Thursday, March 29, 2012

Older and Wiser

Another birthday come and gone. Older, yes. Wiser? Yes, please. It was a beautiful spring morning around here with the sunshine in full force and birds chirping and singing like crazy. My birthday certainly began early as Luke decided to prep for a growth spurt (I'm assuming anyway) and was up and hungry, off and on all through the night. I don't think I slept for more than 2 hours in a row at any given point. When Joseph brought the traditional breakfast-in-bed to me I'm fairly certain I looked like a zombie. But my breakfast was delicious and so pretty. My hubby has an eye for arranging cut fruit and other crepe toppings just so—wish I had snagged a picture.

The rest of the day was rather laid back and normal with the exception of fun phone calls, emails and facebook messages keeping me company all day. I do like knowing my friends and family are thinking of me on my special day—making a birthday less ordinary and more bright.

After school I took the big kids to my sister's house and then met my mom at Nordy's. I have had my eye on some TOMS for a while now and she kindly treated me to a pair. We wandered and shopped and stopped for a nursing break before she had to head out. I re-realized that shopping with just one little babe is quite a luxury, especially because it's so quiet! And driving in the car with just baby Luke? Such a treat. I listened to my very own music and sang along all the way through each song like back in the day. I am a nerd, but that truly feels like stolen time to me. Simple pleasures in this chaotic life of mine :)
Joseph and the kids met me for dinner at CPK and then gave me gorgeous flowers when we got home. I'm such a lucky lady! It was a good day.
I have to add that my sweet Caroline had 6 gifts for me all carefully drawn or handcrafted and tucked safely away in her "secret" dresser drawer for several days in anticipation of my birthday. That girl is such a darling—I am so thankful for her and all her thoughtfulness.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Random Old Pics

We cleaned out the garage today and it looks so much better—ready for my busy kids to get to their bikes and scooters and sidewalk chalk on a regular basis. I finally sorted through an old tupperware my mom just discovered in her basement—it was filled with a lot of my old schoolwork and tons of letters and cards from grandparents and cousins. And then there were some random, old pictures too. So funny to see those again and think back on old times.

I posted these on Facebook but they are kind of classic and wanted them here too:
summer of 1999—roommate group date night 
(no idea who the lone boy on the bottom left is...)
 spring of 1993—sleepover in the BYU dorms with my freshman sis
My high-waisted jeans kill me in this pic!
 summer of 1988 (I think) with my brother Tye, tiny blonde sis Heidi, and best friend Lindsay

Thursday, March 22, 2012

3 Months

 I'm in love with this chubby boy! He is steadily recovering from his nasty cold but on Sunday and Monday his eyes suddenly seemed pretty crusty and weepie so we popped him over to the doctor. Luckily, his eyes were nothing serious, and we discovered that our tiny weighs in at a whopping 16+ pounds. Caroline was 18.5 when she was 1 year old! Love it.

Today Olivia and I caught a smile on camera from our happy bear:
Followed by some adorable cooing. I'm pretty sure Luke was telling me about his best friend, the ceiling fan, and how much he loves to drink milk and snooze in the car:
video

Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patty's Fun

Such a random holiday which I have never gotten into except for wearing green. But my good hubby thought he might like to spice things up a bit this year. His mom used to do cute things for her kids on St. Patrick's Day like leaving green footprints around the house, making green food, and allowing leprechauns to play mild pranks and leave treats for the kids. So, Joseph took the initiative and livened up our day.

The kids woke up to find treasure hunt clues hidden all over the house and even some outside. They were so surprised to happen upon a random clue while eating breakfast and called out to us right away that a leprechaun had paid us a visit! Don't know how I feel about the whole make believe leprechaun idea but my kids just assumed that's who left them all the clues. I may have hinted that it could have just been Joseph and me, but either way they were so excited and loved following the clues and searching all around. The hunt was, of course, a Pinterest find and so easy to print and cut out the night before.
 
We also had green eggs and ham (sausage) for breakfast except for Olivia who loves eggs but would not for the life of her eat the green version. Joseph even tricked her into closing her eyes and letting him put some in her mouth but as soon as they touched her tongue she still spit them right out—she was so determined to hate them!
Of course we had to wear green in honor of the Irish, and then run a long errand to get this mommy her slightly early birthday gift—a new iPhone. Hooray! It helps to have been a loyal AT&T costumer for the past several years because I qualified for a free phone upgrade and only had to pay $100 for my phone—felt like I was getting away with something.
Now, my goal is to use the ever amazing iPhone to grab impromptu pics and movies, send much more efficient texts, and entertain my kids when we are waiting at the doctor's office or on road trips and such. But, I do not want my phone to become something that saps up all my free time and keeps me checking emails and Facebook and Pinterest as soon as there are updates—a reason I have been reluctant to get an iPhone in the first place. It's definitely in my nature to want to use it all the time but I am really trying to be a more present mom who doesn't need the internet around nonstop. There's plenty of time for me to browse/email/post/pin on my laptop when my babes are all tucked away in bed at night or the little ones are napping during the day. Ever since we got the iPad I have really had to start limiting my kids' screen time. They have all but given up TV time so they can play on the iPad instead. I better follow my own rules and make sure I am setting a good example!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Busy

***By some amazing grace my tiny babe is remarkably better today. The wheezing in his chest is all but gone although he's still had some nasty coughs off and on throughout the day. I pray that he is truly getting better and the worst is behind us...
 
Gardner Village on Saturday


Lately when I am in the nursery, rocking in the glider with Luke in my arms, I have been trying to mentally shut everything out except my delicious baby. It takes serious effort. Especially when I can hear my other kids playing down the hall or I hear my cell phone ringing or vibrating with a new text. Often times it's my whirlwind mind that wants to make all the noise in my head and race on thinking about when to start dinner or who I need to call about YW events or what we will do for FHE or when we will schedule a major garage cleaning or temple date or dentist appointment.

And then I wonder when all this "busy"ness crept into my life. Was it there when I only had Bentley and my brain has just forgotten? Or is it just a matter of being 32 years old and the mother of 4? I truly have to carve out special time to just be still every day (having a newborn who needs lots of nursing and bedtime rocking truly helps.) I am trying to work on my calendar too—making sure I have at least one day a week where we have nothing planned but being home and staying in our PJs as long as we please. For me, that is my chance to relax and regroup before facing the days ahead.

Busy things the past week:
—3 big kids to the dentist (all cavity free!)
—Bentley's and Caroline's parent teacher conferences
—Hogle Zoo day
—grocery run as well as a long delayed Costco outing (I hadn't been there since the end of November!)
—Gardner Village last Saturday (kids fed the ducks with Joseph while I had my hair cut at the salon there)
—the kids and I made play dough together
—I sewed some personal progress book holders to see if we should make them for the YW as a Christmas gift. As of February, I am the 2nd counselor in my YW presidency which I love doing but it is certainly a very full calling. Wouldn't trade it for anything though.
—Joseph also got a new calling as the ward mission leader and starting attending early morning meetings before church again. Didn't he just do that for 4 solid years as the executive secretary? I will never in my life take for granted having my hubby home on a Sunday morning before 9 am church. It is rare and oh so appreciated. Will we ever be on time to church again without his help? We shall see...
—Planned and executed a crazy youth activity just last night modeled after The Amazing Race. It was based on service and we had the kids all over the neighborhood doing good and memorizing scriptures and assembling puzzles and searching for a well-hidden pit stop in the church building. It was all very exciting and chaotic (and tiring for leaders who had to run all around with the kids!) We will have to do it again sometime now that I know how competitive our youth are (and how mad it makes them when other teams peek at their work for help or follow them as they race without figuring it out on their own). Oh, and next time I will make sure ALL of my clues are in the right spot instead of sitting in my hands when kids are searching for them (oops).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sweet Luke

The darling baby boy—such a sweet cooing babe of late. He has been sleeping so well the last 4 or 5 nights getting in 7 or 8 hours of sleep before I feed him around 2 in the morning, and then sleeping another 5 or 6 hours before he's awake for the day.

He is also suddenly sick today with the saddest wheezing chest and cough I've ever heard. I have never had a tiny get sick this young (just shy of 3 months). I am sure he got something from the bigger kids who are so in love with him that they are just in his face and holding his hands and touching him so much—even when they have snotty noses or lingering coughs, and even when I try to tuck him away from everyone and keep him out of the kids' way. Guess that's what happens to an adored 4th child...

I am just so filled with worry that Luke won't be able to breathe because of his thick chest. He is sleeping soundly right now with baby vicks on his chest and the humidifier pumping vapor and steam into his room. Is there anything else I should be doing? His doctor said there is no need to worry until he stops eating well (no problem there so far). For being so sick he is still a sweetheart and so content. I hope he pulls out of this fast and we can get our healthy little babe back.  
Luke on Monday, thoroughly entertained by the ever exciting ceiling fan

I love this sweet nightgown baby


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Zoo Day

 No school on Friday and 60 degree temps in the forecast—perfect day to play at the zoo.
 It was my first official "big" outing with 4 kiddos so I enlisted some help from my mom. I'm so grateful she came to hang out with us (and brave the reptile house with Bentley and Caroline).
 
 Look who we happily ran into:
One of my oldest and dearest friends! We had just been emailing the day before about finding a time to meet up for lunch. Such a great coincidence!

We ended up spending 2 1/2 hours at the zoo and enjoyed it so much. Luke was such a sweetheart and took a long, hard nap while riding around in the stroller. Made it easy to see all the animals and take our time. And the weather was just so inviting. We are loving these glimpses of spring!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Losing Teeth

My little Caroline is so proud. Today she lost her very first tooth! 
Bentley came home from school on Monday announcing that his 3rd tooth had just fallen out. Cares has had a fairly loose tooth for more than a month now and decided that day to work on hers and get it out. She is so brave and just kept wiggling and tugging on it (and letting her mommy give it some solid pushes forward). This afternoon she asked me to help her one last time and out came her tooth! She was slightly crying and slightly cheering when she saw her tooth in my hand—it's painful work losing those teeth.

Both kids are eager to earn money via Tooth Fairy now. Bentley told me a girl in his class gets 3 dollars a tooth...what?? And I was thinking 50 cents was a normal amount...

In other news, Luke is getting better and better at napping in his bed, even when I put him in there awake. But he is still learning. And on Monday night he was so tired but not wanting to calm down and sleep—until I popped him in the sling. Then he slumbered so sweetly. Sometimes that is the only way to get dinner made around here.
We had Tahitian pancakes with fresh fruit (and nutella and powdered sugar) and sausage for dinner that night. Yummy! The pancakes are basically very sweet crepes made without any butter and spread on a big skillet so they are very large. The recipe is from Joseph's sister Flori who made them for us after a stay here a few years back. She is totally her mother's daughter in the kitchen so any recipe from her is a good one.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Luke's Blessing

Yesterday was a beautiful day in every way. We woke to a clear, sunny, nearly spring morning, greatly appreciated after all the snow we received earlier in the week.

Joseph gave our Luke such a tender blessing, reminding him that he was given special names to help him honor his stalwart pioneer ancestry, and remain close to his Savior throughout his life. I can think of nothing I want more for my tiny son. I love so much that Luke was surrounded by both of his grandpas, many uncles and his own loving father as he was blessed. He was a total angel during the blessing and then slept peacefully during the rest of sacrament meeting. That baby loves to snuggle and sleeps so well when he is nestled in my arms (or Joseph's, or Aunt Luci's, or Aunt Cecily's....)
We had a lovely day and felt so grateful to have family around to love and support us on Luke's special day.
 
Now he's officially named: Luke Fielding LeBaron

Thursday, March 1, 2012

10 Weeks

 How endearing is that little pinky?
Luke is totally obsessed with his hands and feeling anything he can.
This sweet boy indulged in a 7 hour sleep stretch last night! Of course it started rather early in the night (he was the first to bed of all 4 kids) so it was still a few hours before I was able to sleep too. I am hoping we are onto a new trend—the darling is sure filled out enough to handle some long sleeps :)

We all just love him so much. The kids have had gross noses and coughs of late and they are dying to get rid of them so they can snuggle their Luke again. I have saved him all for myself which is both lovely and exhausting. I swear this babe gets heavier in my arms on a daily basis but I am eager to soak up this newborn stage while it lasts. It really is fading fast...