Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thanks Mom, Thanks Dad!

I really dread the weekends that Kydon is in school. I know in my head it really isn't that bad- it is only every other weekend for only 18 months, and he graduates in December. It is only Friday night and Saturday that he is gone (and usually he is home in time to help with bedtime on Saturday night). I know so many women have it a lot worse than I do- husbands that work a lot, travel a lot, are in the military and gone for months or years at a time, or even women with kids and no husband at all. But even though I tell myself this, I still feel sorry for myself. And I dread the weekends that he is gone. I just want to take this time to thank my parents, who so far, have helped me through every weekend. And when I pack up to leave, every time she says 'you are welcome to stay longer'.

Abigail watching a movie with Grandma

I know there are things my mom would rather do with her time. We quite often show up unannounced on Friday afternoon, with me and the kids all in a funky mood, and don't know where else to go. We are always welcomed with open arms, juice, and snacks. We then hang out for way too long, and are usually offered dinner. Then Saturday we find some excuse to 'drop by', and my parents just take us in, hang out with us, and help me get through. Mom has watched countless movies, gone shoe shopping, helped me take the kids to a veggie tales movie (hey- it was something to do!), and let us play and talk at her house for hours on end. And cleans up after us, every time.


Jack and Aidan 'helping' Grandpa in the yard

So once again, thanks Mom and Dad, for helping me out all these times!

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Plan

Catherine sent me a huge email with really fun links. Who knew so many people were into Monster Truck birthday parties? And while most of the things required way too much work (too much work is defined as something I can't put together about 30 min before the party starts), there were some really fun ideas. So of course I have been thinking of nothing else today, and now I have 'The Plan'!

First, I thought this cake was AWESOME!! And to make it more my style, I can just use a real toy truck, instead of the cute but hard cake truck they have here. So basically it looks like just a smashed up layer cake with frosting drizzles and burned marshmallows. That I can do.


I think I will also have some chocolate doughnuts (think tires) as part of the food. And get some hilarious monster truck plates, plus some other regular food and call it good.

For games, I think we might just set up some sort of obstacle course that they can drive all their monster trucks on. That is all they ever want to do anyway! I think some plates, a cake and one game is pretty good for a 3rd birthday. And to lend even more evidence to the fact that they should only be 2 this year, every time you ask either one how old he is, they both say 'one'. See? I was right. Maybe we will make this their 2 year old party. Would they hate me later? Will they anyway, even if I don't change their age? Something to think about.......

Birthday musings

The boys are almost 3!! I can't believe it. I keep thinking about it, and just can't believe it. Maybe because that first year with preemie newborn twins and a one year old is such a blur and I have mostly blocked it out of my memory? But seriously, they should be turning 2 this year.

Anyway, my confusion aside, they want a birthday party. I'm not that big into kids parties, and we usually just have the family over (and believe me, we have enough family around to make it one crazy fun party). But this year they want a party. With Monster trucks (what else). El Toro Loco being our new favorite. So how in the world do I do a 3 year old party with monster trucks??

Pin the wheel on the truck? Car smashing races? I am sooooo not creative. And who do I invite? Their only friends are each other, because Mom is too tired to meet anyone new. I asked them who they wanted to invite, and they could only name Tyler (a cousin), Uncle Russ and Aunt Catherine. And Abigail made it clear that she did NOT want to come. Of course.

I wonder if they would buy it if we just had the family over and watched their monster jam movie that we watch once or twice a week. Hmmm.... it might work. And we could smash some cupcakes...

If anyone has ideas, please, please tell me! I want to make their dreams come true, I just don't want to have to work too hard to do it, LOL. And don't give ideas that require a lot of time or effort. It just won't happen. And I will feel bad for not doing the really cool idea. So keep the hard ones to yourself and give me the easy cop-out ideas!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Aidan-isms

My cute little boy Aidan comes up with the funniest and cutest things to say. It isn't quite the same without his sweet little voice, but oh well. Here are a few of his frequently repeated phrases:

After sneezing: Bless you me
When wanting a snack: My tummy not bowl (full) yet
When wanting to be held: Nobody not hoeding (holding) me
When I put him in time out, or reprimand him (said in a bubbly, sweet voice): Well, dat not berry (very) nice
When we aren't paying attention to him: Nobody not talking to me
And my favorite: Wub you, mommy (love you, mommy)

I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones that I thought of today. He always brings a smile to my day!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Trip to NC/ Trying again

Angela, Shanna, Aidan, Jack, Alec, and Peyton


Ok, here we go again trying to get all the details from the trip down!

We started out Friday afternoon. Kydon actually took the day off from all 6 of his jobs, so we got to have him ALL DAY! It was awesome. We decided to stay around here in the morning, and then let the boys get their naps, since we knew they would be sleep-deprived the rest of the weekend. We left here around 2, and with a few stops, arrived in NC at about 8:30.

Pam, Ashley, Angela, Cody and Peyton all came to the hotel that night to see us. It was great, because the kids had a chance to warm up to a few people before seeing the crowds on Saturday. Cody was great, throwing the boys in the air and on the bed. They were laughing so hard they couldn't even talk! And Jack gave him the highest compliment the boy can think of, calling him a 'mean guy'. To Jack, there is no higher praise! Then they had a thrilling game of hide and seek with Angela and Ashley. I never knew there were so many places to hide in a hotel room! The best was when Pam put Aidan in the dresser drawer- that took a while to find! :)

Saturday started with our traditional Farmhouse breakfast (we love that place). We got to see Kendall and Brenda, Jackie, Pam, Alec, Ashley, and some of the kids. I got a bonus by actually being able to have half a conversation with Kendall and Brenda, and I even managed a few bites of food. Total bonus, since I rarely enter a restaurant expecting the be able to eat or talk.

After breakfast, we went back to Pam's, where we relaxed and got the kids ready for pictures. Abigail for once let me fix her hair just the way I wanted, and I gotta tell you, it turned out so adorable! They had 10 kids in the picture. The boys wore white button down shirts with the sleeves rolled up and jeans, and the girls wore white tanks and jean capri's. They all looked SO cute! The problem was that we tried to take a picture of 10 kids- age 11, 9, 7, 5, 4, 2, 2, 1, 1, 10 months. Wow, what a disaster!! The babies were all screaming and crying, the toddlers were running away, and the older kids sat where we told them, but practiced their subtle sabotage by crossing eyes, turning heads, and never looking at the camera. Hopefully we got one half way decent shot!

While we were at the picture place, Damien came by with his brothers. We haven't seen him in a long time, and have never met any of his family, so it was great to see and meet them. Unfortunately, I was in the midst of jumping around like a monkey trying to get the kids to cooperate with the picture, so I didn't get to talk to them much. Kydon was able to, though, so that was great. And Damien ended up staying around the rest of the day, so we talked later on.

After all that, we just needed to relax! So back to Pam's, with her amazing huge yard and all the fun things. The kids just ran around and played. We got to see more of the family- Rodney, Joyce, Joey, Cody's dad, Alex, and probably more that are not coming to me right now. Kydon talked to people, and watched the kids, and I helped out in the kitchen. They made us a fantastic spaghetti dinner with yummy meatballs, bread, salad, the whole works. It was such a nice day! I love that the kids are getting to the age where I just need to check on them every few minutes, I don't have to stay right there with them. After dinner they had prepared an egg hunt where the kids got so spoiled with candy, toys, and presents. They loved it, of course! We stayed until about 8:00, and then had to leave to go home.

We often joke that the boys love of Monster Trucks must be genetic, since no one in either of our families knows anything about monster trucks. This theory now has even more evidence, since Angela and Alec knew all about Monster trucks, and generously gave Jack and Aidan a new Grave Digger, Back Draft and Pouncer. Damien also is pretty involved with the monster truck shows, so it must be the DNA! :)

It was also nice to see that Aidan fits in! We have all brown hair and brown eyes in our family, but both of Angela's other sons have blond hair and blue eyes. It was fun to see him and Jack run around, because they really do resemble people in that family.

I love how welcoming and warm they always are with us. We just feel like we fit right in as part of the family. They never make us feel awkward or uncomfortable. They show us so much love and acceptance. I really appreciate that. The other thing that I really appreciate is their inclusion toward Abigail. They treat her no differently from Jack and Aidan, and I appreciate that. I have talked to other adoptive families who aren't so lucky, and they talk about their kids sometimes feeling left out when they visit a birthfamily. There is none of that here. Sometimes I think Abigail might get more attention! :) The week leading up to the visit, of course we were reading their adoption stories, and talking about the visit, and Abigail said 'when do we get to see my birthmom'? It is hard, since we are so far away from each other. But once we got there, she did not feel any jealousy or left out at all, and that is wonderful.
The boys were much more interested in playing and eating than in taking pictures, so it was hard to get good shots, but we managed a few! You can see more if you click the link to the right that says 'more pictures'.

Who's who:
Angela- Jack and Aidan's birthmom
Damien- Jack and Aidan's birthfather
Pam- Angela's mother
Joyce- Pam's mother, Angela's Grandmother
Joey, Rodney, Ashley, Alex- Angela's siblings
Kendall and Brenda, Jackie- Pam's siblings
Alec and Peyton- Angela's kids
Cody- Angela's boyfriend, Peyton's father

Got all that??? There will be a quiz later, LOL! There are more people, but I will leave it at that!


Damien with Kydon, Aidan, Abigail and Jack

Angela and Jack- we had to bribe him with juice to get this shot!


Aidan helping Angela hide the eggs
Aidan, Angela and Peyton
Cody with Jack, Aidan and Peyton

Sunday, March 23, 2008

True Meaning of Easter

Today when I picked Abigail up from her class, she had this cute little craft project, with all these flowers, and on the stems were written 'Jesus died for me', 'He lives again', that sort of thing. So I bent down, and looked at it, and I said 'Abigail, tell me about this beautiful picture'. She responded 'Jesus died on the Cross, and now we have flowers'.

Um, yeah, something like that! Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Excited!

I'm so excited!! Tomorrow we leave to go to North Carolina, to visit the boys' birth family! This is a pic from last year. We tried to go in the fall, but got too busy, and it didn't happen. So it has been just under a year from our last visit. It will be fun to catch up with everyone and see how they are all doing. We speak by phone, but it just isn't the same as seeing them.

I just love open adoption!! I could go on and on and on about it. I love that my children will have a link to their biological heritage. I love that if they ever have questions about where they came from or traits they inherited, or whatever, they can just ask. They will never have to have fantasies about who their birth parents are- they can know! I love that the birthfamily can have contact with them, know that they are ok, watch them grow. I love that it has helped their healing to be able to see them and have information about us and them. I love that I can have relationships with people who are awsome, and I probably would have never met without us having this link. I love that there are people who I can brag about my kids all I want, and they totally agree!

I will post about our visit when we get back. We always have a lot of fun when we go, so I can't wait! :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Squirrel

Kydon has a theory about materialism. I hope I can explain it simply and accurately. He really hates people who buy useless things. So much does he dislike this happening that he talks and thinks about it a lot. So much so that he has developed a Theory. He says that people are like squirrels, they run around buying up useless things for the sole purpose of running home and 'squirreling' it away in their little homes.

Kydon's problem now is that his daughter is a true Squirrel with a capital 'S'. She delights in nothing more than finding a container and filling it with items. Doesn't really matter that much what the container is, or what the items are.... if she has something that can hold stuff, and a bunch of stuff to put in it, she is happy. I frequently do 'purse checks' to find little things I might be missing (and to check for food. Crackers and small bits of food are excellent squirrely items). Here is our most recent check:

Items of note: 3 play cell phones, her beloved Strawberry Shortcake doll (and by beloved, I mean that it fits in most purses/bags, plus has several tiny accessories, and is therefore highly useful), 6 erasers (we got 2 for each kid- she has all 6), 2 doll blankets, a belt (just in case), all the stickers that she gets from the doctor office (she only rarely sticks them on things- they are much more valuable as things to be gathered), several small notebooks, a nerf toy that is Jack's, a few pens that will not be making it back in the purse, and my favorite- another little duck purse that is also stuffed with small items.

She has been doing this ever since her little fingers had the small motor control to stuff things. Here is a purse check from when she was only 2:

This shows one of her favorite squirrely items- the paper tags that come on new clothes. She LOVES them. Carries them around for weeks. Once we were at a store, and she did her usual 'lets ask mom for every pink thing I see', and I responded with my usual 'did you bring your own money??' Well, this time she surprised me by getting all excited and saying 'YES'!! She then pulls out her purse and hands me about 10 clothing tags that she had been saving to 'buy something special'.

Ok, I might be the only one who cares to read this whole thing, but I think she is totally adorable. And I just felt the need to share with all of you how completely adorable she is! Plus I know her birthmom reads this, and she likes all these stories!


Magical harmony

Last night was one of those magical nights. Everyone got along, everyone was happy! We did our Monday night family night, and we have been talking all about Easter and Jesus, so we decided to go the other 'Easter' route and decorate eggs. They each got to dye 3 eggs, and then crack them and eat them squish them between their fingers. The amazing thing was how happy every single one of us was. There was no frustration, no crying, no spilling, no tantrums, no impatience. Kydon and I both mentioned our amazement at the feat. It is moments like this that make the world seem wonderful. All is beautiful and satisfying and magical.







Abigail didn't want to be interrupted to take a picture- but I love it, because she gives me this look all the time and I'm glad I got it on film!!

Of course, it didn't last all night..... Abigail was up from midnight to 1:30, Aidan woke up around 2 and would NOT go back to sleep. His struggles woke up Jack, who also would NOT go back to sleep. I think I looked around at about 3:45 and we were all 5 awake and mad or crying. We finally crashed- Aidan in his bed, Abigail and Jack in our bed..... and when you have a queen size bed, 2 over-grown adults and 2 wiggly kids, it isn't exactly a recipe for deep slumber. But YESTERDAY.... yesterday we had a moment of perfect harmony. We will try to remember that through all the sleep-deprived tantrums of today (and yes, I am talking about myself).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Coin Collecting




How many of you out there are into coin collecting?? Yea, me neither. However, my dear Grandmother is. Way back in 1998, when the new state quarters were about to come out, she gave me these little books to collect them in. So for almost 10 years now, I have been diligently checking each and every quarter that comes my way in the hopes that it will fit into one of those little spots (which suck, by the way, because you have to push really hard to get them in, and then they just fall out for no reason). So as I am *almost* finished with the 1999-2003 book (I am only missing the Ohio quarter from the Pennsylvania mint), I started reflecting on my small coin collection.

As in, why the heck am I doing this?? I hate coin collecting, to the point that I actually throw away pennies, rather than keep them around. And while it is mildly satisfying to find a quarter that brings me 25 cents closer to completing my collection, what the heck am I going to do with 2 weird sized books full of quarters?? It's not like I can pull them out at parties and show them off (although maybe I could at a family party, since my Grandmother inflicted all of us with the books and some of my siblings actually would be impressed by it- I know I would be if they brought out theirs).

To that end, I also have a 'proof set', which is a collection of coins from the year you were born that have never been in circulation. Mine is worth exactly $1.91. Several times I have been thisclose to ripping the thing open and using the money, but for not even $2, it just seems wrong somehow. So instead, I guess it will continue on in its current use as something for Jack and Aidan to shove into the printer.

And $2 bills. We get one for every holiday and birthday. I finally gave up and just started sticking them in the bank. You can't spend them, because the cashier at Wal-mart will never believe you when you tell them it IS "real" money, and their manager (teenage kid) will look at you like you are crazy until you just pull out your AMEX and charge the candy bar.

So what will I do with my coin collections?? That I never would have ever cared about except that they really do remind me of my Grandmother, whom I love dearly? Well, I guess I can do what she did- keep them until I am almost 90, then start giving random coins to the grandkids for Christmas (this year we got 3 fifty cent pieces).

Ok, cousins of mine who read this-- what do you do with yours??

And if any of you happen to be holding onto an Ohio quarter from the Pennsylvania mint, please send it to me-- I will give you 30 cents for it, because I really would LOVE to finish off that stupid book!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Priceless

3 large pretzels that only get 1/3 eaten: $10.50
3 drinks that get spilled before being consumed: $7.25
Having a snack at the mall and no one has to share: priceless

Friday, March 14, 2008

Monster Madness


We have to say goodbye to our almost year-long obsession with 'choo-choos', in favor of the latest craze- Monster Trucks. It is pretty funny, because Aidan was always the one crazy about trains. Jack went right along with it, played trains all the time, got excited, the whole bit, but I knew his heart just wasn't in it. Well, he has decided that he LOVES monster trucks!! And Aidan, the supportive twin that he is, has pushed his love for trains into the background, and participates just as vigorously in monster truck play as Jack did with trains. I know Aidan still loves trains, but they are becoming a distant memory.


Every morning we watch 'Bigfoot presents: Meteor' on TLC (the only monster truck cartoon we can find), and then we spend the rest of the day practicing spins, wheelies, doughnuts, and smashing cars with the mini-monsters show above. For a special treat we will get on youtube and check out the crash compilations that people have posted. I think the rebellious nature appeals to Jack, since lately they take great delight in being the mean guys (as in, when I get them from their play class "Mommy, we da mean guys at preschool", followed by a rather evil cackle). Jack loves that his monster truck is BIG and MEAN and NOT NICE and SMASHES THINGS.


So, bye-bye, trains, we will miss you (especially because Christmas was only 2 months ago and we got all new trains of every kind). And we are just grateful that they are obsessed with monster trucks now, and not at age 16!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Funny kids

Ok, reading my friend's post totally made me laugh, and it reminded me of something funny that Abigail said, so I thought I would post about it. The other night we left the family Sunday dinner. Abigail and her cousin, Caroline, had been having some power struggles, as is common for them. Abigail was very upset on the way home, and we were talking about being nice to our cousins, and she pops out with "Well, I can't wait until I am SEVEN, because then I will be BIGGER than Caroline" (Caroline is currently 6). I just didn't have the heart to tell her that Caroline would be 9 by then...... and Kydon and I had to hide our giggles from her very indignant declaration.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Dangerous words

WARNING! I am about to tell you of a very dangerous phrase, and the effect it could have on your children. It is a phrase that will cause great crying, gnashing of teeth, and screaming fits. No matter what voice the offender uses on the victim (it has been said sarcastically, sweetly, screamed, whispered, you name it), the effect is the same. Here is a mild reaction, caused by someone simply uttering the offending words under her 4 year old breath:

Luckily, this instance only caused the victim to curl up in a hurt little ball and cower in a corner, a futile attempt to hide from the shame. If the original offender and the victims are in a more confrontational mood, and the words are said in a mocking tone, then repeated back in a hurt and yelling tone, it may produce a scene like this: Or this:
We have proven beyond any doubt that the age-old mantra "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is absolutely untrue when you are dealt a blow like this. I can only conclude, based on the reactions of the victims, that this phrase must cause actual physical harm. What are the words? If you choose to keep reading, don't say I didn't warn you.
The phrase is this: "poo-poo boy" or, as the case may be, "poo-poo girl". Please, protect your children from this danger!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New record

Well, Aidan broke the family all-time high fever record last night. The previous title was held by Abigail, coming in at 104.8. Last night when I checked Aidan, he topped the chart with 104.9. And after 2 hours of letting the Advil not work, I had to double up with a dose of Tylenol as well. Never had to give both to bring down a fever before, usually I can alternate them. I can't help but worry about febrile seizures, even though 'they' say it isn't the number it's how fast it rises.

Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep last night. At one point Jack had crawled in bed with me, I kept feeling his little tummy to see if he was hot (he had a fever yesterday as well). When I heard Aidan cry again, I went to put Jack back in bed, and thought 'that's weird, why does Jack have Abigail's blanket?' When I picked 'him' up, I answered the question- it was Abigail next to me, not Jack. Now that is disoriented!!

I hate fevers!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


For an amazing article about Jesus Christ, please click the following link:

http://www.jesuschrist.lds.org/SonOfGod/eng/his-life-and-teachings/articles/who-is-jesus-christ

It is from the March Ensign, and it is amazing. I have been reading it for the past few days (it took so long partly because I don't have a lot of time, and partly because it is so full of amazing truths). I feel like I have just been given a huge, uncomprehensible lesson on who Christ is. I feel so motivated to study more about Him this month, especially thinking about Easter approaching. While reading, I couldn't help but feel a powerful witness of all that Christ has done for us, and all that He has promised us.

The whole magazine was beautiful, and full of great articles, but this one has really hit home with me.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Family rules

5 family rules I wish we enforced:
  • Treat each other with love and respect
  • Speak nicely
  • No eating in the car
  • Keep our house clean and organized
  • Everyone works together and helps each other

5 family rules we do enforce:

  • Morning work has to be done before watching TV
  • You must have clothes on to go out in the front yard (and you can correctly interpret that anything goes if you are in the backyard)
  • No cupcakes if you don't have underwear on
  • No bare bums on the table
  • All toys are community property, and must be shared or go in time out
  • And one more.... When Mommy or Daddy says 'no', it means 'NO'... unless you cry and scream really loud and long, in which case we will give in and give you whatever you want!!

Amazing how many of our enforced family rules have to do with nakedness. I had a picture to go along with this post, but Kydon said it wasn't decent for the internet... LOL...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

16,787


16,787. Pretty big number, right? I have figured out approximately how many diapers I've changed over the past 4 years, and that is the number I came up with. I figured 12 per day per kid for the first 3 months, 9/day for the next 3 months, then 7/day for the next 6 months. Years 2 and 3 we use about 5/day, and Abigail was trained on her 3rd birthday. I took 85% of the total number, since I think between Daddy and Grandma, and also a few babysitters and non-kid vacations, I got out of about 15%. But even when other people are around, I still change most of the diapers, so I feel that 85% is pretty accurate.
And in case you are wondering, that works out to 11.4 diapers every day for the last 4 years. Man, we should have bought that Huggies stock!!!
...and don't worry, I add about 10 more to that total every.single.day.