Thursday, October 15, 2015

My kids are growing up! -- Jackson

It's amazing to see how much Jackson has changed this past year. what a big change from starting first grade! He is so funny in his writing. I love seeing what he comes up. He daily writes notes to people. Sometimes they are so nice and loving...other times they say rude things (you stink, i don't like you...) Those are usually the notes to the girls! :) I love seeing his homework and the things he comes up with!

The dentist would be glad to know he is proud of his silver caps! :) 

I am so impressed that he loves to read and do his homework on his own. I really don't spend time with him on school stuff...he's ready to move on to new ideas and things he wants to make. He always has ideas of books, swords, or types of wallets he wants to make. He got in trouble at school for the first time. He had to stay in from recess because he was saying "bad words" to other kids. Turns out he told another kid he was "stupid" because his rules weren't allowing all the kids to play the game so he said "you're a stupid ruler". Poor kid had to call me on the phone with his teacher, sobbing. I was a little amazed that the school was enforcing such HIGH standards, but I decided not to complain because that's better than the other way around. Still, missing recess for saying stupid was a little much. I tried not to make it a big deal but he had a really bad day about it. And ended up losing his first tooth that night. Traumatic ending to his bad day.

 For the most part though, Jackson is incredibly happy and energetic every day of his life. His lips are always chapped because he talks so much and so excitedly :). He runs really fast and I send him outside often to do some laps and get energy out. He is a great helper to me and has become such a sweet older brother.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Summer Cabin Fun

I spent the entire month of July not at home... and it was wonderful! We missed having our dad around, but the break from the heat was amazing! We had the family reunion and then Amber was nice to let me stay and hang out with her 4 boys. We were surrounded by little boys but they played so well together (until the last day at least! :) ). For the most part we spent all day outside and no one asked to play with my phone or watch a movie! It was incredible. 

I always love when Clayt, James, and Neil get to spend time together with their kids. There is something that gets me about seeing what good friends they are but how they have all become amazing dads. I couldn't have asked for better examples of "brothers" for my boys. 

This is actually Stephen.

I will always be grateful to Darl for installing the swings and the grass. We spent HOURS here. 

I love that these 2 were instant friends. 

To say we "caught a few krawdads" would be a lie. We captured and tortured HUNDREDS. If they weren't the ugliest things ever, I might feel bad for all the stabbings and launchings, oh and for shooting them with BB guns and trying to "walk" them with strings around their necks...

 at least Will still uses a binky too! :) 

Dallin's buck teeth get me every single time. His side teeth still haven't grown in! :) 

The cabin allowed me to "wear" Bryce a lot in a baby carrier because it wasn't so hot. He was snuggled up next to me the whole time...great opportunity for his head to heal! 

James actually really missed us. He said the house got way too quiet and stayed way to clean! :) He would drive up on the weekends with Clayton, but by the time I was in prescott, he was ready for me to come home. It wasn't an option he said. 

We are excited they moved back to AZ -here's to hoping we have more parties ahead! 

I have noticed I can never lay around in peace. Ever! There is always someone eager to climb over me. But, I love getting down on my boys level and just letting them attack me. Even if it's only for 10 minutes, they live it up! 

I came home for a few days then left with Shaela to prescott. Sadly, this is the only picture we took. All the boys were staring out the window watch hummingbirds eat out of the feeders. We enjoyed some good yoga, shopping in town, ranger rides, and hanging out with a bunch of Wrights/Dales/Wards down at the kickball field. Definitely a great end to the summer. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Another miracle.

I feel bad I haven't written this until now. But, we had another skull fracture... this time it was little Bryce. I had been making dinner for a neighbor when I had the prompting he was going to get hurt. He was crawling around my legs while I was stirring sauce on the stove. I buckled him in a bouncer chair and scooted him to the side. I felt the prompting again and realized Dallin was bouncing on his head -- sitting on the bouncer of course. So, I took the whole bouncer and put it up on the kitchen island - making sure it was in the middle with room to spare on all sides. Before I even made it back to the stove -- I heard the smack. Somehow his whole bouncer fell off (maybe tommie pulled it? maybe he bounced top hard and it slipped?) But he fell off still buckled in. The side of his head hit first and then the chair broke over on him and smacked his other eye. He didn't cry at first but just stared. i panicked -- yelled for james (who luckily had just gotten home) and just cradled his head. I was sick inside. It had only been a year since my CPS charges from Tommie were dropped and I just knew that Bryce had just fallen from too high. The bouncer keeps him a good 6 inches above the island too. We took him over to Matt porters and discussed our options. Matt agreed he did not look well and the swelling was getting larger. James gave him a blessing and we just felt like an instant late night trip to the emergency room wasn't right. I knew it would become a huge deal with CPS and worried that they would just take him away from us right then. I asked Matt what the hospital would do through the night and remembered from Tommie how much he hated being confined to those cribs. Basically, i held him all night checking his temperature and waking him up every 15-30 minutes. By 8 am we were at Dr. Milius getting skull x-rays ordered and by 3 pm we were in the hospital for CT scans and monitoring. Through it all we never even had to see CPS (thank you Dr. Milius) and got to hold Bryce the whole time. Sure enough, it was a fracture. But, a miracle happened. Because he was only 7 months old, he still had a soft spot on the top of his skull. The way the fracture went, it split up the side, toward his soft spot. A small triangle of bone held the skull from caving in and causing brain damage. The triangle is less than .05 of a millimeter. We let so blessed to think of our own "tender mercy". I know that Heavenly Father was aware of the details of my life, and protected Bryce that day. I think I needed the reminder that I have to focus on my babies, slow down, and enjoy those small times with them. I had started trying to volunteer to all the things people ask me to do and would allow the chaos of "trying to get things done" stop me from focusing on them. It sounds weird, but if I don't have "anything to do" -- meaning anything extra besides cooking, cleaning, the usual...I am just happier. I can focus on them, move at their time frame, and never have moments where everyone is screaming AND i'm getting mad. Sure there are times where everyone is freaking out at the same time, but I am able to maintain my cool and calm them down faster when I'm not stressed with things I have to do. So, that day changed my attitude and ever since then, I quit doing things for other people! I say no when I need to, and don't volunteer for extras right now. I still TRY to visit teach, fulfill my ward missionary responsibilites, and teach RS. But, I don't really do anything else.  Every day I ask James "what's one thing I can do for you today?" sometimes it's laundry, but mostly he says "nothing- just play with the boys". And I do! And, I feel so much happier to just focus on what they want. We go to the library when they want, play group when they want, eat lunch when they want, lay on the couch when they want, etc. I can't believe how much more peace is in our home all because my mind frame switched. And looking back, Bryce has always taught me that lesson from day one. He came with such a feeling of peace, and knowing that "nothing else matters". I knew that he needed to be here to force me to give all my energy to them every single day. But, not only that, but to feel totally fulfilled every day that I am doing all that i need to do. I don't feel like i have "lists" of things to do nor that i never have time to get it all done. Sure, my house has gotten messier and i've had to relax on the cleaning regimens. (Please, don't look behind the blinds, in the couch, or at the carpet stains! :) ) But, I have never ever been more happy.

this picture shows his fracture. Son't get confused by the large growth lines marking the different plates. 

On the left you can see how swollen his head was. And man, did it get huge. But you can also see a tiny finger- like. triangle piece of bone, reaching out and protecting his brain. No swelling or blood inside the skull. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015


I want to take a minute and just talk about Dallin. Sometime he gets pushed aside in my life, but I am in love with this little boy. He is the best! He is very serious and doesn't laugh as often or as easily as my other kids. He sits aside a lot and just watches people and thinks about things.  I think this is why he is starting to seem so much older. Everyone is always shocked when I comment that is just barely 18 months this week. 

He is sensitive. When you scold him or he thinks I'm mad, he just gets genuinely sad. Doesn't cry, just looks at me. This picture captured it perfectly. 

When he gets scared, he just drops to the floor. He plays in the front a lot, runs in the road, and if he sees a car coming, he just sits. Scares me to death. But, funny at the same time.  He has been my earliest talker and says several phrases. "that's my bike", "i want apple juice", "STOP!" < That's his favorite. He says "mom" over and over. As annoying as it sometimes, I love it. His other favorite word is "what?". This started because it's tommie's habitual response to anything you say to him. But, Dallin's is a sweet "What?" and i like it way more. :) He is way loud at church, but polite in what he is saying. "more crackers mom? mom, please?". I sent him to nursery a month early. I just couldn't handle doing it all while James taught sunday school anymore. I was always in there anyways...trying to nurse while on the ground. Sis. Farnsworth was nice enough to just take him for me and it was the smoothest transition. Thanks to Tommie being in there, he never cares that we leave. I am recognizing this is a major advantage of having kids so close in age. i am so lucky they spend most of their day together playing and not fighting.  He idolizes tommie but doesn't try everything tommie does yet...thank goodness! They are best friends, and I love watching them together. 

Sometimes he climbs out of his crib, or Jackson will get him out. He will come to the side of my bed and not say anything. It sometimes takes me a while to notice him, but I love the way he peeks over at me.  It seems like it took him forever to learn to sleep good on his own. Now he is perfect...goes to sleep on his own, takes long naps and sleeps in later than the other kids. He sometimes wakes up screaming, i think he must have bad dreams, but he'll go right back to sleep if you tell him it's ok and give him a binky. Sometimes he tells me he's tired... "mom, bed mom". So cute. 


 He is very creative in finding ways to help himself. Sadly, this could be because I can't always give him the attention he deserves. He pushes chairs around everywhere, climbs up to eat food, get drinks, etc. This makes him seem so old to me. He reminds me so much of James when he eats. Totally engrossed in the experience... looks over the food first and totally enjoys it.  He still loves his "Dee-dee" pinky and always has one in his hand, pocket, or mouth. If he happens to lose that, he goes straight to Bryce and steals his.

He will sit in the swings FOREVER at the park. He loves it. But, I am terrible at being a good pusher. I get so bored and hate standing there holding another baby. When he is not swinging, he going down the slide over and over by himself. Cute to see that he smiles to himself every time too. 

First ice cream cone. Next time, we won't give it to him in the car. Huge mess! 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January- the month of NEVER leaving the house. :)

Somehow we had a terrible virus that lasted at least 6 weeks. Even James had pneumonia from it and missed several days of work. I don't think our whole family ever went anywhere together the whole month. Not an exaggeration. And for the most part, it was me taking care of everyone. Oh well, these cute boys made it well worth it. 

Bryce is the best. So content all the time.  He has a way of following you with his eyes and head, and when you turn to look at him, his whole face lights up with excitement. I love when that happens and wish I just had more time to sit and snuggle him. At his 2 month check up, he was still barely 11 lbs and 24 inch long. I love that he is tiny. So fun to have such a little boy. 

One day while driving in the car, Bryce kept coughing like crazy. This was nothing new thanks to the illness we all had. But, I started thinking about how terrible it sounded and just wishing everyone's coughing would stop. When I got home, I discovered patches of this all in Bryce's hair. Turn out, Dallin had been shoving skittles in Bryce's mouth and the coughing was actually choking I'm sure. Shaela had given dallin a few skittles before we left her house. I said yet another prayer of gratitude that Bryce did not die that day. I had no clue the coughing was anything abnormal. :(

We had an adult's only dinner at Macayo's for Shaela's birthday. James stayed home with the sick kids while i went. It was still one of my highlights from January and i loved being with all my family. Brad of course kept giving shaela all the attention ....and shaela of course loved every minute of it. 

The weather was just beautiful. I spent so much time outside, just letting the kids play. James did an amazing job on our winter lawn... front and back. We laid in that grass every single day. 

 Tommie was really into climbing on everything. I would find him in the most random places, just laying there quietly.

This story still makes me laugh. I wish had a close up picture of just how big the worms are in Jax's jar out there. We had a few days of crazy rain. Busted our roof even.  But, our driveway, and brent leavitt's driveway were COVERED in tangles and tangles of the fattest worms. And to think that james and Brent thought their worm farm and died off! The worms all seemed dead in the containers they had. But, lo and behold, the worms and multiplied and replenished both our yards. When the neighborhood kids discovered it, they swarmed our houses gathering jars of the biggest worms. We were the "cool house" for once. ;)