Thursday, September 12, 2013

36 weeks and still freaked out!

If I had to choose one word to describe how I'm feeling about being 36 weeks pregnant--and having a baby in the next 4 weeks--it would be "denial." I don't know if it will ever really sink in that I will soon be the mother to FIVE BOYS! I'm too young to have so many kids. I still have no idea what I'm doing. Five is A LOT of kids! I've never been the type of person to "wing" anything. I'm a planner. I like to be in control. But where this pregnancy, and life with five sons is concerned, I'm totally just going on faith and prayers that I'll be able to figure it out without screwing things up too horribly. I guess I have 4 weeks to get my head wrapped around this new baby thing because, ready or not, he is about here!

Happy Birthday Maxwell!

I think what makes Max such a special little boy is that he possesses some of the most Christ-like attributes, just intrinsic to his nature, that many adults (myself included) still struggle to develop. Max is one of the most giving, generous people that I know. I rarely have to remind him to share a toy or a treat with his brothers. In fact, whenever Max gets a treat at preschool or primary, he will often ask for two so that he can give one to Hank. He can't wait to see Hank after school to share with him a brownie that we made or a new toy that we bought at the dollar store. Max is quick to apologize and is very forgiving. If I ever become upset with Max about something, he is always eager to say he is sorry, and he really means it. Max's humility humbles me. Max is very sweet and affectionate. He will tell me randomly throughout the day that he loves me, that I'm "the best mom ever," and give me hugs and kisses. Max has an obedient heart and is a peace-maker. I have to remind myself not to take advantage of Max's good nature and willingness to help by asking more of him than I should, because I know that if I need help with anything or need someone to do something, Max will almost always do what I ask without complaint. Maybe all of these pure traits are what make Max so happy all of the time--he is just a happy person and so pleasant to be around. Max has many talents and traits that will make him successful at whatever he chooses to pursue in his future, but one thing I know for sure, is that Max is going to be great husband/dad material. I love Max to bits and pieces and feel lucky to have such a tender, special little boy in our family.

For Max's big day, we played hooky from school and work and took the boys to the Utah State Fair! I don't want to cast a shadow over what was a really fun day by drawing comparisons, so I'll just say that the Utah State Fair is no Puyallup Fair, and leave it at that. Fortunately, children have the remarkable gift of sometimes not seeing things for what they really are, so I don't think they noticed some of the low-budget aspects of this fair. As far as they were concerned, we visited the animals, we rode the rides, ate way too much junk food, and all in all had a great time!

Very first thing, Max wanted to find the cotton candy stand and get his sugar fix. 

Joey used his chicken nugget as a spoon to scoop mouthfuls of ranch dressing. Then washed it down with big gulps of pop. You only go around once, right?

We bought ride wristbands for Aaron, Hank, and Max so that they could enjoy unlimited rides, but after taking the boys on the first ride, Aaron decided that he'd had it and sat the rides out. Luckily, there were enough kiddie rides that didn't require parental accompaniment, so the boys rode the rides by themselves for several hours while Aaron recovered from the tilt-a-whirl.

Would you believe I carried--CARRIED--Ben up the 9 million stairs to the top of this giant slide so that he could ride down on my lap? I thought I was going to go either pass out or go into labor once I made it to the top, but it was fun to be able to let him experience the thrill of a ride, too.
After the fair, we invited Nana and Papa Grover over for Max's birthday dinner request of pizza, cookie pie (entirely his idea), icecream, and presents.

Birthday Interview with Max:

1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world? "my mom."
2. What is your favorite color? "blue."
3. What television show do you like the best? "Johnny Test."
4. What is your favorite outfit? "a BYU shirt."
5. What is your favorite sport? "Mariners."
6. What song do you like the most? "Nephi."
7. What do you like to eat for breakfast? "Frosted Cheerios."
8. Who is your best friend? "Dad."
9. What would you like to be when you grow up? "an army man."
10. What are you really good at? "baseball."
11. If you could go anywhere on earth, where would it be? "Disneyland!"
12. What would you do if you had $1,000,000.00? "buy two thousand bow and arrows. Real ones."
13. What is your least favorite vegetable? "potatoes and corn."
14. What would you do if you had one wish? "get a truck. No, a monster truck. No, a tank!"
15. What is your favorite drink? "Sprite."
16. What is your favorite treat? "chocolate."
17. Who is your hero? "Dad."
18. What is do you like to do with your friends? "play guns."
19. What what your favorite birthday present? "lights and sounds gun."
20. What makes you so special? "my Dad always says, 'love you, Maxy!'"

Happy Birthday to my favorite Five-Year-Old! I love you Maxwell!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Aaron's Birthday Weekend - Part II

Come January, I hope Aaron remembers how spoiled he was for his birthday, because this guy got not one awesome birthday weekend, but two! Originally, I had planned on taking Aaron on a birthday weekend getaway in lieu of a party/gifts, but when we decided to spend the weekend of his actual birthday in Rexburg for a baby blessing, we scheduled our getaway for the following weekend and Aaron had the luck of celebrating twice. If anyone deserves such a lavish celebration, it's Aaron--he is my bestest friend, partner, and teammate.

On Friday, we dumped dropped the boys off at Nana and Papa's house and took off on our Las Vegas excursion. So many places to go, things to do, and sights to see...and we didn't do any of them! No frenzied schedule to keep or agenda packed full of activities...we soaked up every minute of glorious freedom to do whatsoever, or whatsolittle, our hearts desired. I had to keep telling myself, "I'm on vacation. It's okay to be lazy." I don't even call it laziness. It was a much-needed opportunity for Aaron and I to disengage from the monotony of our roles and routines, connect with one another, center ourselves, and gear up for some big challenges that lie ahead. With that as our goal, we spent the majority of our weekend going to bed early and sleeping in late, eating ourselves silly, and just enjoying each other's company.

Being that it was his birthday celebration, Aaron did have a few things he wanted to check out:

I think I could live a long time before I feel the need to walk the strip again, but we did enjoy working up a little pre-buffet appetite walking through all the shops along the strip.

Aaron picked our evening entertainment:

There should be a wife trophy for this birthday sacrifice (accompanying Aaron at a sports club so he could get his fix watching the Seahawks game that wasn't broadcast on TV in our room) : 

Happy Birthday!

Aaron's Birthday Weekend Part I

We had such a fun weekend visiting our Rexburg cousins over Labor Day weekend. The kids played for hours in the backyard digging in the sandbox (yep, already added to Aaron's "to-do" list), swinging (Papa had to rig the child swing with more sturdy hardware to accommodate Ben's passion for swinging--he even fell asleep in the swing!), and practicing golf shots. On Saturday, Aaron celebrated his birthday with a morning round of golf and we spent the afternoon splashing and jet skiing around the pond. Nana made Aaron's special request birthday dinner of steak, potato salad, scones, and brownies and icecream. Afterwards, the older kids joined Nana and Papa at the hotel for swimming and a cousin sleep over. On Sunday, D blessed our newest cousin, baby Jax, and we drove home in the sweet silence of 4 tired little boys sleeping in the backseat.

Like Father, Like Son

To his Dad's delight, Hank is becoming quite a little sports fan. It's been special for Aaron to begin to share with Hank some of his favorite things, and watch as Hank has begun to develop an interest in the same things. Aaron and Hank like to watch Mariner's games together and Hank has even started to ask Aaron about which players are batting well, which pitcher is starting, etc. So, it was a special "rite of passage" moment when Aaron surprised Hank with his first packages of baseball cards. I don't know if Hank will become the fanatic card collector that his Dad once was, but it is sweet to see Aaron pass his love for the game down to his own sons.


I'm not sure what I like about this picture, but I do. One minute we're outside playing catch in the front yard, and the next minute, like bears to honey, these boys can find mischief. I like that they each explored such a simple thing as rain water run-off in their own way: Hank used his hands to make a dam, Joey slurped up the water with his hands, Ben used his feet to splash, and Max dropped water bombs on nearby bugs. Must be boys or something!