Christmas Makes Me Sing

We've had a lot of things happen the past couple weeks and we've definitely been BUSY. I haven't felt like singing much. Landon sang in a Christmas concert for his school the other night and "Christmas makes me sing" was one of the songs. I LOVED it! Landon was darling - he had an ear to ear grin the whole time he was on stage. Since, I heard that song I've been trying to calm down, take it easy and... sing once in a while. It really has helped me get more into the Christmas Spirit. Today, Austin and I were singing "If you Believe" (the song from Polar Express) in the car and even now he's singing it in his bed. What is it about Christmas music that just puts you in a good mood?

What we've been up to:

We played in the ICE, oh I mean snow... Well whatever it is it's cold but somehow the kids still love it.

Zac was blessed about a week ago. Cameron blessed him to have a "special and content spirit" and to be a "beacon of peace and love to those that know him"

We took the kids to see Santa... and waited in line for 40 min! This is us entertaining ourselves in line.
Isaac is playing with toys now and practicing sitting up.

Cameron had a {wOnDerFuL} birthday party! Complete with his favorite key lime pie. See the "easy button" in his hand? I think that was his favorite gift! (that was easy!)


A child's prayer

The last few weeks have been a little rough around here. From fighting RSV(Issac) and bronchitis (me) to getting ready for Christmas and our trip to Utah we've had a ton of stuff going on. Just keeping up on day to day life has been a challenge. We've been so exhausted and haven't been getting up on time. Every morning just when I think we're not going to be too rushed Isaac needs to eat or someone can't find their snow pants or.... something ALWAYS happens to make us run late (Getting three kids bundled up for the 10 degree Iowa winter takes so much time!)

This morning I left Landon in the house to put his snow gear on while I went and scraped the windows on the car. After we got everyone in their seats it was 7:47 - the bus usually comes between 7:45 and 7:50. When we got to the bus stop the bus was just coming up the street. I turned around to tell Landon to jump out and hurry to get in line. He was just sitting with his eyes closed. After a second I told him to grab his back pack and go. He said, "Mom I just had to say a little prayer to Heavenly Father to tell him thanks for helping me not miss the bus. I always say a prayer in the morning that I wont miss the bus."

I am so thankful to Heavenly Father too. I've needed help to get Landon to the bus on time and his sweet little prayers I'm sure have helped us all. What a wonderful lesson Landon has already learned. Heavenly Father answers even the most simple prayers. I'm so glad Landon is gaining a testimony of God and Prayer. And I'm thankful for his little example.

New Years Resolution - GET UP EARLIER!!


3 Months and Counting...

3 months! The last three months has FLOWN by. I can't believe that I was giving birth to this sweet boy just three months ago. What a time it has been. Zac compliments our family so much. He is always so smiley (although I'm finding it REALLY hard to capture one in a picture). He seems to always be telling us something with his eyes. You can just see the contentment on his face. And his little coos - I just LOVE them. He usually starts a "conversation" before he cries. It's adorable. He also starts cooing when he sees me - I'd like to think he's telling me, "I'm glad to see you!" I must say, though, he's another Daddy's boy for sure. Cameron always gets great big smiles and lots of cute little "words". He loves his dad! Austin and Landon are good at getting smiles out of Zac too. They love to sing him songs and play finger puppets with him. We love having him in our family.

People always ask who he looks like. I'm not sure. Here's some pictures of the boys side by side. You be the judge. Landon's six months in this picture so it's kind of hard to tell but you can still see the resemblance.


Landon's Weekend

Having Landon home from school Thanksgiving weekend was so fun. I've really been missing him lately. He's seriously been cracking me up all weekend.I found these on Landon's door when I went to his room. For some reason I thought they were so cute! (He took them down when he realized that me and Isaac couldn't come in either!)

Landon was so excited to be decorating the tree that he just kept karte chopping. At least he was showing enthusiasm!
He got himself ready for church on Sunday - too small shirt, unbuttoned with a tie, but very cute hair!
I was in desperate need of a nap and Landon could not wait to tell me that he REALLY took care of Isaac. He was so proud of himself giving him a bottle and changing his diaper. Can you see his concentration?


Boys Will Be Boys

I'm starting to understand what Victoria Beckham said the other day on Ellen (k, random I know but I watched it because I was folding clothes and Austin was sleeping), "Raising three boys is less about parenting and more about crowd control."
It's becoming truer and truer as the days go by:
*There is a perpetual wrestling match going on all the time (Austin has even included Zac in the event a few times)
*I have become the take your shoes off, wash your hands, flush the toilet Nazi
*I have developed the art of "tuning it out" because it is NEVER quiet around here
*There are always little pieces of the kids laying around - a half finished puzzle there, a dirty sock here, a pile of school papers there
*I'm imaging my future as the "football" mom - do you think it's going to possible to keep enough food in my house for all my boys and their friends?

So, although I do feel like I've gotten into the crowd control business I have to say that I am learning to enjoy my kids more all the time. The other day I actually joined their wrestling match and by the end of it we were all on top of each other laughing like crazy. It's so fun.

Cam took the kids to a Hockey game the other night and they LOVED it. Austin came home and said, "it's not dancing, it's just my moves." Landon fell asleep on the way home and all he said when he got here was, "aren't you going to brush my teeth?" Obviously they both got something different from the game and neither of them actually watched it. Austin was there for the music and dancing and Landon was there for the candy.

Maybe they are rascals that love to be rowdy and noisy but their mine and I wouldn't change them for anything. Here's Austin's moves!


I'd Do Anything For My Kids

Well, this blog is fast becoming my family journal and tonight I just have something to say. Since we found out that Austin was always so sick as a baby because of food allergies I've often thought, "I wish I could take that burden from him." He is always itchy, always blotchy, and pretty much always hungry. I am always living in fear that someone will give him something with a peanut in it or something will make him sick. Tonight when I took him out of the bath he started sobbing that he was hurting and then I noticed that he had scratched himself raw because of an allergic reaction he had last week (something at a resteraunt was cross-contaminated). I wanted to cry with him and all I thought was, "I wish there was something I could do."

Now, I have been given the chance to do for Zac what I can't do for Austin. Zac has the same tendencies towards milk that Austin does. I really want to keep nursing him because I think that it will keep him healthier through the winter and help his brain develop and all that. People always say they'd do anything for their kids but cutting a whole food group out of your diet is SO HARD! I almost cried today at the grocery store. Everywhere I turned there was VELVEETA and CREAM CHEESE and CHOCOLATE MILK and YOGURT. So I was feeling so sorry for myself.

When I saw poor little Austin's legs scratched raw I didn't feel sorry for myself anymore. I feel awful for him. I really do wish I could take this challenge away from him because BELIEVE me - it is a challenge!!


Congratulations Cameron

This is a "Flashback Friday" post in more ways than one. Funny that even though Austin is two years older he still has that same expression when he's disgrunteld about something. Landon, of course, looks just as happy as ever, and Cameron - always smiling, joking, singing, or doing something happy. This picture was taken the second year we were here in Iowa and finishing Dental School seemed millions of years away. Now here we are near the end and I have to take a moment to brag about my WONDERFUL HUSBAND.
The Air Force made us apply to a residency program and when we were making our list we put Colorado Springs at the top because (another Flashback!) I lived there when I was young and it was the funnest time in my elementary years. I loved GARDEN of THE GODS, Pikes Peak, going to Denver for FUDRUKERS, my dad teaching me to ride my bike, practicing piano on our electric keyboard, roller skating in our unfinished basement, and pretending to marry Danny from New Kids on the Block with my friend April. My parents used to take us to the Airforce Academy to watch the new recruits come in - the campus is beautiful and it was funny to see how much one person could get yelled at (not exactly, "drop and give my twenty!" but close). I have so many great memories. I LOVED living in COLORADO.
We just got accepted to an AEGD (one year residency program to become hospital certified) program in Colorado Springs. This is the TOUGHEST residency to get into because it is at the Air Force Academy and only the top 3% of cadets are accepted there. I have NO IDEA how Cameron has been able to do so well in school these past years. Since his second semester of college he's been a FAMILY MAN going to school. He is so good at BALANCING work, school, family, church. He IMPRESSES me more than I will ever be able to show him. I'm so proud of him. I KNOW that he will always take CARE of us. I NEVER DOUBT how much he loves me and our little boys. We are so LUCKY to have him. We LOVE you Cam. Congratulations on all your hard work, DEDICATION, and endurance (just a few more months!). You make us PROUD. Thank you for being such a GREAT HUSBAND and DAD.


My Three Pirates - ARGH!

We started celebrating in mid-October. We had a church party, of course. The next night it was adults only for a super fun party. The next week Landon took it into his own hands that we hadn't carved pumpkins yet and I found him at the kitchen table, knife in hand, digging into his pumpkin. (Needless to say we had a long talk about how pumpkin carving is only okay with Mom and Dad's help). So Landon drew a ghost on his pumpkin and called it good until Monday when we carved them for FHE.
Halloween day started at Landon's school where Austin, Zac and I watched the parade (Austin described all the kids as "silly not spooky"). Then we came home and Landon decorated our "Brain Pudding" (red jello with crushed pineapple) with a spooky jack-o-lantern face and made "dinner in a pumpkin". After dinner the kids and Cameron took off to trick or treat while I took care of our youngest pirate who has his first case of the sniffles.
The kids made a haul and had so much fun. They came back smelling like candle-lit pumpkins and crisp night air. It was a great night.

First Smiles

Those fleeting first smiles are so hard to catch on film! Little Zac has recently started smiling and we LOVE it! It is so fun that he is responding and and so alert. The best way to make him smile is to lay him on my lap and talk to him - thus the way too close, blurry pictures (sadly the photos do not do him justice!) but I had to show off his new skill.
He is growing so so fast, I can't even believe that almost two months has gone by since he came into our family. It has been a blur of excitement, that's for sure. It really is amazing how a parents capacity to love can just grow and grow. I know, a little sappy but those smiles just melt me!


Austin On...

Landon - "he's the best. I'm the best so he's the best."

Isaac - "Wake UP, Isaac, it's not dark yet."

Food without milk in it (especially, treats) - "it's MY cake? Yeah, Yeah, Yeah"

Birthday invitations - "my friends will like my party because I am giving them this letter." Every picture he draws lately is a birthday invitation and then he tells me how old he is - it's always a different number sometimes eight, sometimes five and sometimes a grown up.

Mittens - "you put your baby finger in the little sleeve and a lot and a lot of fingers in the big sleeve"

Carving Pumpkins - "Can we make a face in the pumpkin and rip the top off?"

Halloween - "I like Halloween but when's Christmas?

Being dropped off for a play date - "we have to bring my lunch bag and we need... (whatever he feels like eating that day)" He wont go to anyones house without his lunch bag.

His "blankie" - "I can't go to sleep without my truck blankie because I need my suck" Yes, that's right he sucks on the corners of his blanket and calls them his "sucks"

There are many more silly things Austin says and I always tell myself I need to write them down. But, of course by the time I get around to it I can't remember what they were. I just love my little Austin. He gives me a run for my money, that's for sure. He always has his own agenda and unless it's his idea it's usually impossible to talk him into anything else. How can one kid be so hard to live with and so hard to live without at the same time?


Fall in Iowa

I LOVE FALL! Apple picking, pumpkin pie (and bread and cookies and milkshakes...) apple cider, cool breezes, chili, leaves changing, jackets in the morning and t-shirts in the afternoon. I love everything about the fall. Iowa's fall is especially beautiful. Once you live here you learn to appreciate it fast - it's definitely the best time of the year here. The kids love it too. The best fall tradition is the pumpkin patch. The kids look forward to it as soon as the air gets cool. We love the apple orchard too. We go to Kent park and look at the leaves change. It's also the beginning of the holiday season. Now that Halloween is on the way it's hard not to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner. The magic is in the air...


Just Another Day in Paradise

If you've ever heard that Country Song you know what I'm talking about... How do you know when you've reached the epitomy of marital bliss? When you spend your 7th wedding anniversary at the hospital getting your sons tonsils out. Then to come home and your husband leaves you to ROTATE the tires on the car (did it HAVE to be done today?) in the house to take care of a crying, "my tongue hurts" 3 year old and a four week old baby, at the same time your five year old is trying to be helpful and spills a quart of blue gatorade all over the kitchen table, carpet, your cell phone (while you're breast feeding your baby), and himself - and then runs down the hall spreading the stickiness on the walls and door knobs as he goes. Then without warning some nice people, new to our ward, who I haven't met yet (who came to bring dinner and I am truely grateful for) walk in (at the invitation of Cameron) on me nursing Isaac in all my naked glory - the poor husband just turned his head and walked back downstairs. Finally, after the dust settled and we got the kids to bed, we spent the evening doing the dishes and laundry. We did, however, top our night of by watching Grey's Anatomy before going to bed only to spend to night waking up every three hours to give Austin Tylenol and feed Isaac.
It is only when you've spent an anniversary like this that you realize, this is what family is all about. Taking care of each other with no expectations. Thank Goodness we love each other unconditionally. Also, maybe the exact day you got married isn't necessarily the best day to celebrate your wedding! I think we'll be celebrating next week.


Yes It's All Worth It

The laundry is piled everywhere. My hair is definitely suffering. I'm covered in baby "goop". I don't remember what it feels like to get a good night's sleep. Austin takes advantage of my half hour feeding sessions to destroy my house or help himself to whatever he can find in the fridge (cold hotdogs, unwashed grapes, 4 soy yogurts all half eaten..). Cameron and I spent half of our date night on Saturday sitting in the car feeding, diapering, and burping Isaac.
Is it overwhelming? Actually, no. I love it! In the words of my good friend Kasey, "It's no big deal, just throw the baby into the mix." I took her words to heart - We just threw Z into our family and carried on! The kids love him. They really like to help out - especially Austin. He thinks Z is his baby. We are having a blast. So... yeah, it's tough sometimes, like trying to get Landon to school in the morning with temper tantrum throwing Austin and a hungry baby and Landon telling me he doesn't know how to get dressed by himself (as if he hasn't been doing it for the past three years), but overall it definitely worth it!


Landon in his element

I volunteered for Landon's class at school today. It was so fun to see him doing all the things he always tells me about. He was gone part of the time I was there, doing an accelerated reading program, but I took the opportunity to get to know his "best" friends, discover "the kid that's always in trouble" and adopt a girl that just wouldn't leave me alone!
He's got a great teacher. Actually, everyone I talked to was so nice and complimentary to Landon. It really made me feel comfortable that he's doing well and going to such a good school.
I loved that he was so excited for me to come and see his sharing time, help make clown art, and see him in action. He was on his best behavior, raising his hand and saying please, even chewing with his mouth closed! I'm really thankful that I'm so lucky to be able to be a hands on mom. The only problem: "Mom, can you PLEASE come every day?"


The big 03 - can you say SPOILED

So Cute!!

Cameron reading Austin's Scooby Doo card from Grandma and Grandpa Perigo (you should hear Cam's impression of Scooby Doo - it's pretty good!)

Austin got two Spider Man costumes and a pair of jammies for his B-day. Now him and Landon take turns being the "good" Spiderman and the "bad" Spiderman
Austin pretends he's Spiderman all the time - yes even in his sleep I've heard him say, "no, I'm Spiderman".

Spiderman Jammies from Grandma and Grandpa and a bike from Dad - what more could a kid want?

Austin's non-dairy cake in the back of the van - we had to keep the wind away from the candles

Austin has been planing this year's birthday party since May, when Landon had his. I sort of hoped he'd forget but he didn't. Every day for the last two weeks he asked, "is it my party yet?" So Friday he took banana bread muffins to preschool for his birthday "cake". We had spaghetti with sausage for dinner and he opened his presents from Grandma Perigo. She knows how to spoil a kid that's for sure! He was thrilled! I also gave him a couple things from his "wish list" and then Cameron decided to buy him a new bike on the way home. He LOVED it.

That was all before his party on Saturday. We invited a lot of the three year olds he plays with (I didn't want the older kids to be bored with the games so it was a party for threes only!) He wanted a Hot Wheels (go figure - is obsession with cars genetic?) party. We had a Hot Wheels coloring page, Hot Wheels car races, an obstacle course, and a "name that car part" game. The kids were awesome. They all took turns and were on their best behavior - easiest party I've ever done. Austin loved it. Every time he opened a present he said, "wow, thanks mom!" He loved everything he got. He was thrilled when he saw his cake. It's the first non-dairy cake he's ever had, actually decorated. I didn't think it was too pretty but he loved it. Austin was so happy with his party. He said everyone that came was his best friend.


Pregnancy Update

Well... we may have that 5th little Perigo sometime soon (A girl can hope right?!). Today my doctor decided that next Thursday she is going to try to turn the baby - Yep, it's breach. So two doctors will manually try and turn the kid around from outside my belly. There is a 60% chance that it will work fine and have no complications. In that case they will just let me go into labor whenever my body will do it. The other 40% chance is that either my water will break and they'll do a C-section, or the baby will go into distress and they'll do a C-section, or the baby wont turn and they'll do a C-section or the baby will turn and then turn back and, you guessed it, they'll do a C-section. As I've told anyone that will listen - I DON'T WANT A C-SECTION - I'm really banking on the 60% chance the doctors will turn it and everything will be fine. Most likely I wont be having the baby on Thursday but just in case here's a heads up.


Adventures of the FIRST DAY

I couldn't be any more PROUD of Landon. He was SO excited to go to school and ride the bus. There was a LOT of confusion with the buses (the school kept telling me to call Clear Creek transportation and they kept telling me to call the school) - we didn't even know exactly where our bus stop would be. At 7:30 this morning we started walking down the block to see if we could see any kids. Turns out there is one 1st grader on his bus and the rest are all older than 4th grade (the bus drops off the middle school and high school kids too). You have NO idea how I wanted to beg him to let me just drive. I didn't want to make him afraid of school so I held back the tears and wished him luck. He got on the bus without either of us knowing how he was going to find his classroom and teacher. All I could do was say a prayer and fight the urge to follow the bus to the school. (I finally had to call the school at 8:45, though, to make sure he got there safe. I didn't know how hard it would be for me to see him get on a bus full of BIG kids). I told him to just follow the bigger kids into the school and then ask a teacher where his class room was.
When he got home he told me he was "a little afraid" so he did what I said but when he found a teacher he couldn't talk so he just handed her a note I had put in his backpack, just in case. It had his name, his teachers name and his phone number on it. The teacher read it and took him right to his class.
I'm just so proud of him because he was REALLY BRAVE. He didn't know anyone and he got himself to a teacher so he could find his class. He came home happy and tired. He told us all about the playground (where he and his "new friends" chased each other), the "yucky" watermelon (he "didn't get in trouble for throwing away") for lunch, the library (that had a lion made out of books in it), and the thing he was happiest about: "my teacher likes me the best!"


The Wedding

My new Sister-in-Law with her NEPHEW not her son - she is wearing white of course!!
Cameron and Alina - Alina said this was the best thing about the wedding, dancing with Cameron. Looks like Cam liked it too!
Family Picture: Where are we looking and why am I slouching?
Jared and Kendra - Yes it's been a long day. Alina looks like she could use a nap too
Da boys - my kids LOVE their Uncle Jared - They really thought they could talk him into taking them on his honeymoon with him - Um, not a chance!

The reason we drove 1100 miles TWICE in 5 days. This is a tribute to how much we love my brother. How could you not love the guy? Although, it was definitely the worse drive I've made in my existence it was WORTH IT! Stephanie is great and I'm glad she's in the fam. The wedding was totally laid back and so much fun. I loved seeing all my family and friends. These pictures do not do it justice. We must have been all pictured out by the time my camera got a glimpse of anyone. It was still awesome.


FHE at Lake Mcbride

Well, Cameron didn't dust my plant ledges while I was gone like I wanted him to, but he did find a great spot for us to spend Family Night. Last night we went to Lake Mcbride and it was so much fun. Such a cute little spot to rent paddle boats and paddle around the lake (as if you could paddle around the whole thing...those boats are NOT meant to go fast!!). Just two words of advice - BUG SPRAY and BRING YOUR OWN LIFE JACKETS (those ones were naa-stee!) All in all, though, it's a great way to spend Family Night.