Sunday, November 12, 2017

Back to Cedar

Michael:
had long days this week and Westin is trying to get used to that again. I kept Westin up late Wednesday night to see Michael before the boys and I left town, and he was so happy to see daddy. Michael makes up good stories before bedtime, and Westin always asks me for repeats on the days he isn't there. He took the side of Westin's crib off Wednesday night because we just need to initiate this change with baby steps or Westin is going to be a kindergartener in a crib. Then Michael spent the last half of the week alone since the boys and I are out of town. Poor guy. He worked most of Saturday and Saturday night at the hospital.

Maddie:
got my carpets cleaned Monday and it made me extremely happy. We're pretty much the best renters in existence, I'm pretty sure. Too bad that gets us nothing but... a rent payment. I am figuring out how to seriously systemize our Utah road tripping and I think it's a little easier now that Bennett's hardly nursing. But if he's like Westin was, 15-21 months will be the worst travel age. That's also the age Westin was when we drove and moved across the country so... that was fun. I met up with some friends from high school on Friday and loved seeing our kids together so much. Driving around Cedar City makes me so happy. I'm convinced it's the perfect place to grow up.

Westin:
did really well his first night of sleeping with the side of his crib down. We put his toddler bed mattress on the floor by him in case he fell out. In the morning I asked him how he liked sleeping in his "big boy crib" and he said, "I woke up down there, and climbed back up, then woke up down there, and climbed back up..." He never made any noise though, so nobody knew there was a lot of commotion happening. Once in a while I really wish that we had a video monitor. :) But not enough to get one! He did a really good job on our road trip to Utah, and he has been loving his time with his two older cousins and Aunt Ali. He seems so much older when he's hanging out with cousins. It's just so new to see him being pretty independent for long periods of time with them. He has loved playing at the park with cousins, watching ping pong games, being out on the trampoline, going on walks, looking at pictures on Ali's iPad with her (an articulation app, pretty sweet to have a speech language pathologist as an aunt), feeling like one of the big kids, and FaceTiming daddy.

Bennett:
loves all the attention from grandma and grandpa and cousins this week. He's crawling so much and so fast. He would swing all day if someone would push him all day. He eats SO much, I can hardly keep up. Sometimes I get really grumpy about how much of my life goes to food management. I just try not to think about it. (That doesn't really work. I still get grumpy about it.) He's sleeping through the night even while traveling and that just makes me want to give him a thousand kisses. Which I probably do. He's such a sweetheart. He did pretty good on our drive but then cried almost all the way from St. George to Cedar, but at that point I was committed to just getting there and there was nothing I could do for him but end his driving experience as quickly as possible. We're having so much fun this week, and we can't wait to go to the Cedar City Temple open house in a couple days!






















Monday, November 6, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Michael:
is back to the busy life, and I miss his plastics rotation. His longest day this week was 6:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., and he is taking call again now too. He turned 30 this week! He didn't make it home at a good time to celebrate his birthday, but we warmed up his favorite foods and Westin got to stay up late so that he could help daddy blow out candles. Then Saturday we drove to L.A. for my nephew's baptism. It was a quick there-and-back trip, but so fun to see family! Rachel and Spencer came so we loved meeting baby Eli. Michael is tired and we love him.

Maddie:
had fun taking the boys trick-or-treating for the first time. That was Michael's last day on his plastics rotation, so he was able to come home and head out with us. We had fun watching the boys play in all their candy after. I loved going to L.A. this weekend, and I wish we were with family for longer than just that day.

Westin:
is a parrot. He has been for a while, but it's becoming even more consistent. Time to evaluate all my words...  He loved dressing up as a fireman for Halloween, and really loves his big bag of candy. When we got home he would open a sucker, try it, then say "Oh, that's not my favorite." I'd tell him he could throw it away and try a different candy. He burned through a good part of his supply doing this and I was so glad that he was doing the throwing away and not me. I kept telling him that we don't waste food but he can always waste sugar. I think his favorite thing from his stash is probably Smarties, which, is disgusting. Maybe it would have been Reese's if I didn't eat them all.... whoops! Westin loved being around his cousins and treats them differently than any other kids that he hangs out with. I know he just knows they're family. He played more independently than he ever has.

Bennett:
crawls so fast, and has started cruising. He's going to walk in the next couple months and I just can't picture that. It makes me sad. Oh Baby Bennett, don't ever change. Saturday was his first day of no naps in his life, and he was pretty happy all things considered. He still takes two naps every day when we're at home so I was impressed that he handled our busy day so well. He honestly did great with the time change, too. My kids have never really been too affected by an hour difference. He's a happy guys and loves to wave at daddy's blue truck!

Playing football with cousins.

We went for a walk by Shelley's house and stopped for a fire station tour.




He cracks me up.




We put this gate up when we watch dogs to keep them separate from Kitty. Bennett looked so funny to me there since he's a dog hanging out by the gate, just like the ones we watch.

School focus: Sorting

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Full Fun Weekend

Our week was fun, and then the weekend just kept it going! This post feels so long but there was so much about this week that I want to remember.

Our friend/my roommate Allison (from our study abroad in Jerusalem) came to visit us! We hadn't met each other's kids before, and we have been really looking forward to her visit. We actually hadn't seen each other since our wedding, which is way too long. Her kids are adorable, and Westin was so happy to have friends around for the beginning of the week. We had fun at the zoo, they helped us take care of our friend's pets, and we visited some parks and Cafe Rio. I'm so impressed she tackled a drive to San Francisco onto a red-eye flight back to North Carolina after all our fun. She's such a good mom and good friend and we really, really loved seeing her.

On Wednesday night we had a fun dinner with Michael's colleagues from his plastic surgery rotation. It was fun to meet everyone he's been working with the past four months, and fun to eat a meal where I was only in charge of feeding me and not a baby and toddler, too. His coworkers are so nice. We feel really grateful for the vibe of Michael's residency program and the training that he's receiving here in Fresno. It's definitely why we ended up here for this stage.

Thursday night was wonderful. My friend told me about a scripture study class that a woman in my ward teaches on Thursdays, and I have not stopped thinking about it since we went. It felt like being back in Susan Easton Black's class at BYU, where you sat down and she was instantly just pouring out knowledge a mile a minute for the rest of the hour. This specific class was all about our premortal life, and honestly nothing has given me a better shift into having an eternal perspective than this class, apart from trips to the temple. It was incredible. She recommended we read this Ensign talk for more study material on the things we covered that night. (The talk is by her husband, and they are the parents of my bishop. There are some really wonderful people in Fresno and I felt so grateful to learn from her on Thursday.) My friend and I went straight from class to a High Fitness class, and I realized more than ever that day that taking time out for spiritual and physical fitness has a huge impact. I know that's a simple and obvious truth, but experiencing manifestations of it always feel significant to me.

On Friday we finally grabbed tickets for the Amtrak to Hanford because we knew Westin would love a train ride. We've been talking about doing this for a while, and he loved it just as much as we thought he would. We went to a delicious Pupuseria for dinner, then went to share a HUGE banana split at Superior Dairy after. The boys were up late but they both loved the night and the train, so it was worth it.

Then we woke them up early Saturday morning and went to a hot air balloon festival. We were maybe slightly annoyed that the event said to be there by 6:30 for take off and then balloons didn't launch until an hour later... but hey, bragging rights that we got our kids out the door by then on a Saturday. Then we found a cinnamon roll food truck for breakfast and all was well. I thought Westin would love the balloons, and he did like them, but Bennett was actually the one who was just super into them. He has started to point and wave and it's adorable. 

We came home and borrowed our friend's dog for a walk to run around the campus of the community college by our house. Westin asks about Sammy a lot and has fun running around with him. Then Michael put the boys down for a nap while I ran to set up for a baptism for one of my sweet primary kids. Baptisms are so joyful, and I liked spending time by myself filling the font and just thinking.

That night we went to our ward trunk or treat, then Michael and I came home and jumped into Stranger Things. Season One. Because we're late adapters like that. (Also, I have FOMO and you guys are all just talking about Stranger Things SO MUCH. So we're finally here at the party.)

I loved this week AND this weekend, and it felt like the perfect end to Michael's plastics rotation. On November 1st he'll be back to his oral surgery clinic and life is about to get crazy again. He'll be there four months before his next rotation, and I've got to learn how to deal with call again. Stranger Things is not going to help that situation at all.

"Mama, I'm a little bit sick."
Sick and 15 years old, is what it looks like to me.

"Look Mama, I drew a loooooooooooong cat!"
I love this picture so much. Westin went on his own into the backyard while I was putting Bennett down for a nap, and played with chalk for 20 minutes. He came inside covered in blue, and said, "I wanna show you my cat!" Then he brought me to this, and it's his first picture that looks like what he's talking about. I thought it was so cute, and it was just one of those moments that made me stop and look at him and realize he's really growing up. I told him I'd take a picture of him with his drawing and he said, "Ok, I'll go stand by the tail!"

I've never liked Halloween more than when I was dressing these two up on Saturday night.
Bennett's nose. Westin's... Westin-ness. I was just cracking up so much.









Superior Dairy doesn't mess around.

Pupusas! We loved those and the plantains but those tamales (in banana leaves) weren't our favorite.





He loves to play pretend and feed you all your lines in his made up scenarios. He's "sleeping" here and I'm supposed to ask the Kitty why he doesn't want to wake up. I don't know why he loves this random bag, but there you go.

Westin and Anders hit it off right away. Such sweet boys.

The whole crew.


I love the toddler class at the zoo. These owl crafts were so easy and cute.
Just cotton balls glued on a pine cone, then a little beak and eyes glued on.



Bennett wanted to be all up in Westin's business on this blue carpet square.


Allison! She's one of the best.







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