E i g H t

Landon turned EIGHT! I can't believe it. Where have the years gone?... It seems like yesterday... cliche? Yes. But still... How'd my little boy grow up so fast?

As always we celebrated for DAYS!! (and we still have a pool party with friends, coming up after Memorial Day). We started the festivities with treats at school. Landon wanted a Falcon birthday. He's really into birds lately; watching them, reading books about them, guessing what kind they are when he sees them. It started during Air Force Academy Football - the trained Falcons put on an AWESOME half-time show. Then my mom got us a bird feeder for Christmas - the boys, especially Landon, have loved watching the birds outside our window. His love of birds was solidified when we watched the Bird episode of Life on Discovery - very cool, birds are. So, anyway, he wanted his party to be falcon-themed.

pretend it doesn't look like their heads are growing out of the flowers!! Cameron brought them home from work for me - love that guy! - the other day and I didn't move them for the picture .
My mom drove down for Landon's little family birthday party. She got him an awesome collectible book about Legos - seriously awesome - it combined two of Landon's favorite things: Legos and Reading. He's been taking to school with him and reading it before and after school since she gave it to him. He's also been looking for the lego sets he wants on Ebay & Amazon so he can use the money G&G Perigo sent.

Landon wanted Concrete Mud Pie - the kind from Wingers. Hmm... how to make a falcon-themed mud pie? I did my best I tell ya. It tasted good.

Cameron got Landon a pocket knife to use for scouts and camping and because "it's time for him to have a knife". Should have seen them... so that's what they mean by "male bonding"!

The next day, after my mom went back home to Utah, Cameron took off work and Landon stayed home from school so we could go to the Birds of Prey Conservation Center in Boise. It was really cool. They were just opening a Condor display so that was neat to be among the first to see them. (They're HUGE, by the way)

We ended his birthday at Fudruckers - his favorite spot for dinner. A Good, Happy Birthday.


Lando-Comando, you are one cool kid. The older you get the funner you are to have around. You talk about silly things but you also want to have serious talks too. You help me out. You take care of your brothers. You're good about turning off the wii when your times up. You can be bribed with any kind of sweet treat. You still won't touch veggies most of the time - except cucumbers and carrots with ranch and broccoli with vinegar. You impress me by how easily you can accomplish what you want to do. All you have to do is decide you want to do it and you get it done, even if you have to work hard to do it. I love watching you play sports. This past month has been so busy with baseball but it's worth it, to watch you slide into home base with such determination in your eyes. I love ya dude.


Better {LaTe} than Never

This is my "picture of the day" for Mother's Day this year... It was a busy day... went to church... sat with all 4 kids, alone, while Cameron sat at the front and gave a talk during Sacrament meeting (I got a compliment on how good the boys were - they sat and listened/read their Friend magazines quietly the whole time. Ella slept in her little car seat) ...listened to my sweeties sing me their cute songs with the primary (Austin was MOST excited about singing to me)...taught YW...came home and spent the afternoon cooking because I had to bring dinner to a lady in the ward who'd just had a baby (Cameron helped me and helped me clean up, I should have made something simpler - didn't realize chicken cordon blue would take me all afternoon)...wished I was outside on a walk, instead of inside cooking...opened my little home-made Mother's Day gifts - I love these! Besides what he made me at school, Landon even gave a big plastic bag full of candy bars from his Halloween stash (yes, he still has Halloween candy in his top drawer!), which was a big deal because he's been saving them for... I don't know what... but you gotta know Landon to know giving me his candy means he REALLY loves me! Austin planted some flower seeds in a little pot he painted. He wouldn't let me take a picture of him with it because Isaac tripped on it and knocked it over.

I loVe LoVE lOvE my kids. Who knew being a mom would be such an awesome blessing... and who knew being a mom would be SO much work. It's not easy. And sometimes the rewards are hard to see (like the day I went to Austin's preschool class for his "Mother's Day Tea" and I told him I got a babysitter for the other kids so I could take him to lunch after, just me and him. He cried because he wanted to go home and play with Hannah, the babysitter... just can't win sometimes!) But everyday each one of my kids does something that makes me smile, and I remember I do have a purpose.


In Cameron's Sacrement talk he quoted Jeffrey R. Holland from a General Conference address. I've thought a lot about what this woman writes. Not only do I relate, but it sums up my feelings on Motherhood and puts it into perspective:
"One young mother wrote me recently that her anxiety tended to come on three fronts. One was that whenever she heard talks on LDS motherhood, she worried because she felt she didn't measure up and wouldn't be equal to the task. Second, she felt like the world expected her to teach her children reading, writing, interior design, Latin, calculus, and the Internet - all before the baby said something terribly ordinary, like 'goo-goo'. Third , she often felt people were sometimes patronizing, almost always without meaning to be, because the advice she got or even the compliments she recieved seemed to reflect nothing of the mental investment, the spiritual and emotional exertion, the long-night, long-day, stretched-to-the-limit demands that sometimes are required in trying to be and wanting to be the mother God hopes she will be.
"But one thing, she said, keeps her going: 'Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God's work. I know that in my motherhood I am in an eternal partnership with Him. I am deeply moved that God finds His ultimate purpose and meaning in being a parent, even if some of His children make Him weep.
" 'It is this realization,' she says, 'that I try to recall on those inevitably difficult days when all of this can be a bit overwhelming. Maybe it is precisely our inability and anxiousness that urge us to reach out to Him and enhance His ability to reach back to us. Maybe He secretly hopes we will be anxious,' she said, 'and will plead for His help. Then, I believe, He can teach these children directly, through us, but with no resistance offered. I like that idea,' she concludes. 'It gives me hope. If I can be right before my Father in Heaven, perhaps His guidance to our children can be unimpended. Maybe then it can be His work and His glory in a very literal sense.' "
To all the wonderful women in my life: Happy {belated} Mother's day!!


The C..U..R..S..E..

The last two weeks all 4 of my kids have looked like this...
allergy eyes (people in the "know" call them allergic shiners)...

...and blank stares - her eyes aren't quite as swollen but she has the dark circles and "headache stare". I was hoping she wouldn't succomb to the allergy curse that my kids all have; apperently she has. She gets eczema when I drink milk, and all the other symptoms of allergies. Doctors won't treat her for allergies until she's one; so we're just treating her symptoms {and I'm not drinking milk while breastfeeding}

I've been to the pediatrician twice and Urgent Care three times in the past two weeks (one of those times was for Isaac's concusion - read on - but the rest were all allergy related). My house has turned into a pharmacy - at least I feel like it. This is just the medicine for the boys. I have to label everyhting so I don't get mixed up. Ella is on prednisone and allbuteral/nebulizer treatments right now too

Lukily, the inhaler and Singulair is doing a good job for Isaac. His biggest problem is that he doesn't listen to ANYONE! Seriously, if he makes it to 3 it'll be a miracle. Here's a few crazy things he's been doing (within the last week):
*tried to cook himself an egg - really. cracked it into the skillet (and all down the front of the oven) on the stove. Thank GOODNESS he couldn't reach the knobs to turn it on.
*stood on the bar stool and tipped it over into the wall
*burned himself on an electric fence - after at least 2 adults told him not to touch it,
*figured out how to open the garage door and he is constantly running outside and playing, often times in the middle of the street.
*got his second concusion of his life, falling off a swing at the park
*tries to take medicine because he "yikes it".
Landon has a referall in to ENT. Hopefully it will be processed soon so I can get him in ASAP. He can't even breathe through his nose.... he gasps for air inbetween words or bites of food.
Ella is recovering from this episode. They say she has an "irritable airway". Any time something she's "sensitive" (they don't say allergic until kids are one) to makes its way into her system she wheezes, which needs to be treated with albuteral.
Austin has the CURSE the worst. The other day someone brought over muffins with almonds and chocolate chips in them. Austin reached his breaking point when he realized he couldn't have one. He threw a full-on 30 minute temper tantrum. It was quite heart-breaking, actually, because as he kept screaming, "It's NOT FAIR!!" all I could think was, "I know. It's not fair." I tried to explain that I understood how he felt. It's something that helps make him who he is. I told him we could make some applesauce muffins. He just cried and cried. As he gets closer to Kindergarten my stomach hurts with worry. What if he decides he doesn't care about his allergies and eats something he shouldn't? What if the kids make fun of him for not eating something? What if I don't send a special snack for him on a day that someone brings treats and he has nothing to eat? Why can't the school be a peanut free school? What if the teacher can't get his Epi Pen in time because it's locked in the nurses office? The worries don't go away. Every time I talk to the school or the allergist I voice my worries and every time I get the same answers that don't make me feel better.
I'm grateful that my kids "ailments" are all treatable. I cry for friends whose kids have to endure much worse (my friend's 6 year old has undergone 6 rounds of chemo, 2 surgeries, a bone marrow transplant, going septic, and all the HORRIBLE side effects of it all). I feel lucky that my kids are healthy. But as another friend told me hard is hard. And right now things have been a little hard for all of us around here. So if you've wondered what we've been up to: just keeping our heads above water until we can get all of us healthy (and Isaac to listen to us, at least a little!)


Summer Preview

popsicle mouth
allergy eyes
lightsabers (and/or nerf guns)
just add short sleeves, flip-flops, an inflatable pool, and a couple of brothers and this is what our summer will look like...
It's Gonna Be FUN!



A {GLIMPSE} of our LiVeS through some INTERESTING recent conversations....
*** I went into Landon's room to make sure he was awake and getting ready for school. (I had just rolled out of bed, myself)
L: "Mom. On Zach and Cody Cody said, 'don't say my mom is pretty! You should see what she looks like in the morning!!' I understand what he was talking about now."
*** Background info: we've been watching the "LIFE" series on Discovery - the kids love it and they're learning a lot about animals, including mating rituals. I recently talked to Landon about "where babies come from". I used his health book and told him how the parts fit together and what they do. Nothing more than that - he didn't ask and I didn't tell, except to say that only a husband and wife can have a baby (I guess I need to clarify and say only a husband and wife SHOULD have a baby)....
After looking at our sea monkeys Landon asked if they mate. I told him I was pretty sure they did. Austin asked Landon, "what does that mean? Mate?"
L: "It means when two animals get married, they hold tails so they can lay eggs or have babies"
***Austin, while patting my stomach: "Huh? I don't get it. You don't have a baby in there anymore. Why is it still so big?" [I'd like to know the answer to that too!]
***At Walmart, after asking for at least one thing on every other aisle we'd been on.
A: "Mom! Popsicles! Please, Please, PLLLLEASE..."
M: "no. sorry. everytime I get that kind you guys leave them on the counter to turn them back into juice. They leak all over. I'd rather just buy you juice."
A: "mom. please?"
Random Walmart Customer: "yeah mom. please."
[Is she kidding? I give her a look that I hope says, "thanks but I don't need your help here."]
A: "Mom! Please? I love these kind."
[now it's a bit of a power struggle and I've already given in at least 5 other times earlier in the store and I really feel like I can't give in.]
M: "No Austin."
Random Walmart Customer: "They're just popsicles."
A: "Yeah just popsicles, PLEAAAASE."
M: "Austin. If you didn't ask for something on EVERY aisle I might be able to get them for you. I've already got a ton of stuff just because you asked for it. You can't get everything you want. Stop asking and come on. NOW."
[Dear Random Walmart Lady: while I appreciate that they were only 2 dollar popsicles - multiply that by 3 kids' 10 "2 dollar desires" per shopping trip and add that to how many times I go to the store a week and there you go - I can't afford it. Plus, my kids are really not neglected. In fact they are quite indulged. I don't think they need to be indulged ALL the time. Please just mind your own business.... feels good to get that off my chest!]
***At the pediatricians office for an ENT referal for Landon.
Doc: "looks like he might have some sinus problems that would benefit from ENT. They just drill out the sinus' to make them bigger. Nasty, painful surgery I wouldn't want it."
later after the doctor leaves the room, Landon's eyes fill up with tears.
L: "I don't want surgery!! It's going to hurt. I'm going to have holes in my face!!"
M: "Landon we don't know you need that. The doctor was just saying it was a possibility. He was trying to say you're breathing problems can be fixed. It would be great if you could breath through your nose. But the ENT might know a better way than surgery."
L: "But he said!!! And even he wouldn't want it. And every one will see the holes in my face..."
[uh, hello? doctor? why would you say that? just wondering]
***M: Austin put that lotion on your itchies but don't get any on my bed, k?
Isaac [said in that sing song playground mockery voice]: ha ha I just got lotion on your bed!! [that kid is a R-A-S-C-A-L sometimes. lotion on my dry clean only bedspread and pillow sham... I swear he did it just because I told Austin not to. grrrr...]
*** after looking at the bank account...
Cameron: $200.00 at Costco, huh?
Me: "two kids in diapers, wipes, laundry detergent, turkey sausage [the only protein Austin's not allergic to and will eat in the mornings] fruit, soy milk, string cheese. Believe me, there's a lot of other stuff I'd rather spend the money on too!"
***while eating breakfast after fighting ALL morning:
L: "Austin I love ya"
A: "I love ya too Landon"


Earth Day Family Night

So, it wasn't really Earth Day, nor was it Monday {our designated Family Night}. But even so, we celebrated Earth Day for Family Night. A couple weeks ago Austin began picking up EVERY tiny piece of trash he saw EVERYWHERE and telling me how we shouldn't litter. Then he started asking me if we could walk instead of drive our car. Apparently he was learning about Earth Day at school. So I asked him if he wanted to celebrate it as a family.
Together we decided on Earth Day we would take a walk around the neighborhood and pick up trash (sad to say, there's plenty around here that blows in and gets tangled in the sticker weeds in the empty lots), we would plant something, and for dinner everything we would eat would come from the earth. And of course we would have rainbow cupcakes for dessert.
We were in Utah for Jared's graduation on Earth Day so we celebrated it this week. And we did it in stages, because our evenings are chaotic {baseball twice a week, Elder's Quorm on Tuesdays (Cameron's the new President), Young Women's on Wednsdays, and this week we also had Austin's preschool art show to go to on Friday}

Tuesday night we had our "earth dinner" and cupcakes. Talked about how God created the Earth and we should take care of it and keep it beautiful.

Yesterday we did our planting. Since I bought the stuff I got to choose what to plant! We planted my favorite herbs: basil, cilantro, and Italian parsley. And we've just been picking up trash all week.
The kids loved this and want to do it every year. So, I guess it's our new tradition.

And since late is better than never here's Ella's {THREE} month picture. I can NOT believe how fast the time has gone. Life has pretty much gotten back to normal around here. Cameron and I even got to go out on a date Saturday night! We took her with us, but if we didn't have the big ol' car seat to carry around we wouldn't even have known she was there - she slept the whole time.

At three months Ella is:

  • awake a lot more during the day - she just hangs out, kicking and punching, cooing, and looking around
  • sleeping well (depending on when she goes to bed she wakes up once between 2:30 and 6:30 in the morning).
  • eating about every 3-4 hours a day
  • smiling ALL the time
  • giving us a few little giggles - still waiting for big belly laughs
  • playing {holding for a few seconds at a time and rubbing} with squishy little toys
  • rubbing her blankets and pulling at her clothes (or mine - she loves to rub my shirt when I'm feeding her). When she gets sad and I can't hold her (especially while we're driving), usually a blanket (or burp cloth) to hold will satisfy her.
  • she knows when she has her "lovey" (a crocheted mini-blanket) it's time to sleep - and she goes to sleep on her own, with her lovey and her musical mobile turned on
  • a CHUB-A-LUB! She has fat cheeks and a double chin and baby fat rolls everywhere! She weighs 14 pounds and is quickly growing out of her 3-6 month clothes. She wears size 3 diapers. But, I must say, she holds her weight well. She's adorable!
  • the SWEETEST little thing I could ask for. She is truely peaceful. Just happy and content.


a little {SuNShiNe}

This boy can carry a tune. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear him sing. He often walks around the house singing away [just like his Dad!]. His favorite song right now is "You are My Sunshine". We sing it to Ella when she cries.

Other favorite songs right {now} are: I am a Child of God, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam, Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee, Follow the Prophet