Sunday, November 8, 2015

October 2015 - weddings, babies, hospitals, and spooky ghosts

The beginning of October was busy getting ready for Craig and Chelsea's wedding on the 15th.  We found a little park a block away from the Payson Temple for all of the cousins to play at during the sealing with a couple of Young Women.  We had a luncheon at our chapel afterwards and had the reception at Peggy and Paul's that evening.  The reception was beautiful--I loved the outdoor music, lights, and overall ambiance.  They did street tacos, Mexican hot chocolate, and s'mores.  Three people asked to move in with us at the reception now that Craig had officially moved out that morning :).  Ha.

The cousins looked adorable in their matching outfits and we are so happy for Craig and Chelsea--love them both!  Although the kids keep crying for Craig and saying how much they miss him, even now almost a month later.  Tyler cried for Craig the night he went to the emergency room later in the month.  During the reception, I laughed because Alexa roasted a marshmallow for her s'mores and then ran over to the receiving line so she could show Chelsea her marshmallow.  They are thrilled that she is now "Aunt Chelsea."

We took a fun trip to St. George to celebrate one last hurrah at the Ludlow vacation home before it was officially sold.  We got to see Beauty and the Beast at Tuacahn and it was amazing.  We've seen Broadway Shows at great theaters, but Tuacahn was better than all of them.  It's an outdoor stage up against the red rock and they have a fabulous stage, audience special effects, etc.  We should have gone sooner!
Kyle surprised me the next day with a makeover and family pictures for my birthday present.  He packed 3 bags of clothes and another bag full of shoes for me to pick from for our photos and he went shopping to get outfits for him and the kids :).  I had no idea he was planning any of it and it was so fun to get new family pictures done!

We had a scare the week before Halloween when Tyler woke up suddenly unable to breathe.  He went to bed completely fine and woke up two hours later gasping for air.  I ran and got him a drink and some medicine to help him breathe, but nothing helped.  I held him for 20 minutes and Kyle and James gave him a blessing.  It was my scariest moment so far as a parent--he was struggling to breathe the whole time and we had no idea why.  I worried that it might be an allergic reaction or something that was causing his lungs or airways to suddenly close and it was not lessening up at all while I held him and waited.  So we headed to the Emergency Room.  I held him the whole way to make sure he was still breathing and Kyle anxiously waited on the phone to see what was happening to our poor boy.

The nurse said right away that it sounded like croup, which I always thought was a terrible awful cough, not the inability to breathe.  They gave him steroids, a breathing treatment, and some Lightning McQueen and dinosaur stickers, and he was immediately feeling much better to my relief.  I wanted him to sleep with Kyle and I for the night, but he just wanted his own bed.  I begged and he was not swayed.  So we restlessly checked on him all night with extreme gratitude that he was still breathing.  I am so glad our sweet boy is ok.  I was terrified more than I ever have been.
We had a fun Halloween with Frankenstein, Mommy Mummy, Little Witch, and Spooky Ghost.  Tyler lasted about a block and a half trick or treating, so the two of us cuddled and watched Micky Mouse Halloween instead and had a great time.  It was so fun to be with family and cousins on Halloween--the cousins played games with Auntie Emily and ran around trick or treating together.  It's so great to be this close and get together for holidays.  I love it.  We even got to stop by and visit Granny before the festivities started.  The kids guessed on the ride up what Granny would dress up as for Halloween much to Kyle's and my amusement.  They threw out a few ideas, but in the end Alexa thought she would dress up as a bunny and Tyler thought she would be a black cat or Santa Claus.

The best birthday present this month was a ultrasound with little Bambino.  Many of you know that this baby has been a bit of a struggle.  After a year of trying, we met with a fertility specialist and they ran all sorts of fun tests.  They found nothing wrong and we were feeling disheartened.  I didn't really want to talk about it or share personal difficulties and so we continued along for several more months.  While in church one Sunday, I felt strongly that we should tell our family and have them fast and pray with us.  I was hesitant to involve others and waited until the last minute, but I was overwhelmed by the response.  I know others have had much greater health and parenting struggles and that we are blessed with two healthy, happy kids, but it was really hard to feel like it was completely out of our control and there was nothing we could do.  It was incredible to see our families group together like that and hear of your love and support.  We are very blessed and have much to be grateful for.  After a year and a half of trying, we found out we were expecting within days of asking family to fast and pray with us.

I'm due February 29--Leap Day!  We have decided to make this baby another surprise, so I expect Alexa and Kyle to continue arguing about whether it's a boy or a girl for the next few months.  Alexa would also like one of each if possible, but I think we would have noticed another baby's heartbeat or head in the ultrasound.  Alexa wants to name her sister Candyland and Tyler would like a brother named Scooby Doo.

We sure do love these cute kids.

Monday, October 26, 2015

September 2015 - Spanish preschool, first haircut, and the chickens start laying eggs!

Alexa started preschool and she loves it.  We found a Spanish immersion school and she's doing great.  The best part is that she comes home and teaches new words to Tyler and sings him songs in Spanish.  It makes me so happy.
 Here are some videos of Tyler counting to 10 and praying in Spanish. I will have to take some Alexa Spanish videos to post next month!

Translation of his prayer:
Padre Celestial, gracias por esta comida. Bendicenos con salud y fuerza.  Te amamos.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, amen.
Heavenly Father, thank you for this food.  Bless us with health and strength.  We love you.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

In other news, Miss Alexa got her first official haircut at 4 1/2 years old!  We chopped an entire 1/2 inch off, maybe.  Just to even up the front and back.  What a cutie.  She still has baby hair--very fine and thin, but oh so pretty.
Alexa also got to go wedding dress shopping with Chelsea.  I think it was the happiest day of her life!  Here's a picture of her trying on a dress with Chelsea.

Alexa the Diva
Our chickens have started laying eggs!  We get 1-2/day from our 5 hens.  We also bought 4 new baby chicks and they sadly all died.  One escaped while we were in St. George, at least one was taken by a neighbor's cat, and between the cat and Roxy we found the other 2 dead in the back yard.  Our back neighbor said he throws rocks at the cat whenever he sees it go in our yard.  We are bummed that none of them made it.  The kids loved to hold them and carry them around the yard, and they love to go feed the big hens scraps from our compost or find bugs for them (especially worms!).  I am somewhat relieved that the big hens can now hold their own and the cats and Roxy completely leave them alone besides Roxy occasionally chasing them around the yard just to get them to freak out and try to fly.
Our first two eggs 
Kyle and I got to dress up and go to a charity gala for work because Thrive was being recognized for some of our humanitarian projects over the last year.  It was really neat to be a part of the event and hear some of the stories about the impact that our work is having on the lives of different families and communities.  I threaten the owners of Thrive that they can't ever take humanitarian work out of my job description.  I feel blessed to be a part of it and am grateful to work for people who believe so strongly in giving back and helping others to prosper, be self-sufficient, and educated in order to help generations succeed.

One final story that made me laugh--Tyler and I were reading a lift-the-flap book about otters and it asked what the otter likes to eat (hiding under the flap).  Tyler's response to the question was "a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!"

Sunday, October 25, 2015

August 2015 - Tates in Utah, baby Roman arrives, and Tyler's potty training adventures

Kyle took both kids on our Ward father sons campout and they loved it.  They got to roast s'mores and sleep in a tent and have the time of their lives.  

The kids also finished up their swim lessons this month.  Alexa did really well and Tyler has somewhat of a love-hate relationship with swimming.  He gets excited to go and then cries every lesson, but is doing well at floating on his own.

It's been fun to have the kids play together all day and run around with Roxy and the chickens in the backyard.   

We were excited to welcome more family to Utah in August when Emily and Jered moved out!  It is so wonderful to have more siblings and cousins close by.
We also got to welcome cute baby Roman to the family this month.  He's pretty dang adorable.

Tyler started potty training and he's a natural.  He caught on by the end of the first day.  When I asked if he was done going to the bathroom yet he said, "No. Be patient!"  And then "I did it!" after pooping in the toilet while flexing his arms and smiling excitedly.  We are still working on making it through the night, so both kids have been sleeping on bare mattresses with beach towels for weeks.

We sold our scooter and Alexa cried.  They look like little bobbleheads with those big helmets riding around the neighborhood with Daddy.

Granny called and said she missed us and was lonely, so we immediately planned a sleepover party for the next day.  She is so cute to read books with the kids and they like to give her a foot massage and paint her toes in return.  Her smile while the kids are in front of her with their toes on display is my favorite.

Video of Gran Gran reading to the kids:

Lastly, the kids are on a Super Why kick and love to run around with capes and pretend to be superheroes who spell words all day.  It's pretty great.