My Boys

My Boys

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Bryson's sweet dance moves. And a little singing in the background by Caleb and Matt.


Bryson begs for this song, "Sugar" and "Let it Go" all the time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Birthday Week!

Carter and I had a birthday on March 30th. We celebrated with my family the weekend before. Carter and I were discussing what kind of cake to make him this year. He wanted a Spider Man cake. I suggested that maybe we should come up with a cake together since it was both of our birthdays. We compromised with this:
 A cheesecake with a spider web on top. Okay, so it favored my preferences, but Carter was still happy. And the no-bake cheesecake was delish! (Whipping cream and cream cheese--you can't go wrong)

Blowing out his 5 candles

On Monday, Carter's day started out by opening one present in the morning so he could use it on the way to drop Caleb off at school. He was so excited about his new helmet!
 I also made his breakfast-of-choice of waffles and his favorite lunch, a BLT.

We let Carter choose between a birthday party and Chuck E. Cheese. He picked the latter, and we went that night. My parents joined us.

Bryson had a fun time on all the rides.

Caleb was all about earning the most tickets.

Carter's focus was enjoying the experience.

Opening presents:
A book and movie from my mom
Besides the helmet, we gave him a new soccer ball (starting soccer league), bullets for his nerf gun, and some candy.

Enjoying cake (leftover from my dad's retirement party*--I didn't make another one)

I took a picture of both of us the day after our birthday when I wasn't wearing any make-up. Should have done it the day before.

I had many phone calls, texts and Facebook messages on my birthday, which made me feel special. My Visiting Teacher brought over some beautiful tulips and my favorite candy bar (Symphony toffee and almonds). She had no idea it was my favorite. The focus was on Carter though. I'm excited about my birthday present from my parents--Matt and I will go see the broadway musical Cinderella. Matt bought me a new ipod as there were several issues with my old one--I use it almost daily when I run, and so it was so annoying that it hadn't worked as well for the last 6 months.

Matt's birthday was on April 2nd. He took the day off work so that he could do one of my birthday presents I asked for--go to the dentist! His orthodontia work was on hold because he had a cavity that needed to be filled. This is Matt's first cavity (33 years old), and it wasn't completely his fault (orthodontist didn't put a bracket on tight enough which led to the cavity). All I asked for my birthday was for him to get the dentist visit done so he could continue with his orthodontia work, which will in turn lead to him getting his braces off! He sacrificed and did it on his birthday--not the most exciting thing to get a cavity on your birthday!

I made one of his favorite cookies (snickerdoodles) and one of his favorite dinners (beef stroganoff). He wanted a nice Nerf gun for his birthday, so he picked out which one he wanted. He wants to host a Nerf gun war at our house and invite people over. He is still a kid!

Another year older, and wiser too!

*My dad retired! Now my parents are looking forward to leaving on a mission at the end of this year.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Break 2015

Our Stay-Vacation week:

Monday we went to the park with some friends--played football, frisbee, and baseball then rode the trolley.

Tuesday, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, the day started with some green pancakes

Then we decided last-minute to go to the zoo with cousins. Our plan was to go to the zoo on Wednesday, but the forecast looked like rain Wednesday through Friday. So we adjusted, but just made the adjustment a little late in the morning. Because everyone on Spring Break in this area seemed to make that same decision, parking was impossible and it was a big hassle to actually get to the zoo. It was crowded, but we had fun while we were there.

Wednesday we went to see Cinderella. The boys actually loved it, as did I. Bryson was entertained by the animals in the movie.

Matt was out of town for a business trip to New York Monday and Tuesday. We were so excited to have him back. To celebrate, we went to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory that night. 

I am notorious for choosing the wrong dishes at restaurants, but have particular bad luck at this one.  4th time there, 4th time to pick something I didn't like. (Once I find a dish that I love at a restaurant, it's rare that I'll branch out and try something new.)

After dinner we walked around and shot a few pictures.

Thursday we had plans that didn't come to fruition because I woke up at 6am to go running, and ended up not able to leave the toilet. I think it was food poisoning from the food the night before--either that or I got a stomach bug again. Regardless, I cursed The Cheesecake Factory and swore never to eat there again. I spent the day by the toilet if I wasn't lying down. It's hard to take care of kids in that kind of condition, so it was a rough day and the kids watched a lot of TV :(.

Friday morning, fortunately, I had a little appetite and was feeling better. Matt took the day off work so we could go to the rodeo together as a family.

We signed Carter up for mutton busting first thing. He ended up getting nervous and tried to back out while signing up, which surprised me and Matt because he's our brave one. After watching another kid do it, Carter decided to go through with it.

We're, of course, prejudiced, but we thought Carter had one of the best rides in his group. He rode all the way to the other side, got slammed against the wall (not hard), and still didn't let go! The clowns had to pull him off. He did awesome! He got a participation ribbon, but didn't win.

Caleb was past the age limit (6), but was still in the weight limit so they let him ride. (We told him this is one time when it pays to be small!) Caleb did really well and rode all the way to the end hanging on as long as possible. He didn't win in his group of 30 either.

Ribbon presentation at the end

The boys got a snow cone and shared a funnel cake. Bryson's mouth is red from the snow cone. While finishing off the funnel cake, the wind blew and knocked the plate of powdered sugar all over him. He kept saying, "Mess Mommy." He kind of looks like a vampire in this picture.

The kids rode a few rides and played a few games with the carnival passes we bought.
Carter on the ferris wheel

Bryson holding his fish that Daddy won and sticking his tongue out--a common thing for him when he's feeling shy or embarrassed.

Petting zoo

We stayed for most of the rodeo and shot a family photo on the way out. With our action seats, we got free food--mostly junk food. Matt let the boys eat way more junk than I would have, and we paid for it later. We were all tuckered out after an 8 hour day! Bryson did surprisingly well.

On the way home, Carter said his tummy hurt and that he thought he would throw up. I tossed him a box, which he immediately threw up in. Fortunately, it all made it into the box. Later that night, Caleb woke up and threw up in the sink.

This is a rarity, but Matt had to head into work for a few hours Saturday morning. I decided to try a new play dough recipe (corn starch and conditioner) for the boys to play with while I went to clean bathrooms in the house. I asked them to please contain the mess to the table. After finishing up the first bathroom, I checked on them and saw that the play dough was drying up a little due to the corn starch. They were still having fun. After the second bathroom, I came back and checked on them and Bryson was throwing play dough pieces in all directions. The other boys were just laughing hysterically. I took a picture to text Matt, then asked myself why I even bother to clean. More messes ensue whenever I try. :)

We're definitely sad that Spring Break is over!! It was nice to have a relaxing, laid-back week.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

We have a pet bird

Fortunately our "pet bird" lives outside.

A few months ago, this bird started paying us a visit. It was quite strange. She appeared one day, then kept coming back every single day. She says "good morning" to us by knocking her beak against several windows downstairs. She typically hangs out by the windows in our piano room. There is a nest in the bottle brush right outside that window, but I've never seen her go near the nest.

Sometimes she hangs on our window screen. I'm sure this isn't good for the screen.

She'll fly away periodically throughout the day then let us know she is back by knocking her beak against the window. It's been pretty entertaining, especially for Bryson. But now there is a layer of poop on this window sill. :(

We're pretty sure she's a female cardinal--brown with a bright orange beak and orange feet. Sometimes she shows up with her male cardinal friend, but he doesn't knock on the windows.

We probably need to do something about her daily appearance. If I believed in reincarnation, I would swear that this was my pet parakeet growing up, named Keeter. He loved my sister and I, and it was a sad day when he flew away.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

And it Keeps on Going...

We've had a LONG string of bad luck around here, and we're hoping that it moves on elsewhere because it's been a rough week!

It started last Thursday when Bryson began a bout of diarrhea. Diarrhea is just not fun with a toddler who is not potty-trained yet. (Both my other boys were potty-trained at this age--I'm not sure if it's my lack of motivation this time around or Bryson's disinterest.) Lots of laundry, lots of diaper-changing.

It was bound to go through the family. It hit me Sunday and fortunately for me it was only a 24-hour bug. It hit Carter on Monday, and again, fortunately it was only a 24-hour bug. Caleb and Matt had a few symptoms, but not like the rest of us. Carter's bout was accompanied by throwing up as well. Extra fun. Bryson's lasted 5 1/2 days--the poor boy hardly ate at all and lost a lot of weight. I lost 4 pounds just from my day of eating next to nothing, so I'm sure he lost at least that.

On Monday morning, I was keeping on top of 3 batches of laundry as well as making some cinnamon rolls to surprise Caleb when he got home from school. Cinnamon rolls are his favorite treat; because they're a little more time-consuming, I don't make them too often so it's an extra special treat when I do. Bryson "helped" me make the dough, then I put the metal kitchen aid bowl in the microwave with a towel covering it to let it rise for an hour.

I left my boys watching a TV show while I went to another room where my computer was charging to "take a break" and eat my breakfast while looking at FB. 2 mistakes which cost me big time. Carter yelled out 10 minutes later that he just threw up all over our nice white rug in our family room. As I came rushing into the room, I smelled smoke and glanced up at the microwave to see the towel over the roll dough on fire. Bryson had climbed his chair that was still pushed over to the counter from where he helped me make the dough and pressed a button on the microwave. He's watched me many a time put something in the microwave and turn it on. He must have thought that I forgot to turn it on and took care of it for me.

The fire had burned long enough that the towel was completely black and the plastic top of the microwave was quite scorched and a part had melted and fallen off. I made quick work with some water to put out the fire. As I was cleaning up the water mess, I looked over at the trash can to see it was on fire--the items I had thrown away still had enough heat to restart a fire. More water, more panicking. My kitchen aid bowl was ruined, the dough wasted, and the microwave oven was a goner.

After I finally got the mess under control, I cleaned up Carter's mess and called Matt while I blubbered about my expensive mistake. When I told Matt through my tears, "You need to buy a new microwave," he thought that I said, "You need to find a new wife." Ha! It was quite the morning.

It came as no surprise that Matt was an absolute sweetheart about it all. Knowing that I was very upset about the whole situation, he left work early to come home and help. (Matt's hours can be flexible as long as he gets the work done that he needs to do--so he worked longer days on Tues. and Wed. to make up for the work that he didn't get done on Monday.) He came home, gave me a hug, assessed the damage, and then started doing research on a new microwave oven. 3 hours later, a new one was bought, installed, and working nicely. He also came home with a fire extinguisher for the kitchen (which we should have had anyway)!

But again, this was only the beginning of the troubles. Wednesday morning, Bryson woke up with really red cheeks that I thought might be a rash. I immediately was concerned about fifth disease as I know this can be harmful in a pregnancy. (I'm 15 1/2 weeks along.) The research that I did said the rash would be all over his arms and legs as well as accompanied by a fever and cold-like symptoms. Bryson had not had a low-grade fever or cold-like symptoms and the rash was only on his face. I thought it was just a manifestation from his body of finally being done with his bout of diarrhea.

Caleb stayed home from school on Wednesday because he had not eaten since lunch on Tuesday, and we thought he was coming down with the diarrhea bug. He usually comes home from school famished and Tuesday he did not eat a snack or dinner because he said like he felt he would throw up. He said the same thing Wednesday morning when I asked if he wanted to eat breakfast. Caleb is a very honest kid, so it's just ironic that an hour later he felt like eating, and then did fine the rest of the day. These calls as parents can be so tough sometimes!

Carter was recovered on Wednesday as well, but that afternoon around 3:30, he started complaining that his tummy hurt. I told him to lay down on my bed with a bowl in case he needed to throw up. The pain intensified to the point that he started screaming and writhing. I started freaking out! I made some phone calls to my sister-in-law and brother who are both nurses. I was very concerned about appendicitis, which I know is pretty serious. Carter is also one to kind of ham up a situation though, so I couldn't really tell just how much pain he was in. I gave him some pain medication and then we said a prayer together. Fortunately the pain subsided 20 minutes later, and he was completely normal the rest of the night besides the fact that he didn't eat as much for dinner.

Thursday morning, Bryson woke up with bright red cheeks again and a rosy looking rash all over his arms and legs. He was itching his arms like crazy. I was teaching preschool that morning, so I started freaking out if I needed to cancel preschool. Again, I did some research on fifth disease and every website confirmed that once the rash appears, the disease is not contagious. I took comfort in the fact that Bryson did not go to nursery on Sunday and that I had cancelled preschool on Tuesday. So even if it was fifth disease, at least he hadn't been around other children. Again I was slightly concerned about my pregnancy, but convinced myself it couldn't be fifth disease because he had never had a fever or cold-like symptoms.

Preschool went well on Thursday and Carter's tummy problem--whatever it was--seemed to be a weird one-time occurrence. I was mistaken.

Thursday afternoon at 4pm, he screamed and writhed in pain again saying his tummy hurt so bad. He just screamed "Ow" over and over and over again. Torture for a mommy. After 30 minutes of trying to soothe and comfort and talking to Matt, the kids and I went to an Urgent Care. Urgent Care turned us away saying we needed to go to the ER because they don't have the ultrasound/x-ray equipment for abdomen pain. I hope this doesn't make me a bad mom, but with our recent insurance change, our ER co-pay is $500, so I hesitated. We sat in the car while I called my sister-in-law again. She gave me lots of ideas of what could be going on, but both she and my brother assured me that it was highly unlikely that it was appendicitis since the pain would never subside but only get worse. Plus there is usually a fever and sweating and you wouldn't be able to push on the tummy without tears. By that point, Carter was not screaming in pain anymore, but said that his tummy still hurt. I did my best to talk to him about the severity of the situation and that he needed to be absolutely honest with me about how badly it hurt. I called the nurse hotline and tried to schedule an appointment the next day to see the doctor. After I explained everything that was going on, she said I needed to go to the ER immediately. Ugh!

By that time, it was 5:30 and Carter was beginning to act normal again--jumping around, opening an Amazon package for me to see what was inside (a new kitchen aid bowl), etc. I made the decision, again, not to go to the ER. Carter continued to act fine for the rest of the night, though he ate very little for dinner. My brother Jared and Matt gave Carter a priesthood blessing that night.

The next morning (Friday), I called and scheduled an appointment for Carter to see a doctor. I was teaching preschool that morning to make up for missing Tuesday. I probably should have cancelled preschool in order to get an earlier time to the doctor, but the three times they had available were 11:40, 1:40 and 3:00. Preschool ends at 12:15, and Carter said his tummy didn't hurt that morning, so we set up the 1:40 time. Carter ate very little for breakfast again, saying that he was afraid eating too much would make his tummy hurt. Preschool went fine except for a period of 15 minutes where Carter said he needed to go lay down on his bed because his tummy was starting to hurt. I was very worried, but he felt better after 15 minutes. He ate a little bit of the snack.

Preschool ended, I fed Bryson and myself lunch (Carter didn't feel like eating), then we went to our appointment to hopefully find some answers! The doctor did an examination, listened to my story, and pronounced that he was 99% sure that the problem was that Carter was constipated. Because of Carter's diarrhea bug on Monday, his system seemed to go to the other extreme. I hadn't paid attention to Carter's BM over the past several days, except that he had had a BM right before our doctor's appointment. The doctor gave me some instructions with MiraLAX and what to do to comfort Carter if he had another "episode" of pain (warm cloth on his belly).

I also asked about Bryson's rash quickly at the end of the appointment. The doctor didn't hesitate at all when he said it was fifth disease. I told him I was pregnant--he said the fact that I was in my 2nd trimester was a good thing and to talk to my OB. Lovely.

I tried to catch a picture of Bryson's rash; it's more pronounced if he touches or itches, but you can kind of see that his right cheek is red as well as his arms. Poor boy.

Carter had another BM when we came home from the doctor's office, so it seems like the problem was already taking care of itself finally. He ate because he was starving, drank the MiraLAX mix, and has been completely fine so far.

So, in summary, our week for the record books: 6 days of diarrhea diaper changes, throw-up, lots of laundry, a fire, big expense for a new microwave, intense abdominal pain, a trip to Urgent Care, a trip to the doctors, fifth disease and concern for baby in utero. But we survived! (Still have a concern over the fifth disease/pregnancy thing--but can't change anything at this point.) I'm hopeful that things will start looking up for next week. :)

Sunday, February 22, 2015


I haven't been very good at taking pictures lately, and thus I feel like I have not had anything to journal about on my blog. I've resolved to do better since I love being able to turn this into a family book at the end of the year.

Here's a picture I snapped in January of all the boys napping together--a very rare occurrence! 

We've been taking afternoon walks together most days since Carter LOVES to ride his scooter. He's pretty darn fast too!

This past week I did a preschool field trip to The Downtown Aquarium which Caleb joined us for. 

Bryson had a great time on the carousel!

Family Goal for 2015: We are working month by month to memorize The Living Christ. It is quite lengthy, and I'm so impressed with how well the boys are doing!

Updates on the family

Caleb: He's still excelling in school and piano. He's been on the all A honor roll each 9 weeks at school, and the subject where he scores near perfect each time is math. We just discovered the other day that Caleb has the same talent I do on the piano! I haven't met any other person who can do this (except my older brother I think?). If you play any white note on the piano, Caleb can tell you what it is immediately--no thinking involved. The sharps and flats, as for me, take a little more thought. Soccer starts up in March!

Carter: His reading skills are improving a lot in preschool. He is the comic relief in the family, constantly making us laugh. Instead of riding in the double stroller to drop Caleb off at school every morning, he now rides his scooter. Even though I run with the stroller, I can't keep up with him. He's so fast! He asks every day how many more days till his birthday (March 30). We're gearing up for trying a season of soccer and getting ready to start piano.

Bryson: He's made significant progress with his speech, which has been a concern that he might need speech therapy. He is obsessed with the song, "Let it Go," not because we watch that movie frequently, but because the girls in preschool will break out in that song regularly. He does fairly well in preschool and wants to be included as part of the class. He copies what the other kids do for each of our activities.

The company Matt works for is directly affected by the drop in oil price, and there have been many lay-offs. We're grateful that he still has a job. I'm staying very busy with church service and teaching preschool. When I do have free time, you'll find me curled up with a good book!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas 2014

Making gingerbread houses as a family.

Caleb's house

Carter's finished product

Christmas Morning opening stockings

Carter's presents this year
He's quite fast on that new scooter!

Caleb's presents

Bryson's new piggy bank toy

Playing with the new family toy: magna tiles
They're so fun!
(Bryson also got some new books, bath toys, and the car ramp in the background)

Despite all the busyness of Primary, this is what Caleb and I did a lot of over Christmas break--games!
He got a few new games this year including Connect 4, The Allowance Game, and Qwirkle.