Saturday, July 30, 2011

Doo-Dah, Doo-Dah!

I've been learning how to play the guitar. 

After about a year of a haphazard practice schedule, I have finally decided to take my brother-in-law's advice.  Brad plays a song for his kids every night on the guitar and he can play awesome songs.  I felt like I wasn't good enough to do that at first.  What's really neat, though, is that while I'm still practicing basic songs from my guitar book to strengthen my chords, all it's taking is a little here, a little there, and in just the last month I have seen a noticeable improvement.  Certain chord changes aren't so hard anymore, and I'm branching out to new things, and even trying my hand at memorizing some songs...and all it takes is 5-10 minutes each night (sometimes every other night) before bed.  So cool! 

My kids' favorite songs are the corniest ones. : )  It's hilarious.  In college, my roommates made fun of me as I would practice the beginner songs, and now those are the ones my kids "She'll be Comin' Round the Mountain" and "Camptown Races".  Emmett will join in on the "Doo-Dah" chorus, and will sing "Doo-dah!" if that's what he wants me to play.  Last night when I finished playing Emmett clapped his hands for me and cheered, "Yay!"  It made me feel so good that he loves my basic, beginner, guitar skills.

Tyson's opinion is a little more, should we say, constructively critical..... A couple weeks ago I was a little proud of myself for branching out to reach some new chords and for throwing some new songs into the mix...I did have a slight pause here or there, but what do you expect when I'm practicing and performing for my kids at the same time?  When I was packing up the guitar Tyson gave me a big hug and said to me, "Some of those songs were THE BEST!!!  And other of those songs, I thought, 'I think she's having a hard time'."  I told him thanks for the honest critique!  Gotta love it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Take #50 MILLION!

For whatever reason I thought it would be a good idea to have a picture with my mom while we were celebrating her birthday last night.  It was right before we sang happy birthday, and we were excited for the cheesecake...which by the way, tasted DIVINE! 

I'm not going to tell you which birthday she was celebrating...we'll just say it was a big one.  When my dad turned that age it wasn't weird to me, but my mom is different...I still can't believe my mother is that old.  Anyway, my professional photographer, Ciara, was taking the pictures for me, and this is the sequence of what happened:

#1:  Wait, we're not ready, yet, even though you have the camera.

#2:  Um, the flash didn't go off.  Let me fix it.

#3:  MITCHELL!  (Trying to be like the You-Tube guy we were watching the other day.  Heber showed us these videos of a goofball who makes these silly random faces in odd situations and catches people with candid reactions).  Thanks a lot, though.  Let's try again.

#4:  I think Mom, yep she did.  I've had enough of this.  Let's sing Happy Birthday and then try again.....


#6:  Finally a keeper, and I don't even like it that much, because how could I when the 5th picture was so amazing?  You RUINED me, Dad!   But it's so funny!

The irony is that this GREAT picture only needed ONE take with the camera and a timer. 

Last night was really sweet.  I hope it was great for my mom.  I'm so glad Ciara went with me on the Cheesecake excursion.  We found peas in a pod salt & pepper shakers, we ran around the stinkin' town, Dad made the most delicious steak in the world--he really has a knack for seasoning food, we had cake and presents and surprises, and we all ended it by dancing to the music my dad accumulated for my mom.  It was so sweet to have all of us there slow dancing in the living room to my parent's song "You Are my Shinning Star".  Mom & Dad started, then me & Mitch. Ciara got Emmett to dance for about 30 seconds, and Taylor, Heber & Jodi were making stupid faces and and making fun, but as for me, we were all having a precious moment.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been to have Mike & Erin there dancing with us.  We really miss them during moments like this.  But it was so sweet, and my heart was filled with so much love for my family--my mom especially, and my dad, and seeing the way my dad loves my mom, and thinking about our life and family, and my new life with Mitch and our sweet kids.  It's just a tender moment.  It was my mom's birthday, but it was a highlight of my summer, and a fantastic day for me, too.

Happy Birthday, Mom! You look so great!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Funny Kid-a-roonies

I sometimes feel badly, because I feel like I write down more things about Tyson than Emmett, but that's because Tyson could talk.  Well, Emmett is emerging into that phase, too, so now I've got to remind myself to write down AS MUCH as I did with my first child.  Possible?  Probably not, but we'll start trying. : )

Here's an example of Emmett's current coloring skill level. : )  It cracks me up to have him bring me something like this, to smile and get to exclaim, "That's VERY nice!  Good job!"  These are the days, let me tell you!

  •  Since my last post about Emmett's speaking abilities either he's had an increase in development, or I've had a heightened awareness of what he can/can't do, and I'm realizing he uses consonants all the time.  Lately the consonants come at the end of the words the most, but sometimes the beginning too.  He's not doing too bad, and even my mom can understand the things he says, so I'm not the only one who can "translate Emmett".  Occasionally we get all vowel words from him, though...for instance:  I will hug & kiss him and exclaim, "You're adorable!"  And he'll grin and point back at me and repeat what I said, "Oooh!  Uh-ah-uh-uh!"  Mitch and I laugh so hard, because he does this every time!
  • Emmett's favorite movies are Toy Story 1, 2, and 3.  He's always begging to play with "Uzzsh!" and "Ooo-eee".  We were at the store the other day walking down the toy aisle, and there was a Woody toy, but the Woody was like inside a truck, and I said, "What's this, Woody?"  And Emmettt immediately explained to me, "Ooo-eee!  Yeah!  Ooo-eee!" 
  • Another one of his favorite movies is Monster Inc, and he calls it, "Inc".  Unfortunately he got into the DVDs and tried to pull that one out and cracked it in the process, yesterday.  So sad.  The movies are now on the top shelf, instead of the 2nd to top if that's going to prolong my climber for very long.

This one segues into Tyson sayings, and it happened this morning....

Emmett LOVES to play with flashlights.  Like he's obsessed with them.  I know most little kids are or can be, but he will spot a flashlight from a mile away, turn it on, and carry it around the entire house forever...longer than it takes you to keep an eye on him to take it when he forgets about it...because he doesn't forget about it.  Tyson never did that.  Anyway, this morning, Emmett found the black light...I think he reached it because it was on the shelf the movies used to be on--high, but not high enough. 

Me: Emmett, we probably shouldn't play with a black light.  Don't shine it in your eyes.
Tyson pipes in:  That is a purple light.
Me:  I know, but it's called a black light.  Silly, huh?
Tyson:  Why?  It's the color purple.
Me:  I don't's just a silly name because it's a dark light, so it's called a black light.

More Tyson-isms:
  • Tyson is in to big words, lately.  He shocked me a little the morning after his birthday I asked him, "Did you have a great birthday yesterday?"  And he responded, "I recently had a good sleep."
  • The other day we were making bracelets in preschool and Tyson was making one for his Grandma's and he dropped a black sparkly bead onto his black pajama pants.  He looked down to find it and said, "Oh, there it is!  It's camouflaged!"
  • I can't remember when he used it, but he responded to me about something and said, "I certainly hope that...." at that point I quit listening to what he was saying and thought, "Did he just use the word certainly?"  Oh my gosh, it's so funny!  He's using such big words for being so little. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Drenched in Gatorade

Well, I've got some catch-up to do, and I don't know how to back-post so my avid readers, like Merri  : ), are just going to have to put up with me talking about things that happened in the past.

Tyson is a FANTASTIC older brother, but now that Emmett is encroaching on his territory...talking, walking, having his own opinions, stealing toys, throwing things, etc...sometimes Tyson just can't take it any longer.  Well I decided to rotate some of my food storage and found that I had a whole flat of flavored was like store brand Gatorade, and it had expired in 2009, but the kids still liked it, so we were drinking the drinks anyway, and each kid was so excited to have THEIR OWN entire drink.  Emmett accidentally dumped out all of Tyson's orange drink and so Tyson came inside in TEARS.  I thought it was no big deal to give him another drink of his very own since after all we're trying to get rid of the overly colorful expired drinks.  Next thing I know, Tyson had taken his brand new, full orange drink and dumped it in its entirety over Emmett's head.  That's revenge if I've ever heard of it.  I was so shocked that such rage could fill my 3 year old and thought it was so funny at the same time that I had to snap a photo of Emmett, who didn't mind waddling around a little wet in the hot summer sun.  Tyson of course got time out as well as lost his privilege of getting his special drinks for the rest of the day.  He learned his lesson (or so I think he did), but holy cow was it quite the parenting moment.  So glad it happened on the back porch.  Right? And not in the kitchen. : )

Monday, July 18, 2011

This One's For Merri : )

So, I have a friend named Merri.  I've known her just a bit longer than I've been married, but got lucky enough to be called as her visiting teacher when I moved into her ward.  If you don't know what a visiting teacher is, it's basically having the excuse to be someone's friend b/c you get to visit each other on a monthly basis and watch over each other's needs.  You get a partner to visit teach with you, and then you get an assignment of another lady or two or three from church and you visit with them each month and take them a spiritual message.  And then if anything huge happens in their life, you're supposed to be there to help them if you can.  The Relief Society is such an amazing women's organization.

At any rate, I don't think I've ever visit taught anyone longer than I have visit taught's almost been 3 years now, I think, and it's been so much fun FOR ME.  What's fun about it is that I'm positive I've learned more from her than she's ever learned from me--I feel like she's actually my visiting teacher, if that makes sense.

Well, my friend Merri is on bed-rest right now and she's really bored, so I'm updating my blog soley so she can read it. : )  Since my blog is such an interesting thing to read, LOL.

Okay, Merri, here goes...hope you have fun reading so you can kill some time...I'm just going to type whatever comes to my mind if that's might be a little random.  I'm going to start off by stealing a picture from you:

We had a get together the other night and it was really fun.  When I walked in and saw who was there I was immediately comfortable and I'm going to say why:

Starting from left to right-ish we have Ashley.  Ashley and I have children who are the exact same age and when we met we just clicked.  It used to bug me before I had kids when my friends who had kids immediately clicked with other people who had kids simply because they had kids.  It irritated me because I couldn't have kids at the time and didn't feel part of their "club".  But that just happens sometimes and you can't always help it--like with Ashley.  Ashley cracks me up because she's so forth-right somtimes--but in a good way.  She's also been my weight loss coach and says things that no one else would have guts to say.  She can yell at me (through a TEXT, no less) to put a cookie down and I'll listen.  In fact, I attribute the last 20 pounds I've lost since I've had Emmett to my help from Ashley, because she let me borrow a heart rate monitor and motivated me to run a 10K, and honestly those 2 things have made all the difference in my desire & ability to achieve results with exercise.

Next we have Katie.  I love Katie.  A couple times I sent out a group text to see if anyone could get together and it just so happened that only Katie could. It meant a lot to me that she would be my friend and ever since then my little Tyson has begged to go to Brinton's house whenever he got the chance because Brinton has cool legos and is so nice.  Not to mention Katie has adorable children, and she's a really good example of service.  She's always serving others and in fact has coordinated a lot of things for Merri.  Apparently she's only allowed me to sign up for a couple days to help while Merri's on bed rest--even though I reminded her that I should get extra dibs because I'm her visiting teacher, but apparently there've been so many people willing to help that I am only allowed to take my fair share.  I know for a fact however, that Katie has taken more than one shift in the sign ups, but thats okay.  I can still find other ways to serve Merri--even if it's something round-about like blogging.  Just kidding. I love Katie.

Then we have Elena.  I really like Elena.  She's a funny person and zealous and talented.  She is a geneology queen, has 4 children and taxi's them around everywhere, and still makes time to be apart of the lives of others.  She asked me to do a summer preschool class and it meant a lot to me that she wanted me to do one, and so we've been having a fun time with a little laid back craft group that's almost over.  I also like Elena because she put an earing in my ear for me the other day becuase I was having trouble...when she was done she told me that I was having a hard time putting it in my ear because I had something like lint in there.  LOL  How random, right?  but it's an experience we have together, so there you go.

Next we have Rachel.  There's no one in the world that I've ever met quite like Rachel.  You know how you meet someone sometime and you think, "oh, they remind me of _________".  Never once has Rachel reminded me of anyone else. She's so unique.  I like the way she laughs, and I like the insights she shares with me, and we can talk for hours on end about anything.  I am so lucky she's my friend and neighbor.  I never want to move because of her. We also have kids who are the same age and we've had some hilarious experiences.  The most recent experience was when I almost lost her son at the rec center because he decided to take an elevator ride while I was on the phone with her.  I saw him push the button and walk inside, even, but the light bulb didn't go on in my head until the doors closed and I couldn't stop them.  Then I ran upstairs with my baby in one arm and at the top of the stairs I had teenagers laughing at me because Ty was already riding the elevator down again.  And that's not even all there is to the story, but it was comical I'll say that much.  In a nutshell I was supposed to be taking care of our kids and I just couldn't that day and when she showed up she just laughed with me.

Next we have Amanda.  I really like her and feel like I could call her for something if I really needed to...I hope she could feel that way about me.  She also has sent her son to my preschool and he's so adorable.  Amanda used to teach Tyson in Nursery, and he had an absolute fit when he had to leave that class and go to Sunbeams because she & Allison T. did such a good job.  Tyson also loves Amanda's son Conner.  Conner is such a good little boy and he listens so well--I cannot tell you how good he is and the other kids totally love him.  He reminds me of Amanda.  She's the same way--just good and helpful and quiet sometimes and funny other times.  One memory of Amanda is of her laughing so hard she had to sit out of a game because she couldn't breathe.  Have you ever laughed so hard it triggered ashthma?  I didn't know that was possible until it happened to her.

And finally we have Merri (I'm sure you have your own stories about all these girls.  They're such fun people--of course they like you--you draw that kind of a crowd).  Merri is amazing.  She is one of the strongest people I have ever met.  She is determined and kind.  She serves in callings like it's no one else's business.  She magnifies it to a tee.  She loves her husband and children and takes care of them so well.  She has energetic and fun children.  I'm always amazed at her house-keeping skills and decor and lovely yard and "togetherness".  She's also a fantastic sister.  I have watched Merri sacrifice time and time again for the people she loves most in her life and her choices are a living testimony that having an eternal family is where our focus needs to rest.  I like Merri's name because it reminds me of being happy, and the spelling also reminds me of Merri in the Lord of the Rings books....  That was one of my favorite book series of all time.  Don't worry, friend, you DO NOT look like a hobbit, though. : )  Haha!  If I could tell Merri one thing it's that I hope we will always be friends.  I have learned so much from coming to your house and from being around you at church, and also from fun things like birthday parties and girl's nights.  But I'm sure all the other girls in the photo and people at church feel the same way.  Yes, we're in the same ward, but it's deeper than an assignment.  We all truly love you, we want to be like you, and just want to be your friends for always, and we're sorry you're on bed rest right now.  It totally stinks right now, but your baby is going to be so cute to boot, just like Ryan & Rylee. 

Hope you're having a great day, Merri!  Love ya!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

When We Both Turned 4

The night before our birthday, Tyson exclaimed, "Mom!  Tomorrow we're both going to be FOUR!"  He was so cute.  I couldn't help but respond, "Yes, son.  Yes we are!"

On our birthday, I finally tried to explain to him that I'm older than he is, and a lot older than four and he answered, "But you told me you've been a mom for 4 years."  How do you argue with that?  I finally decided to heck with being 27.  I'm going to be 4 again, and I've never made a better decision.  We have been playing with Buzz Lightyear, and Evil Dr. Porkchop ever since our birthday party, and I'm telling you LIFE IS GOOD!  I love being 4!

At the end of the day, my dad told Tyson to enjoy being 4 because it only happens once. 
I'm so lucky that for me it's happened twice, now. : )

Some cute things Tyson has said or done lately:
  • Mitch started the day out with Dunkin Donuts for us, and before Tyson could say anything to me, I told him "Happy Birthday".  His cute, thoughtful, little soul immediately responded, "Happy Birthday, Mom!  It's your birthday, too, Neemember?!"
  • We were playing a "Mad Gab" sort of game from the Friend magazine while we were on a road trip, and Tyson was so hysterical trying to guess what the phrases were.  One of them said, "Beak hind too yore pear ants (Be kind to your parents)" and he exclaimed "Put on your shoes before ants bite you!"  Another one said, "Fall oak hood ex ham pulls (Follow good examples)".  His first guess was "Scrambled eggs?" and his second try was "Follow egg samples".  We laughed so hard and wished we could have gone to Costco in search of food samples after that.
  • Another part of the game was supposed to be the phrase, "Talk about the gospel."  Tyson piped up: Our Bishop talked about the gospel in Primary.  Me: What did he say?  Tyson:  Um...all about the gospel.
When I think about the journey I went through in order to be able to have Tyson, it reminds me that children are a gift from God, and I remember His hand in my life.  There is a Taylor Swift song that makes me cry because it captures the beauty of what it's like to have children and family in your life.  I think about my precious kids and also reflect about the beautiful days I had with my parents all the time when I hear these words:
There is a video
I found from back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen
And you're talking to me 
Its the age of princesses and pirate ships
And the seven dwarves
Daddy's smart
And you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world 
Now I know why all the trees change in the fall
And you were on my side
Even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
For staying back and watching me shine 
And I didn't know if you knew
So I'm taking this chance to say
That I had the best day
With you today
I love my family.  I love my husband, my children, and remembering my childhood, and I love all the things they do for me to make my life beautiful!
Thanks, Tyson, for giving me the best day, today and every day.  I love my birthday buddy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Graduation...From An Angle

Since my "little tyke" turned 4, I thought I could honor him with a post of pictures from his perspective.  My brother, Taylor, graduated this year and Tyson was so excited to go.  He also INSISTED that I let him take pictures at here you go.  I hope you enjoy them. : )

We finally got someone else to man the camera and fortunately got a keeper. : )  My boys love and adore their uncles.  Way to go, Taylor!