Tuesday, December 31

Christmas 2013

For some reason, I'm kind of a Grinch about decorating for Christmas. I think its because I would really like to do an excellent job decorating, but I really hate spending money on things that only get displayed for a twelfth of the year. So I was especially proud that I actually decorated a bit more this year.

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That picture is a little out of focus, you say? Sorry about that. I got a little zealous with my Silhouette and cut out those nifty gold prints and slapped them in some old frames. And I commisioned a certain four year old to make me a water color Christmas tree. Voila.

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Sol and I went to Target on the 26th and got a ton of fun Christmas stuff--so my house will be a little more merry next year. Finley had strong feelings about decorating and expected much more than we did--hopefully we won't disappoint him next year.

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And for posterity, here's our Christmas card. Happy 2013, everyone. I hope you celebrate with people you love tonight--I'll be hunched over my computer trying to finish my blog book from 2012 before it's 2014. Yes, 2012. Whoops.

Monday, December 30

Christmas at Longwood Gardens

Sol's family was here for Christmas--and while I failed at getting pictures of pretty much everything, I did take a few pictures at Longwood Gardens because it was too pretty not to. I visited this summer with Vicki and Victoria--and it was a huge change. Instead of sweating to death, we nearly froze. Both times, it was worth it.

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This apple mosiac-y type thing was amazing--and it would have made for a fairly easy apple bobbing contest. There were so many lovely decorations--really, amazing is the word I have to use for it. It was just pretty and amazing.

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We left Braden at home and just took Finley and Keaton--Finley had a blast looking at the decorations and getting a little more attention than he normally does. I told him to let me know if he wanted pictures with any of the flowers and he kept posing with them and doing his weird forced smile. It was pretty funny.

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As you can tell from these pictures, he was making a valiant effort at making a nice smile. His face just doesn't know how.  I'm glad we got a picture with Maya and Tom since I massively failed at pictures every other hour of the holiday.  It started snowing as we left and we all got very cold--except Keaton who was bundled up in the Moby and was toasty warm when he got in the car. It's nice to be a baby.

Monday, December 23

Keaton at Five Months

Five months! It seems like forever and also nothing. That's how babies are.

It's been another month--I can't even pick an adjective to describe it. A good month? Crazy month? Sleepless month? Some of all those things. Keaton is continuing to struggle with sleeping--he takes a few very short naps during the day and is just starting to sleep better at night (knock on wood). The ear infections were waking him up a lot--we were averaging 6 to 8 times a night for a few weeks. The last few nights have been closer to two. Hallelujah.

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I also think he might be in the beginning of teething--he furiously rubs his ears sometimes and I'm pretty sure the antibiotics have taken care of the infection.  He also is really into chewing on our hands or his hands--which made these pictures a bit challenging. All he wanted to do was much on his chubby fingers. He also started noticing that the chair has exciting flowers on it--the top right picture above is what a lot of them looked like--it took a lot of squeaking Sophie the Giraffe to get him to look at me!

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He's getting to be a little scoot-y... he can sometimes roll from his belly on to his back and manages to wiggle himself in a circle and forwards a little sometime. This is mainly a problem at night when he wiggles into the corner of the crib and gets mad. Reverse, Keaton.

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He's enjoying being in his bouncer more and more, probably because it has lots of things that are easy to gnaw on. Little stinker.

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We're looking forward to spending this week with all the boys (and Sol's family!) in our house--enjoying our growing boys and celebrating Christmas. It's so special to have a baby at Christmas time--I love how tangible it makes our Savior's birth. The creator of the universe in a tiny baby. Amazing.

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It always cracks me up when he kicks like crazy, so a few seconds of Keaton doing his thing. With music!

Friday, December 20


At some point, I think all little boys eventually get obsessed with superheroes, right? And if it happens around Halloween, then you accidentally end up with just about every superhero costume Target has because they were on super clearance. Whoops.

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I think they wore a total of eight costumes on this particular day. It's a lot of taking off and putting on costumes--especially for Braden who has a rather short attention span.

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Braden being the Hulk is my favorite. We love to say "DON'T MAKE THE HULK ANGRY" regarding Braden--since he's such a "passionate" fellow. Currently he is very "passionate" about a yellow paintbrush and little tool used to crack nuts. We're going on day three of him needing them all.the.time. Finley wants to be Batman every time--Captain America was a welcome change.

Please let us know if you ever need saving. We're ready.

Thursday, December 19

Preschool Christmas Concert

Another preschool rite of passage--the Christmas concert. After Braden's "performance" at his Thanksgiving feast, I was a little nervous how it would go. He started off by telling us that he didn't want to go to the concert and refused to get dressed--until I told him that his clothes were just like Daddy. Then he was super excited. He walked around saying, "I'm handsome like Daddy!" for a LONG time.  Are you ready for this video of him singing? Are you???

HE DID IT!!! I have no idea why his teacher left him standing way by himself on the side of the stage, but I'm glad she did because we had a great view.  Such a proud mama. He did some of the actions and didn't run around or scream or cry. SUCCESS. And adorable.

Finley's was hilarious too--I was so impressed at the long bible verse he memorized! You'll have to forgive the shaky camera-ing... Braden was sitting next to me and kept pulling on the camera strap and being wiggly. You can also hear him asking us if he can go to Chick fil a and telling us he's dressed like Daddy.

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Also, look how cute. They were so excited about wearing belts. Such simple Christmas joys.

Tuesday, December 17

A Train Ride with Santa

I think I've fallen victim to the "taking less pictures of the third kid" trap... and as a result blogging has kind of fallen to the wayside. Which is a bit liberating--our days are full and it's hard to pick up a camera when your arms are normally full of children. We had a legit photo op this weekend--we took a train ride with Santa!

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To Braden, train + Santa = Polar Express. He was in heaven. He loved the tickets. He loved looking out the window. He loved singing Jingle Bells. He loved it so much which means it (naturally) ended in tears. Cute, angry tears.

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(He crosses his legs all the time and it kills me.) Finley enjoyed it too--he got to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas... a bell from Santa's sleigh (which he asked for and got last year), a Sonic Screwdriver and Duplos.

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Santa walked through all the trains to chat with each kid--the on train photos were a little tricky and not the best, but it's Santa on a train... so it's a winner.

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Did I mention five out of the boys' six ears were infected last week? Yes, they were. Oh they were grouchy boys. We're almost done with our Amoxicillin and enjoying life a little more. Keaton had a few weeks of very rough nights and is making some slow progress towards being a normal sleeper. He's started angrily rubbing his ears--so I'm a little concerned we are about to go through teething.

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Hey! I was on the train too!

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Braden liked Santa--but he LOVED the Conductor. That's why he's grinning in the first picture. He saw the Conductor. He loves to say, "All Aboard!" and "Tickets please!" when he sees the Conductor. He also said, "The Conductor is so cute!" when he saw him. He cracks me up.

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I wish somehow Keaton was in this awesome picture with Santa--I love it. Santa, two thirds of my boys and a train.

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Monday, December 9

First Snow in Pennsylvania

Finley's sure it's going to snow on Christmas. Like, he's sure. And when I try to gently tell him it miiight not snow, he brushes me off and tells me that if it doesn't snow, he'll throw ice cubes in the clouds and that will fix it. So, there you go meteorology.

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It did snow on Sunday--quite a bit. Enough that we weren't able to make it to our very special train ride with Santa. And enough that they cancelled preschool tomorrow. (The first time I've been sad about a snow day...) But we did quickly go out and let the boys play for a few minutes. Like five minutes, hence the weird snow clothes. I knew they wouldn't last long. Sol got to use his snowblower and cleared the driveway super fast. And we had hot chocolate even though we were barely out long enough to get cold.

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And then I took some pictures of my baby by the tree. All the boys are at different points in a cold--and we're not having much fun. There haven't been many smiles from this guy--mostly just wiggling and fussing all.night.long. We're all going to the doctor tomorrow.  Also funny about Keaton...

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When he rolls onto his belly, he really really wants his arms back by his sides like he's superman. I have no idea why. He pulls them back when you try to put them up by his face.  Which means he'll probably never learn how to crawl or walk, and he'll be my baby forever. Right?

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I still can't believe my first baby turned into this big thing. Oh man.

Thursday, December 5

A Typical Thanksgiving Post (Or, The Time We Jumped on Trampolines)

Thanksgiving is a trick of a holiday--it just goes by too fast.  My family came to celebrate in Pennsylvania with us this year. That's the benefit of having a newborn. We told them we weren't leaving, so they came to us. The silliest thing we did was go to a Trampoline park--where we made up 8 of the 9 oldest people there. #toocoolforschool

And in case you forgot, I know how to make gifs now.  So watch out.  This top one is a series of photos where we all were supposed to be doing synchronized flips.  Sometimes we joke about my brothers being raised by a different set of parents--and here's some evidence.  Laura and I (green and gray shirt) grew up honing our trampoline skills in the backyard--my brothers had no idea what to do.  They are the two knuckle heads in the background.  Luckily, Laura and I married men with some sort of trampoline sense. Equally impressive are our synchronized toe touches.

There you go. If my mom can figure out how to send a gif as a Christmas card, I'm pretty sure this is what she should be sending out.

I wanted to try to do four front handsprings in a row, but the best I could get up to was three. And only two were actually recorded.

I was really proud of my ability to land on my feet after doing a front flip! And so I'm immortalizing it here so I can show anyone who ever doubts my skills skillz.

And Sol gets a solid A for effort. He didn't hold back.

We were all pretty sore the next day. Thirty year old bodies were not meant for lots of jumping. They were meant for lots of chip eating.

Monday, November 25

Keaton at Four Months

On Keaton's four month birthday--he finally rolled over. I wasn't actually concerned about it kind of taking forever... but it's nice that I know he can do it now. Here's a video of one of the first rolls--and if you watch it, please mute it because I sound like a weirdo the whole time. Please.  My favorite part is towards the end where he grabs part of his mat to pull himself the rest of the way. Roll, you clever boy. (That's for Christina.)

We had his four month check up a few days ago--and it went well. Shots always break my heart, but less so than things like polio. He's a short fellow--only an inch taller than Braden was when he was born! He's holding his own on weight--we're getting to the point where my babies thin out and stop gaining weight, so we'll see how he does!

Height: 24" (9%)
Weight: 15 lbs, 3 oz (46%)
Head: 42 cm (64%)

About a week and a half ago, Keaton took a page from the Finley playbook and decided to not sleep well at night anymore. One night he woke up SIXTEEN times.  Finley was terrible--I ended up letting him sleep with us and essentially feeding him all night, which meant he didn't take a bottle at ALL while I taught. It was miserable. We're trying to be more proactive up front--because he's already showing less interest in eating during the day. It's so so hard to stick to your guns when it's the middle of the night and you are tired!

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But apparently the "four month sleep regression" is a thing--due to the fact that babies start moving through sleep cycles at this age and don't know how to put them self back to sleep when they wake up. Except for my sweet Braden--he has been a champ sleeper forever because of the thumb sucking. So--hopefully this will be a short battle and he'll be a great sleep again SOON.

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Not too many other updates for the little man--Finley is starting to show more interest in him. Braden is not. Keaton's still a happy smiley guy--and is even doing a bit better riding in the car. Sol said he was sad today when he saw me leave the room, which of course makes me happy. I like that I'm his favorite--because I know eventually daddy will be.

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And here's a tiny collage of how much bigger he's getting!

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Friday, November 22

Preschool Thanksgiving Feasts

Tell me the truth--is there anything cuter than Preschool Thanksgiving Feasts? I don't think there is. And let me tell you, a 2 year old class and 4 year old class are very different. Let's start with Braden.

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Well, he basically had no idea what was going on. I let him eat five cookies and then he refused to nap for the first time ever. He willingly wore his turkey hat... and kiiiind of participated in their song. Kind of is probably being generous. This is video is terrible for quite a few reasons: it's long, Keaton is crying during it, I'm bouncing up and down to keep him happy which may make you nauseous, and it's two year olds "singing". That was your warning.

Yes, that's him wrestling one of his friends and literally running circles around the two year olds standing in line and participating. I don't even know.

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Finley's was a bit more of a production--he had a much more elaborate costume. I think this is him defending the teepee in his class. He's a "native anerican" in case you can't tell.

I was a little surprised how quiet and reserved he was during the song since he tends to overshare in class and he loved singing the songs at home. It was still very sweet.  It was so fun to get to see both kids in their element. We're looking forward to conferences next week and hearing a little more about how school is going from their teachers!

Thursday, November 21

Keaton Likes to Laugh

Things that make Keaton laugh.

Looking at him. Not looking at him. Putting his shirt on. Tickling him (obvi.) His brothers. Laying alone on his play mat. Talking to him. Being in his general vicinity.

And if he laughs too much? Hiccups. Which he doesn't mind, but we feel terrible about. We have to be careful about making eye contact with him for too long, because it almost always leads to hiccups.

Friday, November 15

I don't really understand how to use GIFs

First off--Braden's surgery went well! Yesterday had its ups and downs--he was pretty confused coming out of anesthesia and would say, "Help, eyes!" Which was pretty heartbreaking. But currently he's eating a waffle and climbing on the table, so we're doing pretty good.

So. I'm always impressed and entertained when people write posts and use GIFs. I'm not going to pretend to understand how to use them correctly. But I'm going to use some anyways... because Sol and I went to the Justin Timberlake concert. And even though we were pretty close to the stage, we don't have any amazing photos or videos to share. Although here's a picture of us. You can totally tell we are at the concert, right?

I think we kind of loved it for different reasons--Sol was hoping that someone would recognize his God given dancing skillz and offer him a job as a back up dancer. And I just liked to watch things like this happen:

Vic shares our enthusiasm for JT--he just seems like a fun guy. And relatively smart. I love watching him on Fallon or SNL or like anywhere. We were hoping for some of this:

Or this:

But it did not pan out.  Either way, it was a fabulous concert--and well deserved by us. It was our first time to leave the kids with a baby sitter since we moved to PA--so we went ahead and went big. We were about 14 rows back. So almost uncomfortably close to Mr. Timberlake. We were maybe a little old to be there--it was a lot of 20-something girls. And two awkward middle school boys beside us. But seriously, we had so much fun. We can't ever go to another concert because I'm not sure how it would compete. Basically, at the end of the concert JT was pretty much like this:

And we felt like this:

So there you go. Some GIFs.

Wednesday, November 13

Braden's Eye

You may recall from about a year ago--we've been working to get Braden's eyes corrected. He has intermittent exotropia, so his right eye tends to wander out frequently. We tried patching, drops and not patching--and nothing really helped.

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So the little guy is having surgery tomorrow (Thursday) to correct it. It's sad and scary--I wish I could explain to him what's going on, but it's probably better that he has no idea. We've been told it's fairly simple--about an hour long procedure. They said most kids are back to their regular selves the next day, so we're hoping he rebounds quickly.

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I'm also hoping it improves his overall demeanor. He's quite a passionate fellow and tends to get frustrated when things don't go his way, so I'm hoping some of that will get better when his eyes work correctly. I have to hope for something.

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So if you think of us, say a prayer--that Sol and I would not be terrified and that neither would Braden. We've been told the anesthesia has an amnesia effect, so hopefully he won't remember much of it. Finley had surgery on his Achilles when he was about three months old (before I felt the need to blog about ev.ery.thing) and it was just scary and sad. So please pray for our boy! We're looking forward to him being able to look at us with both eyes!

Wednesday, November 6

Little Fox

Ok. I saw these little fox pajamas at Old Navy and they had to be mine. I mean Keaton's. Sometimes I feel like he needs something to wear that no one has pooped in yet.

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He was kind of a fox for Halloween too--and I knooooow he's only three months old, but in nine months, he may have a new brother. I'm just kidding. In nine months he may have a fox birthday party. Foxes are so trendy right now--hopefully that trend continues for a bit longer!

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I just love him. I love the big eyes and big smiles and the drool spots on my shoulder. XOXO.

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