Tuesday, May 31, 2011

5 Weeks...

Bennett 5 weeks-
We've made it to the one-month mark...

Life is starting to set in just a little bit more. And it's good.
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As you can see from the picture, Bennett is a healthy boy who loves to eat. His "elephant knees" are starting to fade and his face is filling out.

He has some killer projectile spit up. At first it was an occasional thing, but it's starting to become much more regular. He gets such great distance, he usually doesn't get any on him, even while lying down!!

We're still trying to get him to sleep better at night and to start his night sleep before midnight.

His baby acne is in full force yet it doesn't seem to bother him.

He enjoys his tummy time and tends to doze off during it!

He sleeps in a laundry basket in his crib. No joke. It's more snug in the basket than the crib, but we're going to have to change that soon because he's getting too tall!

He has clogged tear ducts on both eyes which makes for a lot of discharge and crusty eyes. Hunter had the same thing in one eye and it took months to clear up.

So far, he has survived "playing" with Hunter. It would be an under statement to say Hunter is excited to have a playmate.

He is decent with the pacifier, but doesn't need it a whole lot. Usually right before eating he'll take it, but has a hard time keeping it in. He's getting a little better.

He is a happy and content baby. We couldn't be more grateful! We love this little guy!
Bennett 5 weeks-6937
FYI: Because so many people have asked...I photograph Bennett in a white onesie every week on a blanket or piece of fabric, and then I photoshop the week on the onesie! The secret is out...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

State Track Meet...

We went to the state track meet to watch our nephew pole vault. With all the family cheering him on, he vaulted 15 ft and took 2nd place in the state. I was more than impressed.
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 Peach Festival-6408

I've never understood people's desire to pole vault. Run as fast as you can holding a really long pole and use all your body strength to propel yourself up and over a pole (fifteen feet up in the air), feet first and land in a pit. I don't understand it, but those that can do it I give props to.

(Steve was a pole vaulter in high school; what I would give to be able to see him vault just one time.)
Steve Toro-
So to watch our nephew do so well was fun. He of course was hoping to go higher but he had a slight handicap. Several weeks back, he was involved in an accident which broke his collarbone and required a surgery inserting a plate and screws. He missed out on a season of vaulting and at the end of the season, he vaulted in a meet to qualify for state on a still very broken collarbone. I found myself holding my breath with every jump just praying he didn't land on it funny and hurt it again. And even with an injured collarbone he managed to pull off second place - he rocks!
Peach Festival-6434

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Peach Festival...

We ventured out to the Schnepf Farm Peach Festival last weekend.

We stopped in at the tasting tent and tried everything peach: peach licorice, peach popcorn, peach syrup...jelly, cobbler, gummi bears, salsa. It was just peachy! I have to say, I was quite a fan of the peach popcorn and peach salsa, as weird as both of those sound, they were pretty tasty.

Hallie wasn't feeling great as her head cold immediately escalated the minute we were out in the heat, (what kind of parents are we??) so we didn't get to spend nearly as much time as we originally planned. We never made it to the carnival-like rides and we didn't pick any peaches. We did stop for lunch at the "peachy pancake" bar. Wow, it was delicious. The peaches were to die for fresh and they were mounded so well on top of the largest pancake I've ever had! It was good. Really good. It made me wish more than anything that we could go pick a lot of peaches. But Hallie's dismal state required us to return home.
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But we'll be back next year for sure!
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Moving day...(kind of)...

We moved from Wisconsin over 6 months ago, and left our home behind to sell. Finally in January we found out we had sold our home and we moved full swing into the home buying process here. And what a process it has been. We knew that selling our home might be difficult, but it never occurred to either one of us that buying a home would be more difficult. Although we've been told it's a "buyers" market, the area we're looking to buy into is not so. With so many foreclosures and short sales on the market it has been more than difficult to find the home that's right for us.

We have put offers on 5 homes and for one reason or another it has not worked out. Just recently, we found a traditional sale and we were so excited because we knew we could close this home. We signed the final offer papers the day before we had Bennett and went through the process. We got the inspection done, which came back great. We moved forward with our loan - also great. We arranged to have all of our stuff delivered which I was more than excited about.

Then, with just 10 days before closing we got word from our lender that the appraisal came in considerably lower than the asking price. Devastated. That's the problem with a traditional sale today, they're over priced. We knew this house was a little overpriced, but we were willing to pay it because nothing else was working out for us and we were confident the deal would actually close! We were wrong. With the appraisal so low, we had to go back to the seller and renegotiate. But she wouldn't budge. Not a single dollar. So that was it. Just like that the deal was canceled. Once again...devastated. We just want to be in our home, with our own stuff. And it looks like we have to start all over again. Square one.

But there was still one thing looming over us. All of our stuff in storage. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but we were paying $55 a day. That is not a typo. Our stuff in storage for a month would be equivalent to a mortgage payment. Our stuff was stored in a corporate facility by the relocation company. If we were to buy a home, they would move all of our stuff into a home and rebuild all the beds, tables, trampoline, shelving units...anything they took apart when they packed. Steve's company took care of the bill for the first three months. As of last week, our three months was done and we started paying. Not fun!

So we made the decision to have all of our stuff moved here.
Moving Day-6610
This means we will have to turn around and move everything again and we will have to rebuild all the furniture, but at least we're not paying an absurd amount daily! Of course Steve's parent's house is a fully furnished home, so we moved the majority of our stuff into the garage, with all of our wood furniture moved into the basement. It took the moving company 4 men and five hours to complete the process and they didn't even rebuild the furniture. We're not looking forward to having to move all that stuff again!
Moving Day-6611
It was so fun to see all our stuff again. Made me wish more than anything I could start unpacking all the boxes!

What made me homesick more than anything was the smell. As they opened the first crate filled with our stuff, the smell of our home was overwhelming. Then as they packed the garage and basement the smell lingered. I like walking down to the basement right now just for the smell. If I shut my eyes for just a moment I am transported back and all the memories come flooding in. It makes me more excited than ever to find a house to call home. To be settled.

For right now, we're just settled temporarily with the garage filled to the brim. But at least we feel settled. Things could definitely be worse!! We're counting our blessings.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bean Bags...

For Christmas I made Hunter some "ABC" bean bags. I came across them on a blog a while back and set out to make them.

Each bag has a capital and lowercase letter painted on. (I used freezer paper, and cut out the letters with an exacto knife. I then ironed on the freezer paper to the fabric, wax side down and it creates a stencil to paint over. Then peel off the freezer paper. Voila!)Photobucket

We use them for a variety of letter recognition and letter sound games. They also get thrown down the stairs and at eachother! I love multi-purpose toys!! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

3 Weeks...

Bennett 3 weeks-
And he just keeps getting bigger...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Easter 2011...

Easter 2011-5450
Easter 2011-5471
We celebrated Easter just two days before Bennett was born so I'm back-tracking a ways! (not a whole lot of commentary...just a bunch of pictures!)
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Our nephew Jameson prepared to leave on his mission and gave a talk in church that we were able to attend. (Us and a whole bunch of other family members!)
Easter 2011-5373
We ate a delicious ham dinner with family and had another Easter egg hunt with all the cousins. Hunter was pleased as punch with the 8 eggs that he found, and only broke into half of them to check out the goods!
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Easter 2011-5511
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Because Steve and I knew that we would be induced the next day (or so we thought!) we were enjoying our last evening with our little family of four, and loving all the cousins running around. My mind was obviously running a mile a minute making sure that I had done everything I needed to before this baby came. To say I was slightly preoccupied would be an understatement! But we had an amazing and spiritual Easter.

To quote Hallie (as we walked out of church): "Mom, Easter isn't about the candy, or the eggs. And Easter isn't about the bunny. Easter is about Jesus."

I couldn't have said it better myself!

Friday, May 13, 2011

End of school...

Hallie last day of school-6362Hallie has been dreading this day for weeks. Her teachers started prepping her a while ago for the end of school and I feel as though it has been the topic of many dinner table discussions. Some of the related topics:

She is so sad for school to be done.
She is going to miss her friends so much.
Why does she have to stop going to school for summer.
Why do her cousins get to go to school longer than her.
She can't wait for school to start again.
She's most excited about eating lunch at school.

Like I said, the discussion is never ending. And with each passing day we would kindly remind her how many days she had left.

Luckily there was a big party her last day that she was really looking forward to. It kind of made her forget she would no longer be in that classroom. They sent her home with quite the loot.
Hallie last day of school-6374
Hallie last day of school-6380
And she kindly shared with Hunter. Whatever she was given two of (candy, bubbles, bracelets, pencils, etc...) she quickly gave to Hunter. I was impressed. I didn't tell her she needed to do that. In fact, if it was my candy I would've probably saved it for myself. But she shared.

She brought home a fun book she made as well as a book of all the songs they worked on in the classroom. It was a nice parting gift. She came home and parked herself on the couch for the next hour singing through all of them.
Hallie last day of school-6369

After she was done admiring her loot, she asked, "How many days until I go to kindergarten?"
Hallie last day of school-6364
So we've started yet another countdown!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Life is hard...

One guess as to who is having the hardest time adjusting to the new baby.
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Life is hard for this little guy right now.

He doesn't understand as to why he can't "play" with his little brother.
He doesn't understand why we freak out every time he puts his dirty little grimy hands in Bennett's mouth.
He doesn't understand why jumping on the couch next to his little brother's head is dangerous.
He doesn't understand why pillows and blankets do not belong on top of the baby.

But more than anything, he doesn't understand why this little thing requires so much of the attention that was once focused on him. And he's not happy about it. Not one bit.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

2 weeks...

Bennett is two weeks old today! And he's still a gem.
Bennett 2 weeks-
He is still as chill as they come. He spends the majority of his time sleeping (which my mom informed me is normal behavior for a newborn!) and he's even sleeping well at night.

He's a decent eater, but he always falls asleep. At his 2 week check-up the doctor informed me I have fattening milk as Bennett is gaining weight faster than expected, even with his lazy feedings.

Our biggest dilemma is trying to keep Hunter away from him. I literally carry him into the bathroom in his carseat in fear of what would happen if Hunter found him unattended. We're still trying to teach Hunter that he's not a doll to play with. Hopefully he will grasp that concept soon!
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Mothers Day (cont)...

Hallie came home with a little booklet from church yesterday with the answers to five questions from all the kids in the primary. I quickly turned to Hallie's name in the book to find the following answers:

My mom is terrific because... she puts me to bed
If my mom could go anywhere, she would go to... the Gap
The best thing my mom makes is... tortellini
Mom mom is always saying... "Be good"
My mom is the best at... making dinner

I laughed at her second answer. Especially because since we moved 6 months ago, I've only been to Gap three times, and once was last week! Now if you count packages in the mail, that's a different story!

I got a kick out of several kids answers, but the best was from twin boys. Four of their responses including burning items; burnt cookies, "Do you want a burnt cookie", burning pancake pops, and burning rice. I'll take Hallie's comment about the Gap...at least she gave me some credit in the cooking department!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day...

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I was so happy to have my mom here for mother's day (at least for the morning, before she had to fly home!). We've had her here since last Friday and I've loved every minute of it. She's helped out more than she could possibly understand. With Steve back at work this last week, I've enjoyed her company and presence more than anything. We didn't do a whole lot. Which is unusual for me. I tend to have projects arranged far in advance for all the things we will accomplish when she arrives. But I had nothing on the agenda this time. No rooms to paint. Nothing to sew. No pieces of furniture to refinish. I was a little disappointed in myself. But we're just in a limbo stage, and it's draining on my motivation!

We did manage to make it to Mesa Frozen Yogurt (two times in fact), introduced my mom to In-n-Out (which she agreed was a delicious burger) and she tried the Flying Saucer from Steve's favorite mexican restaurant, Rosa's, with her brother who lives here. We also fit in some shopping while my sister-in-law watched the kids which was really enjoyable. Other than that. We hung out. Talked. Watch a movie. Held Bennett. And held Bennett a little more.
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This morning Steve mastered breakfast with a delicious smoothie and a toasted cinnamon bagel. He knows me too well. He had worked with the kids the night before personalizing mugs for me. I'm a sucker for a homemade gift. And these mugs were no exception. Hallie meticulously painted her mug including her name and "I love you". Hunter on the other hand painted a couple colors in different shapes. They're both fantastic!

 I went to church to listen to Hallie sing a song with the primary (she had talked about it all week and asked several times if I would be there to hear her. I left Bennett with my mom and went and listened. Hallie was beaming. I was so glad I was there. I left right after to take my mom to the airport.

I. Hate. Goodbyes.
They suck!
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It's always hard for me to say goodbye. It was even hard for me to sing the opening song in church "Families Can Be Together Forever" without getting choked up. What's funny is I'm going to see her again this summer. In June. But the goodbye is still just as hard. I want to live closer to her. I want to spend more time with her. I want her to sit on my couch more often. But none of that is possible. So I take the weeks when I can get them and cherish them. I loved this week. I loved that she was just as comfortable sitting on the couch as I was and I didn't have to entertain her. I loved that lady. So I drove away blurry eyed with anticipation of June. It's not that far away!

I enjoyed the peace and quiet of the house when I got home. It was nice to sit down with Bennett in my arms and cry for just a minute longer. Just a minute. And then I was able to pull myself together. That is until Steve got home and started talking about how much he enjoyed having my mom there. There were just a few more tears! 

But Steve knows how to soothe his crying wife...he made dinner; buttermilk waffles. From scratch. Even folded in egg whites. They were the real deal and they were divine.
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It was a good day. A really good day. Despite tearful goodbyes, I felt more than blessed. I love being a mother. I really do. There is no doubt the days are often long and my patience a little short. But there are also sweet and simple rewards mixed in. Hallie makes me cards all the time that tell me that she loves me. Hunter gives me slobbery kisses mixed with snot running down his nose before bedtime. Bennett lets me hold him endlessly and makes little noises as he's snuggled up on my chest. They're small but precious moments. It makes me grateful to be a mother. It makes me more appreciative of my own mother and mother-in-law. We are doing a great work raising children!
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Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's been 1 week...

Time flies...and it has already been a week since our little man was born.
Bennett 1 week-
We are loving this little guy. So far, he is as chill as they come, quite the contrast to our other children. He sleeps a considerable amount during the day and hasn't done too bad at night. Granted, we've only had him at home with us for five nights!

He has a high pitched little squeal that is supposed to be his cry. He sounds more like a little dinosaur and it makes me laugh every time.
Bennett 1 week-6085
I love the way his little legs curl up when you pick him up.
I love the little sounds he makes when he's snuggled up against me.
I love the way he smells, new baby mixed with baby lotion.
I love watching him slowly drift to sleep as he eats.
I love that he sleeps with his hands above his head. (except for at night when he's swaddled!)
Bennett 1 week-6082
I love that he's ours.
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