Sunday, April 30, 2017

Nine Things

Abi loves at 9 months:

1. Blueberries
2. Kai
3. Her pink blanket
4. Army crawling EVERYWHERE
5. Baths
6. The episode of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" where he visits the dairy farm
7. Sausage (breakfast links)
8. Giving "fives"
9. Dancing (her favorite song right now is "How You Like Me Now" - the version from "Storks", not the original)

Right now, she does NOT love headbands. (Makes this mama sad...) But check out that hair in the second picture!

Monday, April 24, 2017

He's How Old?!

Isaac turned nine last week. How the heck did that happen?! When he was three, I was pretty sure he wouldn't survive to age four, and look at him now!

The party was Super Mario themed. (Plus some orange, because that's Isaac's favorite color.) He invited three of his closest friends, and they wore visors and mustaches to designate themselves as Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad, and Yellow Toad. So. Much. Fun.

Here's the cake lighting:
(We got a special candle that had 15 wicks, with the center one being a sparkler one.)

I had painted the candle to look like one of those chomper flower thingies from Mario. (I accidentally painted it shut too, but it was supposed to open and spin around... Brittany burned her fingers a ton, helping push open the painted petals... She's a good aunt.)

The big "game" was hard to photograph, but it was bumping question mark boxes with their heads to get "power ups", and using those to defeat Bowser, to rescue Princess Peach.

Question mark boxes:

Power ups: (ice power and fire power)

Defeating Bowser:

Rescuing the princess:

The party was a lot of fun, and we were so glad to get to celebrate our Isaac! This boy is a sensitive, loving guy, who tries hard to always do the right thing. He rocks at math and art! His singing voice is divine, and his confidence in it is amazing. He's an awesome big brother, to both his younger brothers and his sister. I'm glad they have someone so wonderful to look up to!

(No, he doesn't wear glasses - he was trying on my old frames - this was just the most recent picture of him I hadn't shared yet.)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pinewood Derby

Isaac's troop held their Pinewood Derby this week. Since he was making a car, we let the other two boys make some too. This troop is super relaxed, so no one even kept track of who won or lost each race, and our boys all got plenty of time to send cars down the track. (There was even a solid 15 minutes where they competed to see who could wipe out the hardest...) It was super fun!

Jon and his red (canoe-shaped) car:

Daddy modelling Kai's car: (yes, it is just a block of wood that he fingerpainted and put wheels and a driver on)

Isaac's "Bullet Bill" car was a hit!

Abi enjoyed driving the cars around too.

Kai mostly cared about the refreshments.

Eventually, Abi realized there were refreshments too... (Also, this older girl in the picture totally needs to marry one of our boys. She's awesome!)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

Easter has become such a weird conglomerate of traditions anyway, that we decided to make up some of our own this year.

Mike and Brittany kicked off the weekend with a (very traditional) egg hunt in our backyard.

(Their dog, Gizmo, is starting to get used to us. But he is TERRIFIED of the chickens.)

The Easter Bunny doesn't visit our house; Mommy brings presents. And puts them in pillowcases (this year's are destined to become laundry bags). Abi enjoyed a coconut cream chocolate.

The boys were too busy with their new markers and notebooks to worry about chocolate.

Kai was really excited about this guy's hair.

For brunch, we made (gluten free) sourdough bagels. The darker stuff is asaiago, because bagels are totally not complete without asaiago.

Jon preferred cream cheese.

So did Isaac and Kai.

Abi has a more adventurous palate.

By the time we got to church (we have 1:00 Sacrament meeting), this had happened:

So, we missed a little church to let kids nap. (Mark didn't get much sleep.)

We made it in time for great lessons on Christ and the Resurrection. I enjoyed getting to play piano for some Easter hymns that we don't regularly sing. Kai came home and told us all about his Primary lesson, where the parts that stood out the most to him were about Jesus's hands being pierced by nails, and how He was obedient.

After our weekly Sabbath dinner of pizza, we had root beer floats (Weinhart's is totally worth introducing to the baby early).

Some of us are pretty excited to have Blue Bell back in Colorado!

Hope your Easter was as good as ours was!

Monday, April 10, 2017


My kitchen looks like this.


The dishwasher (the one that caused the whole stinking renovation) finally made it undeniably obvious that it hates us.

So we told it to get lost.

And bought a new one.

After much research, consultation with Katie (who knows pretty much everything about pretty much everything), and searching for what's available nearby, we ended up with a Bosch.

It better last longer than the last 3 dishwashers we've had. (We've only owned the house for 10 years.)
I'm so beyond done with this dang kitchen mess!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Growing Up

This boy drove me to tears tonight.

A few weeks ago, we got a flyer about Stake Children's Choir (ages 8-11). Isaac was excited to go, so we gladly took him to the one and only practice.

He was the only member of our ward to show up. And only two of the songs were for the whole group; the others were divided up for the individual wards. They weren't expecting him to sing a solo, so he just sat out the entire rest of the concert. And then they didn't realize they had a kid with food allergies, so everybody else got a cookie, and he just got to go home.

His sweet Primary president brought him his own treat the next day, which ended up still being something he couldn't eat, but he really appreciated the gesture. And then a couple of his friends thought they'd show up for the concert so he wouldn't be alone, so he stayed optimistic about the whole experience.

Then, the concert happened...

Mark had another appointment that ran over, and one of the boys had a potty emergency, so we couldn't leave home on time. I left Mark to bring the younger 3, and Isaac and I hurried to the church as fast as we could. We walked in just as the pianist was finishing the introduction for the first song - one of the two Isaac actually got to be part of. His seat on the stand was easy to find, as his friends hadn't made it after all, so he was off to the side, all alone. I encouraged him to walk quietly up and join the choir, even though the song had started. He headed over, but hesitated at the steps, and didn't go up until our Stake President reassured him it would be okay. He sang brilliantly. (He really does have the voice of an angel!)

At the close of the concert, the Stake Primary President got up to let everyone know there were refreshments, and made a point of letting everyone know that there was a plate of gluten free cookies for Isaac, and no one should take one unless they had the same dietary needs. It was so kind of her to go out of her way to help Isaac feel loved!

After the concert though, he ran down and just sobbed in my arms, telling me he was an "epic failure." Apparently, he accidentally stood up when another ward got up to sing, and the kid nearest him made fun of him. He had already been self-conscious, since he had been late and all alone. Then, he was embarrassed that he was singled out as having a food allergy. Plus, he was disappointed anyway, since he didn't know anybody else in the choir, and his friends hadn't been able to be there.

I tried to think of reassuring things to say. But, at that moment, I came up empty.

I don't know how to make it okay to be different.

I don't know how to make it feel better when somebody else did something that made you look irresponsible.

I don't know how to make it less painful to be mocked for making a mistake.

I don't know how to make it feel less lonely to be alone.

I don't know how to make it feel less disappointing to have an experience you were excited about turn out to be "not as advertised."

What I did realize in that moment is that I've officially entered a new phase of parenting; one where I can't pretend that life is fair, kiss an owie, hand my kid a cookie, and have that solve all his problems.

So I did the only thing I could do: hugged him, told him I love him, cried with him, and then helped him find his special plate of cookies.

At least we've still got the cookies.