Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All Day Long....

I sit at this desk....... All day long, Monday thru Friday, I work here in this office to keep a roof over my family and food in our bellies. Often times I daydream about the day when I can stay home with my kids and enjoy their smiling, grouchy, happy, sad and ever changing faces. But most the time I sit at my desk and think how thankful I am to have a job that helps us provide for our family while Chris is in school. Most days I enjoy my job, I feel useful and productive. Other days I feel like I'm wasting my time and energy to a pit that sucks the happiness and energy right out of me. Some days I love reading and re-reading policies and other days I can't get past the heading, thoughts of my kids and what I'm missing playing in my head. But then there are weekends when I look forward to going to work and escaping the inadequacy I feel when I'm at home. At least at work I get an annual review that tells me how I'm doing and if I deserve a raise or not. I always get high marks and feel like I'm really improving in my position at work. But at home I often feel like I'm digressing. Some days I feel so productive and interact great with the kids and then there are those other days when I can't communicate anything without yelling and growling. What rates my improvement at home? Happy kids, clean house, clean clothes, warm planned out dinners every night or a happy husband? If it is a combination of those things, well frankly, I think I would have money taken away from me instead of a raise... Why do some days seem to go so smoothly and others so horribly? Does it ever get easier to do EVERYTHING you want/should get accomplished? Am I ready to stay at home with my kids all day-every day like I'd like to? Who knows.... But for the small moments when I see my kids laugh, run to me when they need comfort, cry when I leave their sight or cuddle with me I am ETERNALLY grateful for the gift I was given of being a mother. I often don't pass the "practical" tests at times, but the lessons I learn from the failures make the successes so much more wonderful! I love when I get something right, when for a small moment I feel like I'm a good mother. That feeling keeps me going and trying to be a better mother. Every night I pray that I can be a better mother and try harder.... I know its up to me and no one else to make me a better mother so all I can say now and in the future and forever is "I'm trying, and as long as I really am trying then I'm doing okay!" (Hopefully I don't mess Ethan and Katelee up too much in the process..... :) Oh how I love these kids!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

FHE-Christmas Lights

The other night for Family Home Evening we decided to go to Sam's Town and see their light display. Before we left we watched a video about the birth of Christ. The kids had fun looking at all of the lights and they had really cute animals too. Katelee went from one person's arms to the next. She loves to be held and she loves to spread the love to everyone.

Ethan wanted to be held so he could see some of the displays better. This kid is getting heavy and of course my mother with the bad back is the one that he wants to pick him up! (and this is the face Ethan gives when you ask him to smile, it's like he thinks so hard about what a smile is that he forgets!)

I thought a family photo by the big bow would be cute.... Now if only we were all smiling.... Thanks Ethan! I love the Christmas time and especially love it now that Ethan is old enough to be excited and learn about Christmas! He has been so fun this year and I can't wait to see how he reacts on Christmas Day!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Vacation

A little while ago Chris called me at work and told me that he didn't have to attend school the week of Thanksgiving and asked if we wanted to go up to Utah for the week. I quickly visited with my boss and was given the okay to take that week off. I was looking forward to this vacation ever since that day. I love going to visit my Grandparents and love that my children are getting to know them too! (and Chris:)) I also love spending time with my Sister-in-Law and I know the kids defiantly love seeing her. Since Chris has a new calling at church we decided we would leave Saturday and come home on Saturday so he only had to miss one Sunday worth of meetings. This is a new thing for us and I actually liked it better. It gave us a full day to recover and get things back into our routine. So Saturday we got up when the kids did and packed the car and headed our of town. The drive up was very nice, there weren't any crazy drivers that stand out and the weather was pretty nice. It was amazing how once you pass a certain point the temperature drops dramatically and you realize that you are no longer in Vegas any more! We pulled into Utah in the middle/late afternoon and went straight to my Grandparents house. My parents drove up on Monday and were there the whole week as well. We had dinner with everyone and then visited with the family that came over to see us. We always stay at Lisa's house and this trip was no exception. I love staying at Lisa's house, the kids have their own room and own beds, Chris and I have a nice comfy bed too and Aunt Lisa's house is always full of health food options. This time the kids were blessed with regular milk, chocolate milk, strawberry milk, cheese and clementines, just to mention a few! Sunday we woke up and went to church with Lisa. Her ward is so big compared to ours and there are TONS of kids. They have 4 or 5 different nurseries and Ethan was a good boy there. He was hesitant to attend but Aunt Lisa stayed with him until he felt comfy enough for her to leave. After naps we headed over to my Grandparents house. They live about 25-30 minutes from Lisa's. We sat down for dinner and a great snow storm came in. It snowed and snowed and I got more and more stressed about the drive home. I was ready to pack the kids up and head back to Lisa's during dinner but Chris and Lisa and my father told me it would be just fine. Of course being raised in Vegas I'm deathly afraid of driving in the snow, specially with Utah drivers who I think win the trophy for the "Worst Drivers EVER!" My dad and Chris took the kids out in the snow after dinner and they were very intrigued by it. Ethan liked it until he got a little cold and Katelee loved it. She laughed so loud when it blew in her face. This girl loves adventure and thrives off of doing different things. We stayed and visited for a few hours and then made our trek to North Salt Lake. I was amazed at how fast we were able to get back, it only took us like 10-15 minutes extra. When we got to Lisa's we took the kids out so they could see the snow before bed. Here is our family in the snow. I love how happy Katelee looks in this picture. This is the Katelee we usually get to see when there are no strangers around. She often refuses to smile when strangers are around, but when she does they are in for a treat. Ethan was trying to catch snow on his tongue, but this is such a typical picture for Ethan. Everyone else is smiling and posing for the camera and Ethan is doing something else! (Side note: Chris and some of his classmates decided that November was "no shave November" and they were all going to grow their facial hair out. I offered to grow my leg hair out so I could participate as well, but Chris said "NO!" I love when Chris has facial hair, I think he looks so sexy, but it is a lot of maintenance and so it never really last long. Of course he is always sexy, it's just the beard that never last long!)

Here are just the kids, I'm so glad they like snow! I like to look at it but hate when I get wet and cold from it.

It didn't matter where we were, where we were going or how deep the snow was... Ethan had to walk in it. Luckily he has cowboy boots so they were pretty good of keeping his socks dry.

Of course Katelee has to do everything she sees her brother do, so she wanted to walk in the snow as well. And she did!

Then Ethan and Daddy started throwing snowballs and Chris hit Ethan right in the head. What a sweet Daddy! Ethan loved it and keep them flying at Daddy!

Katelee just loved my Grandpa and would sit on his lap for quite a while. The whole times she would point to something and he would hand it to her. She loved getting her way and he loved making her happy!
Our weekdays went like this mostly:

When the kids got up so did we. We got dressed ate breakfast and headed over to my Grandparents house for the day. Katelee would take her morning nap and then later Ethan and Katelee would take another nap. We mostly just visited but sometimes I would go with my mother shopping or run around and get things done. On Tuesday Chris and I headed over to an afternoon movie. Chris took me to see NEW MOON and it was fantastic. The theater was almost empty and the movie was good. We would stay at my Grandparents until after dinner and then head back to Aunt Lisa's. Most of the time Aunt Lisa would meet us for dinner as well.

Just our little family relaxing one day.

My Uncle Gene told us about a farm with Elk and Buffalo so we took the kids over there one day. I love this picture, I love seeing Chris and Ethan together. Chris is often so busy with school stuff that he doesn't get to spend much time with the kids. Little moments like this make we appreciate the time we have with one another. Vacations are so nice because its just us spending time together.

The elk were huge and quite entertaining. They kept butting each other and one kept making funny elk noises.

Katelee would point and talk and was not scared when one came really close. I think if we hadn't moved she would have tried to reach out and touch them.

This one was trying to give us a good up close photo. They were massive and so cute!

When we came up to Utah in the summer we visited the zoo and both kids really enjoyed it so we thought we'd do that again. Well it just so happened that we went on "free" day. My cousin had told us about it and of course I couldn't pass that opportunity by. We went in the afternoon, it was quite chilly in the shade and I was grateful to get back in the car with the heater on after we visited all the animals!

I think our favorite animal was the Big Horn sheep just because he seemed to be the most friendly. We put Katelee by the fence for the picture and he came right over to her. Katelee didn't know what to do about that, but she wasn't really scared just interested.

Ethan loved this guy too! Funny that we came all the way up to Salt Lake City to see Big Horn sheep when we can go to a park in Boulder City and see a whole lot more of them! Oh well, this guy was super friendly and we got to see other animals as well!

This picture is just to show you how beautiful the RAM is! (RANCHO)

This bear was so cute and cuddly just laying there playing with his brown paper sack. Ethan said Hi to the bear for my Uncle Gene. And was so proud of himself for carrying on that message to the bear! My son just LOVES my Uncle Gene. I think LOVE might be an understatement. He even called him one day when we got to my grandparents and said, "Gene, I here, you come over, Bum!" My father had told him to say "get your bum over here." Silly how Ethan's mind works!

And here are some lazy tigers we saw too. They don't look so intimidating when they are laying down relaxing!
And of course we had to ride the Merry go Round. Thanks Aunt Lisa for buying those tickets for us. I think this is Ethan's favorite part of the zoo!

And of course he had to ride the seal again!

Katelee rode this time and loved it for a little bit and then I thinks he got bored and started crying! Silly, I guess it wasn't going fast enough for her!

Just a random picture of my little Princess! We did a lot of driving and she hated EVERY minute of it! She started arching her back pretty bad, almost made it impossible to get her buckled in.

Thanksgiving day we had dinner with the family. I love this part of our vacation the best. Its a time where we can just sit and talk and let the kids run wild. We go over to my Aunt Janet's house who has grand kids Ethan and Katelee's age so her house is pretty child proof and overflowing with toys. I love catching up with my family and just the atmosphere is perfect. The food of course is DELICIOUS too and the clean up was pretty fast this year!

Lisa decided she wanted to splurge on us and take us indoor skydiving and it was AMAZING. It was so much more fun than I thought it would be. I would love to do this again, but we will have to wait until the prices go down or we run into A LOT of money.
The pictures aren't the best but they prove that I actually did it! I couldn't help but smile because there is 75 MPH wind in my face, but I was having a blast too.
Chris was practically a pro, I think he secretly does this all the time!

And once again my studly husband flying by himself!

Me getting a bit of help.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's....... Super Chris! We took my cousin's son with us as well and he had a blast. They let children as young as 3 go, so we asked Ethan if he wanted to go but he said no. He came in and watched the video with us and at the end the video says to empty your pockets and get ready to go. Ethan immediately emptied his pockets, (which were full of bullets that my uncle had given him) and he was ready to go. Once we got within sight of the skydivers again, he changed his mind! He loved watching and loved the sticker he got even more!

Thank you to all who made our vacation so much fun! I can't wait until we get another one, but we may have to. Chris is taking classes in the summer so we may not get another break until Thanksgiving again!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ethan's Latest Injury

While visiting Utah for Thanksgiving Ethan had a little accident that involved this fireplace....And I think the Fireplace won! Poor Ethan accidentally leaned against the glass of the fireplace and immediately pulled away and said "mommy it hot!" and then the tears came. The poor boy doesn't usually cry when pain comes so this threw me into "oh crap medical mom!" I picked him up got him in the kitchen put a bag of frozen veggies on him and just held him for a while. I had no idea how bad it was or really what to do with a burn. I took the veggies off and thought his whole arm was red because of the coldness. Ethan was a little calmer, only crying every once in a while. I took him up to see Chris since he is better at medical stuff than I am and his reaction made Ethan cry even more. Chris described it as a glimpse of what our Heavenly Father must feel whenever one of us hurts ourselves. He wanted to do anything to take that pain away. We looked up burns on Web MD and decided we had done the right things Chris ran to the store (oh yeah, it was Thanksgiving morning too) and picked up some bandages and we bandaged it up. After the bandage was on Ethan and Aunt Lisa went to the park. Ethan never cried or even complained again about his arm. He is a little trooper. His arm is looking better and I'm hoping it doesn't leave any marks. Amazing what things you can actually handle when you are forces to go through them!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pieces of Our November

November was pretty busy for our little family so this post will just be some random things that went on. Katelee is around 14 months old and she just barely got her first haircut. Ethan was 6 or 7 months old when he had his first haircut, but each child is different I guess. Katelee didn't really need a haircut, but I figured a little trim couldn't hurt! So this is her before. She did a really good job. She only got difficult towards the end and even then it wasn't bad.And this is our little Princess after. Can't really tell a difference. Her hair in the back use to be long enough to put in two ponytails, but after the haircut it's just not quite long enough. Katelee's hair in the back is pretty thick but the stuff on top isn't. She still has brown hair and I don't really see that changing any time soon. Katelee has quite curly hair in the back and I just love that. My hair can be curly or straight, I consider myself pretty lucky and I'm hoping this trait carries on to her!
See the curls..... I love them!

One night Katelee was being ornery and I had had my feel, so I gave in and gave her some playing cards that Ethan had gotten from the Pinata at Aunt Anna and Uncle Enrique's Halloween Party. A little later I realized that Katelee was being well behaved and not screaming at EVERYONE so I looked in the living room and this is what she was doing. What a well behaved daughter I have when she gets her way!
The other day after church choir practice I came home and found my little man and his Daddy taking their Sunday nap. Ethan loves to cuddle when his is going to sleep, sometimes. When I lay down with him for naps he will hold my hand and then I have to sneak it away when I get up after he has fallen asleep. I love those little moments and try to remember them when he is being mean or crazy. (I know he is a little old for the Binky, but it has proven to be nearly impossible to get that thing away from him. The day he turned 3 he said, "I no need this any more," and he threw it away. But when it came bedtime he was searching the garbage and begging to get it back. If anyone has any good ideas on breaking this habit I'd love to hear them!)
After I took the picture of Ethan and Chris I came downstairs to this! Katelee was not a happy camper that I left her by herself for a few seconds! What a needy cutie pie!
Hopefully soon I will have our Thanksgiving pictures posted so everyone can see the fun things we got to do while in Utah!