Sunday, October 25, 2015

pickin pumpkins 2015

 Our tradition continues!   And oh my goodness, looking back at the pictures from last year-the kids have grown a ton!!!   Chris had been on a business trip all week and got home just in time to have a fun filled Halloween weekend.  We were ALL so thrilled to have him home. 

Milo was so big this year.  He wanted to carry his own pumpkin, was too cool to pretend to drive the tractor, and just wanted to be a good helper.  This boy was glued to his dad.  I love the strut that he does after he does something "big".   He helped Chris load the pumpkins into the truck and comes back and says, "alright girls, we took care of it."  What a little stud!. . . but where did my baby go?! 

For being such a diva, this little thing sure won't hold still for a picture!  She picked the first big pumpkin that she could find and said, "my dad is so so strong.  Tell him to use his muscles to lift it up."  Then she walked off and got in the trailer, and that was that.  She didn't want to walk around or think about a different one.  She had done her job, executed her sass, and was thrilled with her choice.  Then we have baby Crew.   His temperament really is getting so much more pleasant. . . especially when he's got food in his mouth!   If you notice he is carrying a bag of fruit loops, which Chris brought home from his trip.   Crew death gripped those babies all night.   That kid eats so much-it's crazy that he isn't fatter than he is.   He is good size, but definitely not a fat baby still.   He seriously stuffs everything and anything into that mug.

  It's crazy how fast the years are passing.   This last year has been a bit insane.   Having 3 kids so close together was definitely a handful, but I must admit, now that they are getting a little older, it is so much fun to see them interact.   Crew is constantly trying to keep up with Milo and Taya.   They are such good kids, and tolerate his sticky baby hands stealing their toys and pawing at their treats.  They love to make him laugh and he loves them like crazy.   When I used to need to get a babysitter, I would try to get one for the big kids, and one for Crew.   They were just too much of a handful.   But now Crew needs his brother and sister, and they need him.   I always said that I wanted to raise my kids in a "pack" so that they would be close. and we're doing it- one crazy day at a time:)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Caboose

This boy is the big 1 on Saturday!   Holy moly, we made it!  Made it through rsv.  Made it through sleep training.  Made it to being a big boy! I can't say that it was the easiest year of my life, but looking back it has been one of the most rewarding.  Even though Crew was a tough baby, I fell even in love with him over this last year. 
 The last month or so has been so fun with him.  He's eating good, feeling good, sleeping good, and becoming so pleasant!   He is crawling, and almost walking.   He can say mama, dada, dog, and bird (kind of:)).  He is finally starting to enjoy other people and is starting to show so much personality.  He loves to run and play chase.  Especially loves to dance.  This kid can head bang like no one's business.   It is one of my favorite things in the world.   You'll be trudging through Walmart getting groceries and you look over and there he is just rocking out in the baby seat.  
 He's definitely my biggest eater.  This kid loves his food.  Loves his sweets.  Loves his chicken, pulled pork, and anything else that you put in front of him.  He looks so similar to Milo's pictures from when he was 1.  The only difference is that Crew has a neck roll.  Milo weighed 18 pounds, and Crew weighs 22.   To be honest, I don't know how Crew isn't even fatter.   He can eat!
 He's still a mama's boy, and loves to hold my hand.   Pretty soon he won't want me to help him around, so I'm enjoying it for now.   Now that Crew can move, I swear he is one of the busiest babies I have ever seen.  He seriously never holds still.   I watch people at church, and they give their baby one book in the time that I go through every toy in the bag, stuff him with fruit snacks, use the bag as a hat, run laps around the chairs and pulls out both of my earrings and puts them in his mouth.   He is SO busy right now. 
 Crew LOVES dogs.  Loves his blanket.   Loves his brother and sister.  Steering wheels and cars.   Any kind of ball.... oh ya, and food:)
 I remember hearing the story of Sacajawea in college.   Did you know that while she lead the Lewis and Clarke expedition, she was pregnant?   She gave birth to a baby boy while on the voyage.   They say that she was such a strong force in the moral of the expedition.   Her baby boy was, "the pride and joy of the company".   I very much feel like that is what Crew is for our family.   We all baby him so much.   Even Tay just dotes and dotes on him.   We love it when he shakes his hands and smiles.   He is our baby- the pride and joy of our company.  I just love that mug!

Milo Kalai

 It must be nostalgic Tuesday or something because I'm getting all choked up looking at these photos.  This little man is about to start pre-school.  I can't believe it!  He is such a good boy.  Like I know that everyone likes their own kids, but he really is so good.  He has the most tender heart and is very emotionally aware.  
 This summer he chose to try out golf.  We were really pushing him toward soccer, but his little heart was set.  I called the golf course, and they said it was really for 6 and up, but that if I thought that he would follow directions, that he could try.   He was the cutest golfer I've ever seen.   He tried so hard, listened to his teacher, and rocked it.   His little arms are seriously just barely strong enough to swing that club around.  Chris and I were both so proud of him.   
Taya started gymnastics and was struggling.  She wanted to do it, but was unsure about going to class all by herself. . . So I sent Milo with her.  I never would have dreamed that the best thing for Milo would be to put him in a 3 year old girls gymnastics class.   Come to find out, he is awesome at listening to directions, and has the best form ever.   After 3 weeks they asked him to join their all-star team.   I thought it was hilarious.   I never really meant for him to excel at gymnastics... but whatever, he loves it and now Taya goes to class and loves it too.  I'm keeping them in the same class.  They are so cute out there doing their tricks together. 
 I would definitely describe Milo as an intellectual.  He seriously internalizes and thinks so deeply about things.   The other day he asked me who the oldest person that I know is.  I told him that his great-grandpa Charlie is 93, and that's the oldest person that I know.   He said, "wow, he's going to die."  I may have laughed out loud at this response and quickly reprimanded him with a, "but don't tell that to him."  Which was obviously followed by him asking, "why?"   I told him, "because that might make him feel sad.  If someone told you, you are going to die, would that make you happy?"  Then he says, "mom if someone told me that, I would be really happy.  I want to die because that means that I will be with Heavenly Father, and Jesus will give me all of the things that make me happy, like a cat mini-ex.   Plus when I live in heaven, then I will get to play with Logan and Austin (his friends that moved to Alabama) all the time." 
It is so nice to have him as the big brother.  He is such a good example to Taya and Crew.  He keeps everyone safe and happy.  Sometimes I think that it is a burden for him to have to be the oldest.  I know that there is a lot of expectation on him to be good and help out, but he really handles it so well.   He is such a stud.  I love it when he calls Crew, "little stinker" and gives him hugs.   Or when I catch him sneaking into Taya's room in the early morning so that they can lay in her bed and talk.   Ah man, I can't believe that he is almost 5- almost a school boy.  I honestly wish I could keep him home with me forever.   I will miss him too much while he's at school!

Taya's Tea

My beautiful Taya is officially 3! I let her choose what we did for her birthday party, and she decided that she wanted to have a fancy tea party.  I'm telling you-she is no ordinary 3 year old!  She wanted everyone to dress fancy and sip purple kool-aid.  And since Taya is queen, we all did just that.
pampered and primped with fancy sun glasses and toe painting. 
 Everyone came in costume or dressed up.  Tay was delighted.

I wish I had a better pic of her cupcakes.  They looked like high heel shoes, and they were adorable!  Thanks to aunt Chera for her help!
Taya peaked in one of the bags and caught a glimpse of this dress.  She was SO anxious to put it on, and since it was her birthday, we let her open it early and wear it for the party.  Melia and Analise gave it to her and she looked like such an angel in it.  These photos are blurry, but I don't care.  You should have seen her face when she came outside after changing into it.  She was so pleased with herself. Like seriously, she was just glowing. 
She has Chris eating out of the palm of her hand. 
I thought it was pretty awesome that she was all dressed up for the piƱata. 
Then came present time.  Taya had made it very clear that she did not want any toys for her birthday.  All she wanted was clothes, shoes, and jewelry.  She said this for several weeks before the party, but I thought that once she got in the hot seat she would want dolls, barbies, etc... Nope!  But she tried on every outfit and shoe that people gave her.  She was so happy with seashell bracelets, tiaras, and sparkly red shoes.  She got spoiled rotten. 
Papa and grandma gave her this prom queen dress.  She insisted that we call her queen the rest of the night.   She would tell everyone, "Hallie is my princess, and I'm the queen." 
Um... If you can't tell, we all find so much joy in Taya.  She is a little firecracker and we are all more than a little obsessed.
 I hadn't planned on having Milo get Taya a gift, but he got it in his head that he wanted to give her a purple scooter for her birthday.  He was SO excited at the idea of it so that  they can ride together.   I couldn't tell him no-he was too adorable... So he got her a purple scooter.  He is the sweetest big brother.   I remember feeling so guilty when I was pregnant with Taya, because I knew a second child would detract from the attention that Milo gets, but honestly all of the time I think, "I don't know what Milo would do without Tay".  He just loves her, and she loves him.  He will always be her protector, and she will always be his number one fan.  She wants to be just like her big brother, and he adores her.  I love the relationship that these two have developed. 
While the other kids ran around and played crazy, Taya strutted around the backyard in her new clothes. 
Little girl in princess heaven sitting on her lute!
I honestly cannot explain the joy that Taya has brought to our family.  I can't believe that she is 3.  From the minute that she was born, she's had her own way of doing things.  I never imagined myself having a girly girl, but I wouldn't change a thing about her.  My soul absolutely finds happiness in her smile.  She gives the best hugs in the whole world, loves her spicy, and has the cutest raspy voice.  I make her promise me every night that we will always be best friends.  And honestly I pray that is the truth. No matter what, she can do no wrong in my eyes, and I'll love her forever. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Happened So Fast

It has been a cool summer so far, but we have managed to go to the pool almost every day.  The kids have LOVED it.  Milo is an amazing swimmer for being four years old.  I was really hoping that he would be able to touch the bottom of the pool this year, but he's still a little bit too small.  We told him that if he could swim the length of the pool without floaties or help then we would let him swim with just a tube and noodle. . . well he did it.  I'm telling you, he is amazing for being four.  So we bought him a noodle.   Taya of course wanted a purple on so that she could be like brother. 
Chera and I took the kids to the pool on Monday. There was one other family there and they were just sitting quietly on one side.  Lugging all of the stuff for five kids to the pool is exhausting.  We got there and I parked the wagon while propping Crew on my hip.  I was just about to get out the sun screen when I got the strong impression to turn around.  .   .  .  There at the far end of the pool I immediately spotted Taya. . . . under the water, with a purple noodle floating above her.  My heart sank.  She didn't fall in, so there was no splash.  She simply walked down the stairs holding her noodle, thinking that she was being safe, lost grip of it, and went under.   She was trying to tread, but her little hands weren't even breaking the surface of the water.  It seriously was so fast and 100% silent.  No one actually saw when exactly she went under, that was one of the things that scared me the most.  I didn't know if she had been under for 5 seconds, or 50.  A million things raced through my mind when I saw her.  "She is still moving, it's going to be okay. Do I leave Crew on the cement and hope he doesn't follow me into the pool?  How long has she been in there?  Please don't go limp, please keep moving.  Oh my gosh, she is three.  How did I not keep my eyes on her.  It's going to be okay, just get to her. Please keep on moving."  I yelled at Chera to take Crew, sprinted the length of the pool, and jumped in for her.  the whole time I kept praying, "please don't go limp".  I got to her and pulled her out of the water.  She was coughing and terrified, but okay.  Poor little thing just kept saying, "I was just sinking so bad." 
I held her wet little body so tight. 
Things happen so fast!  I 100% know that Heavenly Father was looking out for us that day.  It was kind of a funny thing.  That morning when I said my morning prayers (which are always groggy and not super),  I got off my knees and then got the strong impression to pray for the safety of my children.  I quickly threw up a, "oh, and please help me keep my children safe".  I honestly gave a minimal effort, but now looking back, I am so sure that those two promptings that day made the difference of 30 seconds-30 seconds that saved Taya's life. 
Since then I feel like I have been clinging to her.  All of the "what ifs"  keep running through my head.  So often I forget how fragile life is.  How powerful and merciful our Heavenly Father is. And how the little things add up to be the big things in life.  I love my Taya so much and I am so grateful that she is okay.  That terrifying moment has definitely renewed my faith, and made me eternally grateful for a Heavenly Father who is personally involved in my life, and who wants to help me in everything I do. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

First Time Fishing

Chris and I both come from families of fishermen/women.  For whatever reason, it never stuck with either of us.  We have the a.d.d. way too bad.  But on Memorial Day I really wanted to do something in nature with the kids.  Problem is, the mountains are like 40 minutes from here, which with Crew is like an eternity.  Plus once we got there we would have a very short amount of time before we needed to head back for naps, so we came up with plan B: Coldwater Fish Farm.
They hand you the pole, you don't use bait, and you are guaranteed a fish within ten minutes.  that's my kind of fishing!
These mugs are attempting a "fish face".
 Taya was SO patient.  She let Milo fish first and never complained once.  It took her about 8 minutes to catch her fish... which in 2 year old little girl time is quite a while.   As soon as her fish came out of the water, she panicked.  She squealed and ran and tackled Chris's legs for safety. 

 It was adorable!

 Milo was the exact opposite.  As soon as his fish came out of the water he wanted to kiss it and hold it and show it to everyone that walked by. 
Like seriously wouldn't put it down.  I had tried to tell him that these fish aren't pets, instead you eat them.  He seemed fine with this idea until he was actually holding it.  Then he said, "not me!  I'm keeping mine forever! Even if he dies I will still love him and keep him in my room."  
At one point I was feeding Crew lunch, and Milo kept putting his fish right in my face and saying, "Mom, say hi to my pet fishy.  Isn't he so cute!"  I grimaced and told him that he should put it back in the bucket.  Which was immediately followed by a very serious, "why?"  I told him that the fish was kind of stinky and I didn't like it in my face.  So Milo takes a big old whiff of that thing and says, "I love it. I'm holding him all day." . . . and he basically did.
 Crew is at a tricky stage.  He didn't love fishing because he really really just wanted to get in the water.  He can't walk yet, but he thinks he can.  So we held hands and tip toe walked the entire pond.  He's also learned to whine even when he is happy and smiling.  It can be very confusing, so I just try to tell myself that he is talking and actually thoroughly enjoying himself:)
So we missed the whole grave thing on Memorial Day, but I really think that Chuck, and Naka, were watching us catch a fish for them and enjoyed that more than flowers:)