Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mommy's birthday!

Jim hit a grand slam with my birthday this year!  He and the boys gave me a TEA PARTY!  It might sound silly, but it's exactly what I wanted and needed and I didn't even know it.  Jim had read on a friend's post (this friend has 3 little girls) that I desperately wished I could have a tea party!  I LOVE my boys and I am SUPER grateful I never have to deal with teenage daughters because I know me and I was awful!  But having boys means I don't get to do certain things.  There are no frilly dresses or bows, there are no Barbies or plastic heels with Disney Princesses on them, and I definitely don't get to have tea parties.  Not that my boys wouldn't have a tea party, I mean, let's be honest, Austin will always have a good time when food is involved!  And both my manly boys want dolls for Christmas:  Jackson wants the singing Elsa doll and Austin wants the talking Little Mermaid doll.  Side story:  We were in the store the other day and Jackson saw the Elsa doll he wants and he got very excited!  He started to tell me about the doll, but he suddenly got very quiet and I couldn't understand him.  I realized someone had walked into the aisle we were in and Jackson was embarrassed to talk about the doll he wanted.  It made me giggle a little bit and I was a little sad, I don't want him to be embarrassed because he wants a "girl" toy.  Heck, I LOVED me some GI Joe and He-Man when I was a little girl, and I was never embarrassed about it.  Stupid gender rolls and stereotypes, even my 6 year old feels the pressure.

Anyway, back to MY tea party.  I had a pedicure Saturday morning with a good friend- thank you, dad!  A pedicure was all I really wanted.  Well, that and some fuzzy flip flop slippers- thank you, Jim!  Here's my pretty toes- a great color for fall and Christmas!  ;)

Jim asked me to call him when I was finished and when I did he informed me there was something in the glove box for me...

An invitation to my very own TEA PARTY!
Happy birthday to me!
Seriously, I loved it!  My house is filled to capacity with testosterone, so my boys giving me some girly time was perfect!

I came home to find all my boys princessed up for my birthday princess tea party!
Everyone from daddy down to the littlest Nuffer-

Austin caught a cold on Saturday (along with Harrison) so he was a little glum.

How adorable are all of them!?  And what good sports!

And I got really birthday princessed up!
Notice TWO fever blisters...
But my boys made sure I had an excellent birthday regardless of mother nature's thwarts!

We had all kinds of yummy treats and drinks!
And the boys even made me necklaces for my birthday!
I wore them to dinner that night at Texas Roadhouse, but we don't have any pictures from that night.
Even if Jim says there are embarrassing pictures of me on a "birthday saddle", just know that he's lying!

But here are my sweet boys making me my beautiful necklaces.

This even tops the year that Jim surprised me with a KitchenAid mixer.

Harrison is FOUR months!

My little caboose turned 4 months this month!  I haven't taken the "official" 4 month pictures, but I he has lots of new happenings, so I couldn't wait to write about what Harrison is like at 4 months.

He recently got a new toy that he loves.  This is the first "thing" that he has shown an attachment to.  I've mentioned that he LOVES the Daniel Tiger show, so I found a little DT plush at Target, so I picked it up for my littlest tiny.  I had just run into Target to grab some formula, so Jim and the boys stayed in the car, and when I came out Harrison was screaming (which he usually does if he's tired and the car isn't moving), but when I showed him the DT toy he immediately stopped crying and reached for it.  SO so so cute!  Here he is the day he found his new friend.

There's a sweet little smile under there if you can't tell.  ;)
Here he is again with DT on the floor.
He seriously LOVES this little guy!

Harrison gets to start eating "solid" food now!  He's not really happy about it though...
He usually yells at me and gives me dirty looks when I try to feed him.
He's only tried oatmeal and squash so far, that is until...
The teething cookie entered his life.
It's the only food he enjoys eating/gumming/sucking right now.

This ^^ picture reminds me of when Jackson tried his first teething cookie so many moons ago...

Speaking of brothers, I am soooo grateful Harrison has warmed up to his brother, Austin, because Austin ADORES Harrison.  Here's Harrison giving Austin some loves by sitting on his head.
Brothers.  Whattayagonnado?

Unfortunately, 4 months has seen another first for my sweet baby boy- his first earache.  :(
He caught a second cold in his short 4 months last Saturday and yesterday we found out it came with an earache.  So Harrison is spending most of his days sleeping right now.  Hopefully all this sleep is fighting those nasty germs!

Happy FOUR months, sweet Harrison!

Veterans Day 2014

I totally slacked on Memorial Day this year, but I really want the boys to know what regular people sacrifice so that they get the life they have and the freedoms they enjoy.  On Veterans Day I thought it would be nice to make some treats from some local veterans (and current military).  It also went right along with our FHE that week because we're learning about gratitude all month.  Jim and I both have veterans on both sides of our family, so we talked to the boys about family members that have served.  We also explained that people are serving right now!  And very recently our family friend and photographer joined the military family.  Her husband just left for basic training at the beginning of the month, so talking about our friend (Alicia) and her family made it more real and tangible to them.

First, we made a favorite family treat- these turtle-type candies.  They're so easy that the boys basically made them all by themselves and they're DELICIOUS!

All you need is pretzels, rolos, and pecan halves.  We counted our Rolos to figure out how many pretzels and pecans we needed- so I snuck in a little math too.  ;)  After Austin ate a couple Rolos, we counted out how many pretzels we needed and placed them on a cookie sheet.  I'm not a fan of unrolling the silly Rolos, but I'm really too cheap to just buy the roll of rolos, so I buy the bag.  However, the boys LOVED unwrapping the candy and placing them on the pretzels.  Win-win!

Austin placed the very last Rolo on the pretzel

Then we melted the Rolos in the oven for a few minutes, and smooshed them down with a pecan and placed them in the freezer to set.
While they were setting, Jackson wrote a note on the plates thanking them for their service and sacrifice.

Finished plates-

And finally, the boys counted out the treats to make sure each plate had plenty of treats!

After dinner and FHE we delivered the treats to great grandpa (who served in the Navy) and to Alicia's family.  Austin explained to grandma what service men and women do.  Verbatim:
"On mommy's computer there were veterans (I had showed him a picture of service men and women)...  And, and the veterans and army guys FIGHT the bad guys to SAVE THE WORLD!!"  He was so cute and animated, I wish I had recorded it.

So thank you "veterans and army guys" for all of your service and sacrifice so that my family and I can have the freedoms we enjoy.

"Freedom don't come free" -Toby Keith

Morning scripture study- NEW APP!

I really wanted to start studying scriptures in the morning with the boys, but I wasn't sure how.  We have always read scripture stories that were watered down with fun pictures at night to them, but I didn't want to do that in the mornings as well.  I also wanted to start reading straight from the scriptures so they become more familiar with the actual language and jargon of the King James version.  So I happened upon this app and it is wonderful!  It's called Verse By Verse- I know it's on the iPhone, I'm not sure about other phones though.  

Anyway, it's wonderful!  It has one scripture daily straight from the scriptures and then it offers an explanation.  It's simple and quick, but it gets the boys thinking about the gospel and good choices in the morning before they start their day.  The boys really like reading scriptures in the morning, in fact, the first week they would hound me about morning scriptures until it was time.  It's started some really interesting conversations and Jackson can usually tell me what the scripture means before I read the meaning.  I really REALLY love this app!
It's simple and easy and it's perfect for busy mornings!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Random miscellaneous stuff

I've taken a few pictures recently that make me smile.

The first picture is of the boys with pumpkins as babies and now- makes my heart melt.
I love this picture!

The second is a picture of Austin and Harrison.  This is how I found the boys after I got out from a shower a few days ago.
Austin loves Harrison so much, but until the last week or so Harrison has been so afraid of him.  I think it's because Austin is a little loud and he likes to get right in Harrison's face and Harrison does not like Austin in his face.  But the last few days Harrison has become accustomed to Austin and often smiles and giggles when he sees him now.  This makes my mommy-heart happy because Austin was always so disappointed and sad when he made Harrison cry just by trying to love him.

This last picture makes me laugh!
Austin is such a snuggler and Jackson is NOT.
This is such a good portrayal of Jackson being a good big brother and tolerating Austin snuggling with him, and Austin as happy as can be to be snuggling with his big brother.
Austin wants to be like Jackson so much!
Bahahahahaha!  Jackson's face!

I love to see the temple...

Austin is a little obsessed with the temple right now.  He knows where to find it when we're on the loop.  He always yells, "I can see the temple!  It's by the water tower!".  He knows the Angel Moroni is on top and he knows that the temple is Heavenly Father's house.  I thought he would like it if we had FHE on temple grounds and walked around the temple a time or two.  He LOVED it!  We had the temple FHE on Wednesday (Jim has class on Monday nights) and he has asked to go back to the temple every day since.

We talked about what we do in the temple, who goes into the temple, when the boys can go to the temple for the first time, and the things we do to get and keep a temple recommend.  Austin's such a smarty pants!  I asked the boys what they think happens in the temple as we started FHE and Austin quickly answered, "We pway and talk about Jesus in the temple!"
Now, that's one bright 3 year old.  Such a good, sweet boy!

Here's a couple pictures at the temple.
Jackson was a little under the weather, so he did not appreciate having to smile for pictures, but he did a pretty good job!

I love these little faces!
This picture shows all their little personalities:  Jackson is being responsible and just doing what I asked him to even though he doesn't feel well.  Austin is a little ham and Harrison with those dimples- so so so cute!

Harrison was all smiles while we were at the temple.  From the moment we got there he was smiling and cooing.

It was a really good night.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Stud, I mean, Student to the Month, and Halloween preschool

Jackson was the first Student of the Month in his class this year!  What a total 180 from last year.  He's so much more mature and responsible.  What a difference a little time, a fantastic school, and an intuitive teacher makes!

He was so proud to show me his picture and his lanyard with 3 ribbons on it:  Student of the Month, Perfect Attendance, and A/B Honor Roll.  Here he is proudly standing underneath his award with his lanyard on-

Here's a close-up of his picture.

Such an improvement from last year!
Way to go, Jackson!

Austin desperately wants to go to preschool so he can do "homework" like Jackson.  I'm pretty sure he's going to be one of those kids that goes to school with lots of excitement for a few days, then he'll scream and cry because I'm "making" him go to school every day following.  That's what I'm anticipating, anyway.

I came across this fun Halloween themed preschool pack on Pinterest that is 100% geared toward Austin and his abilities.  (It's pinned on my Hocus Pocus Halloween board on Pinterest for those interested).

He loved it and I had a lot of fun with it too.

He finally got to do "homework" just like Jackson!

Halloween 2014

Last year we found out that Harrison was on his way on November 2nd, but a couple weeks leading up to the big surprise I was EXHAUSTED.  We didn't do as much for Halloween as we normally do because I was so tired, and the rest of the holidays were a blur because I was so sick from the pregnancy.  I feel terrible because the boys didn't do all the fun activities that I normally plan and do with them (though I don't think they noticed much difference).  Anyway, I have worked hard to make sure the boys have had LOTS of fun this Halloween.

Last weekend, the weekend before Halloween, I had lots of fun activities planned around the city, but poor little Harrison got sick.  We had to take him to urgent care, so we didn't get out much.  However, I did plan some fun activities at home so the boys could still enjoy some festivities and Harrison could rest.

Activity number 1:  Halloween sugar cookies!
Thanks to grandma Viv for sending the boys some new cookie cutters, we made some delicious sugar cookies (the recipe is from a friend of mine and they are DELICIOUS).

Cutting the cookies from the dough.
Austin really loved this part.

Decorating the cookies!
We had so many cookies, we were able to give them to quite a few neighbors and friends.

Harrison joined the party eventually.
Even though he wasn't feeling well he was in a pretty good mood all weekend.

Activity number 2:  Carving and decorating pumpkins.
For some reason the boys didn't want to paint their pumpkins this year, but they played a much bigger part in helping Jim and me carve our pumpkins.

Did you notice that Harrison had his own pumpkin?!

Next, Halloween week!
Jackson was having some tummy problems and Harrison was (and still is) a little under the weather- dang cold/allergies!  Jim and I decided skip a couple of the activities early in the week and get the boys to bed a little earlier.  I have to say, it's been a nice change of pace having Austin be the healthy child.  Kinda strange for him, but a welcome change.

Wednesday was the Halloween party at the library for Austin (and Harrison).  Btw, Jackson wore a monster or Halloween shirt all week to school, and on Friday he got to wear a costume to school.  And he helped me put together some Halloween goodie bags for his classmates.
Anyway, here we are at the library Halloween party.
(Notice, I'm looking a little haggard.  More often than not I'm without make-up these days, but I'm trying very hard to "be in the picture" no matter how I look, so that my boys have the memories.)

Sidenote:  the (older) boys wanted to be superheroes again this year, but next year Jim and I want to do a family theme costume, so the boys will have no choice in the matter.  Muahahahaha.
And we already have some ideas up our sleeves...
Anyway, the boys were superheroes this year.  Everywhere the boys went as Batman and Robin, someone felt the need to tell us that Batman should be the bigger boy, but actually, Jackson was being an awesome big brother by being Robin because Austin only wanted to be Batman (and we already had Harrison's Superman onesie).  Jackson's just a rad little dude and a fantastic big brother!

Thursday Jackson was having some tummy issues so he stayed home from school (for the first time this year, breaking his perfect attendance.  Sad).  His tummy issues weren't contagious so we asked him if he wanted to go the Science Spectrum to toddler/preschool party and he wanted to go, but the poor guy just moped along for Austin's sake.

Thursday night was Trunk or Treat for our ward.
Notice Jackson isn't Robin in this picture?  The muscles were to big and he didn't like how they irritated his neck, so he chose to wear a very small, very cheap dress-up Ironman costume.  The important thing is he was comfortable, so let the musical costumes commence!

Musical costumes round 2 was all for Harrison!  This is Harrison, I mean, Superman, taking a little nap before Trunk or Treat- notice his Superman costume-

And here is Harrison in his new costume, "Pooperman" (cleverly named by Dee Brown) because right after we got to Trunk or Treat Harrison pooped ALL OVER himself, his costume, and grandma (which was kind of funny.  Sorry, Grandma).  Then while my mom and I tried to clean him up we got poop all over his changing pad and our car.  Yeah, it was lovely.  I, mother of the year, did not bring a change of clothes to Trunk or Treat, so here is his "new" costume- his sweater, a diaper, and a blanket that I kept wrapped around him to keep him warm.  Introducing Pooperman!

And here is our AWARD WINNING car at Trunk or Treat-

Yeah... we threw these decorations together about 15 minutes before we left for Trunk or Treat because I forgot we needed to decorate our car.  So thumbs up to us for our quick decision making and decorating skills!
Here's Jim proudly showcasing our "Spookiest Car" Trophy.
Yeah, Trophy is capitalized.  It's that important.

Here's a closer look at The Trophy because I know you're jealous.

It was a long day and night, Harrison screamed the whole ride home until clonked out just about a minute before we parked in the driveway.  My little Pooperman was pooped.

And finally, it's HALLOWEEN!
We decided to nix the Heritage Halloween because Jim's life was threatened if he didn't take the boys by his work to go Trick or Treating, but really the ladies in the office just wanted to meet Harrison because he hadn't been to daddy's work yet.
The boys got more candy at daddy's work than they did all week long.  It was ridiculous.  Seriously.
Then we ate a little dinner and crashed a friends Trunk or Treat at her ward.

I didn't get pictures of the boys at Trunk or Treat #2, but here we are leaving-

Notice that the musical costumes continued.  Jackson chose to be the Hulk this time.  
BUT Harrison did NOT poop all over his costume this time!  Score!

Halloween 2014 is officially over, but the candy lives on.  ...and on and on and on and on.
The boys wearing their Halloween jammies for the last time this All Hallows Eve-

Happy Halloween!