less and then I would just splurge on those pillows because they're 1) super cute. 2) I don't sew, and 3) I don't think I'm going to find the right look anywhere else. I've been looking anyway, but so far no luck. Then I realized that the pillows are $22 a piece. And that's only the COVERS! So I'd have to buy the right size insert as well (which aren't too expensive, but still). I would want four of the pillows so that would be over $100 in decorative pillows. I just don't know if that's worth it or not. I'm still deciding. It might be if I can spend a whole heckuva lot less than I expect on everything else. But still. One hundred dollars for pillows? Anyway, I don't know yet. We'll just wait and see.

Aside from the bedding I still need to find some storage for his room. What I'd really like to do is find some quality pieces at yard sales and fix them up. But like the bed, I have no way to haul them. And the yard sales around here are seriously lacking. So I'm thinking I might go to Ikea and then maybe do a little painting/embellishing. I have some ideas that I think will be really cool. But we'll see. Still working on that.

As for accessories, I found a rug identical to the one in the RH photo for $70 instead of $180 at Ikea. Lamps are easy. I'm planning on just finding some at a yard sale or something, then painting them and adding some brown or navy ribbon to the shades. Window treatments I'm still working on. Any suggestions? I was thinking about doing some simple blue panels like the RH photo or even just making some. I can make curtains, right? But should I do a valance? Or panels? I need ideas.

As for the rest of the accessories in the room, since we are avid baseball lovers we're sticking with a vintage baseball theme as far as accessories go. I'll be framing Jason's old high school baseball jersey (after I tea stain it for a little added age) in a shadow box. His number was 09, which has continued to be his favorite number. So I thought I'd get the "0" and "9" number pillows to tie that in too.

I found a really cool old vintage bat, a catcher's mask, and an old glove for super cheap on etsy. I love cheap stuff. :) I also found some vintage wire baskets and metal bins for cute storage. I love them! I was thinking of adding a little chalkboard paint to the fronts of the metal bins for easy labeling. I also plan on painting and distressing some wood letters to spell out Jcak's name. Those will be pretty easy. Oh! And I found this adorable little baseball piggy bank!! The kids stash their change and birthday money in their Easter baskets and are constantly playing with and losing it. So I've been looking for piggy banks for them anyway. When I saw this guy I had to grab him!!

And last I found some really cool vintage metal signs from 50's Retro Signs to hang on the walls. I picked out a few black and white signs with quotes and photos of famous old baseball players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Shoeless Joe Jackson and a big American Flag. I can't wait to see them all up in his room! It's gonna look so great!!

Anyway, can you tell I'm a little excited about it? Hopefully it will all be finished sooner than later. And when it's done, it may just be the first room in my house that is fully and completely decorated!! Wouldn't that be something!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Baby Jack Jack

I honestly can't believe how quickly my baby boy went from THIS...


...to THIS...


On the one hand it feels like the last 3 years have FLOWN by. And on the other hand it feels like this guy has been in our lives forever.

Jack is still my "Baby Jack Jack" and of course he always will be. He is my sweet and sensitive little momma's boy. And at the same time he is tough and destructive and completely BOY.

For the last several months Toy Story has taken over. Buzz and Woody are his absolute favorites. He almost can't believe that they are releasing Toy Story 3 for his birthday this weekend!! ;)

Every time I look at him lately all I can see is his beautiful future staring back at me. I have no doubt that this kid is going to make an incredible difference in this world. How could something as wonderful as him not?

I'm sitting here thinking of the best way to let him know how much I love him on his third birthday and all I can do is cry. I love him more than he'll ever know.

Happy birthday Baby Jack Jack!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Here we go again.

Jack had another rash show up earlier this week. I decided to watch it for a while before heading to the doctor. He had no fever and always said no when I asked if his tummy or throat hurt. He had no symptoms other than a rash. And in general, if the rash is accompanied by nothing else it's not a big deal. Besides, Jack has had mild eczema since he was tiny.

But after a few days it wasn't going away, so I took him in. Better to be safe than sorry. Especially with our recent doctor's visits and the things we've learned about how diseases spread in this small town.

Because they fit us in at the last minute we had to see a new doctor. She seemed to think I was crazy. She was practically rolling her eyes at me when I was describing the lack of symptoms aside from the rash, even though he had recently had scarlet fever. She told me that it wasn't anything to worry about because there were no other symptoms. It was just heat rash. But that she would run the labs anyway just to make me feel better. (I hate arrogant doctor's. Especially because I rarely take my kids in to the doctor except for well visits unless I'm really worried.) Anyway, she sent us home and said that IF the tests came back with anything she'd call.

Of course I felt stupid for going in when it was probably nothing and called Jason and my mom to let them know. I hadn't even left the parking lot when the doctor's office called me back. It was scarlet fever. Again. Just about a month later. I asked if there was anything I could do (besides the antibiotics they were calling in) to keep him from getting it again. They gave me a list of things we already do (wash hands often, don't go out when we're sick, take all of the medicine until it's gone, blah, blah, blah) and wished us luck. Ugh.

So we started the medicine last night after dinner and put kids to bed. Jack still seemed fine at that point. After a little while I could here him coughing hard in his room. Poor kid. He eventually woke up from the hacking and came downstairs to find me. He could hardly breathe. And it wasn't like he was congested. It was something else. I don't really know how to describe the shallow, strange way he was (hardly) breathing without you hearing it. It scared me to death! Thanks heavens changes have been made at Jason's work and he was home with me.

I called my mom and asked her what she thought I should do. (I always have to have someone tell me to go in to the doctor. I really hate going in for nothing.) We figured it couldn't be pertussis because he's had all of his shots. It didn't sound like pneumonia (more wheezy) but I couldn't be sure because I've never actually heard pneumonia. It could be croup, so I took him outside to see if the cold air helped him at all.

While I held Jack out back Jason gave him a priesthood blessing. It started to rain, so I brought Jack back inside and opened up our big family room window, wrapped him up to keep him warm, and sat with him by the open window to help him breathe. Eventually his breathing calmed down enough for him to sleep but I was too scared to sleep the rest of the night. I stayed awake and just watched him. Sometime after I gave him his medicine again around 2 am I finally crashed. It was a long night, but he seemed a little better this morning and throughout the day. He's still a sick little boy, but his breathing has been okay at least.

I have been reading up and pneumonia can be a complication of scarlet fever, but his cough sounds more like croup to me. Either way, if it gets bad again tonight I'm just taking him to the ER. I'd rather be safe than sorry. So keep my baby boy in your prayers, please. I just want him to feel better and be my silly, smiling, active boy again. Especially with his birthday coming up.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jack's Room

Jack is sleeping in a toddler bed. Said toddler bed was less than $50 from Walmart just over three years ago. We bought it for Payson before Jack was born because she had started climbing out of her crib and because we knew the new baby was going to need the crib anyway. When my parents gave me my old bedroom furniture last year, Payson moved into one of those twin beds and Jack moved from the crib into the toddler bed.


After just over 3 years the toddler bed is shot. Slats are breaking and the rails are super wobbly. And Jack is growing out of it quickly. It's just a cheap piece and we knew it wouldn't last too long. So Jack needs a big boy bed.


(The dresser/changing table in that room are also from Walmart. We bought a lot of cheap furniture there when we were first married because it was what we could afford and we weren't thinking ahead. Now everything we've ever bought from there is falling to pieces after only a few years. Everything else is gone at this point. Those pieces lasted the longest but are all falling apart at this point.)


Anyway, Jack's 3rd birthday is coming up in less than two weeks. So we've decided that Jack will get toys and such from his sister and aunts and uncles and grandparents. This is the only thing he NEEDS right now. So he's getting this one expensive gift.


I have looked at lots of pictures and thought and thought and thought about what I want to do in his room. I have learned a few lessons in the last few years. One is that whatever it is it has to be quality. Cheap isn't really cheap when it's falling to pieces every year and you're constantly replacing it. And I don't want anything super "childish". Not that I want him to have an adult room, but I want something he can grow with, something classic. No characters or anything.


I think I've settled on this:



I ADORE this set from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child. I love the colors and even the vintage baseball theme. It's cute for now and won't be too "childish" when he's older. And the picture already has his name in it, so it's a sign, right?! Anyway, I love it. I'm using this as my inspiration.


Here are my dilemmas. For one, we plan to have another baby (or 2, or 3, or whatever). And especially after our loss in December, hopefully within the next year that will happen. Initially that baby would be in a bassinet in our room and then move to the crib (which is in Jack's room). If that baby is a girl, that baby would then move into the extra twin bed in Payson's room. Bedding is already there and waiting. But if that baby is a boy it would eventually share a room with Jack. I'm thinking bunk beds would easily solve this problem. It would give us a spare bed for guests for the next few years and then when future-hypothetical-baby-boy is old enough he would have a bed waiting for him. And I like the idea of not having to find matching bedding three years down the road. Now a bunk bed (and mattresses) are actually about the same price as a new twin bed and mattress set. It's the bedding that gets costly. An extra set of bedding and sheets isn't super duper cheap. So what do I care more about? Saving money NOW? Or having everything there when I need it in the future?


My next dilemma is that, unfortunately, RH is not in my budget. Boo hoo. I've been scouring the internet (because there are no stores where I live) and have found plenty of stuff that is close enough to get the look. But even with what I found online, all furniture, bedding, and accessories included is still more than I can afford or want to spend. So I've got to find ways to bring the cost down.


This is the kind of thing that makes me wish I still lived in Utah county. Ugh. I could just pick up some solid, inexpensive furniture from DI and yard sales and refinish it. I'd probably splurge a little on the bedding. Not RH, but all new and the same look. And between thrift stores, home decor sales/yard sales, and what I have on hand I could probably knock out this room for a decent price. I'm even willing to make a few trips back and forth. But I own a Dodge Stratus. Not a pick up truck or SUV. I have no space to haul things back. Renting a truck is too much money (because of gas and mileage). So who wants to loan me their truck for a week so I can go shopping?!


Any ideas? I've postponed finishing up our family room (which is *thisclose* to being finished) because Jack's room needs attention more than I "need" a cute new rug and sectional. There's nothing wrong with what we've got now. I just want something new. And his room really is literally falling apart. So how can I find ways to cut costs but still have to quality I want and the look I'm going for? Help me please!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

She "Graduationed"!!

Last week my "baby" girl "graduationed" from preschool. I can't believe that she is growing up so fast. I really have no idea how I went from finding out I was pregnant to now in such a short time. It's crazy!! But I'm absolutely loving (just about) every second of this thing they call "motherhood".

So last Thursday Jack and I got to go with Payson to preschool. We watched the kids perform some fun songs with their teacher, Miss Kari. (Who is actually my WONDERFUL-beyond-words counselor in the primary). Seriously, I adore that woman.

Then we headed outside for some games. Here are all the kids and most parents (the rest of us were standing up to take pictures) listening to Miss Kari explain the games.

The first game we played was a fruit loop race. The kids paired up and used a little spoon to transfer fruit loops into their bowl. First one to fill their bowl wins!

After Payson and her good friend, Pace, started racing I noticed Jack down there at the end grabbing handfuls and helping his sister! The little cheater! I almost stopped him until Pace's mom and I realized that Pace's little sister, Josie, was doing the same thing!! :) It was cute. We have no idea who won but it was fun to watch the girls play.

Next, Jack and I wrapped Payson in a toilet paper dress. She loved twirling and getting all "dressed up" but immediately ripped the "dress" off. :)

We also stuffed our mouths with marshmallows and sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and ate donuts hanging from a string. Payson actually did neither game, but laughed at her brother while he played on her behalf. :)

Then came the graduation ceremony. Payson in her graduation cap.

Mama posing with her big girl. I can't tell you how much I love this little lady. Thinking about it makes me tear up. I just adore her!!

Jack intently watching the ceremony. :) He can't wait for his turn next!!

Each of the kids walked to the graduation song and received their "diploma". Miss Kari asked each of the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. Payson had told her the day before that she wanted to be an artist. That answer made sense to me, as she is ALWAYS creating at home. She loves to color and paint and draw and is always making beautiful little crafts for friends and family. But when she had her turn to answer the question at graduation, she copied the boys and said she wanted to be a cop! We all laughed a little.

Later we were talking and she told me that she wants to be both. :)

Payson posing with her teacher and all of the kids in her preschool class. She has made so many good friends in this little class!!

Payson posing with her good friend Pace. :) We call Payson "Pays" all the time so these girls loved that their names were so similar.

All the girls from the class posing silly. Payson, Pace, Kaylee, and Hailey.

The boys were too busy playing and running to pose for a picture. :)

Jack had so much fun getting to go to Payson's school knowing that he'll get to go in just a few months.

The "spread". There were fruits and veggies and cake and treats and juice to celebrate. And cute little framed class pictures for all of the kids to take home.

And of course Payson has to pose with her teacher one last time! She LOVES Miss Kari. Luckily, we see her every week at mommy's presidency meetings and at church on Sunday's.

It has been so, so, so much fun to watch this girl grow up! She is always my big helper and is trying everyday to choose the right. She loves family home evenings and having family outings. She is always good about reminding us to have family scriptures and prayers. She loves primary and is always reading her "Friend" magazine and learning about Jesus. She loves to read. One of my favorite parts of the day is curling up with my babies each night to read stories. She is SUCH a good big sister. Sure, she and Jack fight t=like any siblings do, but more often than not Payson gives up whatever it is she wants to let her brother have his way. She is always taking care of him and keeping an eye on him and making sure that he is happy and safe. She LOVES her daddy. She clings to him whenever he's home. We get so many snuggles and hugs and kisses from this girl. She dresses up and dances and sings and puts on little shows for us and just makes up laugh all the time. I can't believe how grown up she is getting. I am so, so, so proud of her!!

Now we have a few busy months of summer and then Kindergarten begins. It feels so strange to me to be sending my baby girl off to school all day. Packing lunches, doing homework, and parent-teacher conferences are just a few months away. Crazy!!

And Jack will begin preschool at the same time, so I will have ZERO children at home two days a week for a few hours. THAT will be insane. I'm gonna need another one QUICK!!

I just love these babies and watching them grow!!