Our Family

Our Family

Monday, December 22, 2008

Here's one for Sadie

This post is about Mercedes because my good friend Heather inspires me and because I'm doing a TERRIBLE job at keeping up on baby books after numero tres. So here it is...

Sadie is really good at manipulating. She know how to get what she wants at only 9 months old (well, she will be 9 months on Christmas). She gives great big slobbery open-mouth kisses right on the cheek, or sometimes on your shoulder. Regardless they are wet and slobbery and I LOVE THEM!! She is skinnier than both Avri and Talmage and feels like a feather weight to Kendall and I even though I'm pretty sure she is near the middle to top of the charts. She wears 12 month clothes now, scoots around on her bum and rolls to wherever she wants to get and is fantastic at making messes. She still raises her eyebrows in this seductive, trouble-maker, adorable way that melts our hearts and she has a smile that makes me laugh. She gets VERY upset if you take toys away from her (that includes things that she THINKS are toys like receipts and important papers). She still doesn't have any teeth and I don't think that she will be walking anytime soon. At least we will hope not. She says Ma-ma and Da-da. She prefers to say Da-da unless she is sad and then it's Ma-ma through her tears. She doesn't really love eating, but does okay. That probably explains why she is skinnier than the other two, because they both loved eating. She thinks that Avri and Talmage are both hilarious, and they don't really even have to do anything for her to burst into laughter. She is our snuggliest child and just loved to lay on your shoulder. She detests strangers. Sometimes she cries and sometimes she is just stone-serious, but either way she will not smile with a stranger around. Her Hemangioma seems to be slowing in its growth, but it is still not pretty. We go in to the doctor on Wednesday to see how it has changed. Oh, and she does this rocking horse thing. She is always rocking back and forth, just like she is riding an invisible rocking horse. She does it when she is happy and when she is sad, pretty much all the time. I think that it contributes to the scooting around.

Well, I think that will be sufficient. Now I don't feel like such a terrible mother. I've documented a bit of her baby-hood.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Few Rambling Thoughts

All day long I think about these things that I should post. I think about funny things and weird things and dumb things and sad things, whatever. Rarely do they turn into posts. But sometimes when I actually sit down to post I remember a few. Here are a few of my random rambling thoughts.

Talmage has a ritual that must be performed anytime we eat fruit. He has to find the sticker and promptly place it on his forehead. I don't think this is too unusual except that he never ever forgets it. This sticker just happened to make me smile more than most. (In case you can't read it, it says "Kid-Sized Cutie.") I love those little oranges. And while I'm on the topic or oranges, I love them. I think that they are delicious, but with two toddlers who also love them, just buying them becomes a labor of love. I can't sit down and peel an orange to eat, I have to peel 3 oranges, and then I usually get a couple of the segments that I can sneak in while Talmage is swallowing. They are no longer a favorite fruit.

Here are the munchkins "sitting by the fire." I went into Talmage's room where they were playing and asked what they were doing. They were entirely too quiet to be safe. They said "We are sitting by the fire." They are sitting on top of a lego box with pillows behind their backs. As always, Talmage has his hat pulled so far down that he can't see. These are the ornaments that I helped the kiddos make this week.
Last night we had an ice storm. We are fortunate enough to still have heat and power and everything. I'm mostly posting this for the Utahans who have never experienced the beauty of an ice storm. They create so much damage and destruction, but are one of the most beautiful things that I've ever seen. This is only the second one that I remember experiencing. My first was when I lived in Michigan. Pictures just don't do it justice, but EVERYTHING is coated in this beautiful layer of ice.
I broke a bunch of the ice off our frozen grill cover, but you can see that the whole thing is a sheet of ice. I'm just praying that it doesn't get windy and knock down our power lines.

On the not-so-happy front, the things that you are hearing about Caterpillar layoffs are true. They just sent out 800 layoff warnings yesterday. There have been many more than that. We are really counting our blessings that we still have a job. Both Kendall and my Dad are still fine. If the economy keeps going down then we don't have any guarantees, but for now we just keep praying that we won't lose our job. The Lord has been very gracious to us, but we pray for those who have been less fortunate. This is a very difficult time of year for something like that, so keep those people in your prayers and we hope that all of you are not in danger of suffering this way from the poor economy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ward Christmas Party

Now that this is over, I can ENJOY Christmas! I'm on the activities committee in my ward. I think it is a very fun calling, but I must say it is a very busy one when you have as big of a ward as we have. One of the other girls on the committee was in charge of decorations, and I think she did a FABULOUS job! You'd never guess how small of a budget we did this activity on.

I was in charge of feeding 300 people, which I was a bit nervous about, but we ended up even having extra food and it was quite yummy. This was Santa's corner of the world.

Part of the program was the primary children singing a couple of songs. Somehow Avri got in on the action (even though she won't be in Sunbeams for 3 more weeks). She had no clue what was going on, so she was turned around the whole time, just watching the other bigger kids.We put everyone on Santa's lap. At first Mercedes just starred. We couldn't get her to look at the camera. Then this was her next reaction:

We had fun (busy, but fun) and this ward is fabulous about helping with cleanup so we were only there a little over an hour for clean up. It went very smoothly.

Winter Strikes

I felt like winter hit me in the face this morning. Yesterday was 50 degrees and it rained all day, in the middle of December!! I thought to myself "This is awfully warm for December." Well, today it is 10 degrees outside!! And you guessed it, because of the rain yesterday everything is a solid sheet of ice. I had to go out visiting teaching this morning, and I got there quite late because we had to drive slow, but even more than that, the doors on my van were iced shut! They are the automatic kind, so I could just pull harder to break the ice. So I had to climb through the front into the back and pull each of the kids through the same way (trying not to get our tan seats dirty with their shoes) and then buckle them into their seats. This was all fine, but the worst part was trying to scrape the ice off the windows!! It would not scrape off! So I tried chipping away enough that I could see through a small portion of the windshield (I know that's illegal, but we were already late!). Then we slowly drove all the way there. I thought the drive and heating up the car would help the door situation, but no such luck. I don't think we'll go out again for a while. And now I'm motivated to let Kendall organize the garage so that I can park in there. Poor Kendall will just be stuck outside. :(

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kendall's Surgery

Kendall had his surgery on his Esophagus yesterday and it went very well. The doctor went in and found that he has an extremely tight ring in his esophagus, about 1/2 the diameter that it needs to be. So they cut it up a bit and stretched it out for him and they are quite confident that this should take care of his problems. His gastroenterologist here is much better than the one in Utah was, so we are happy about that fact. Here is a nice gross picture for you. The one on the right is what the diameter should be, the one on the left is what his looks like in that place where the ring is.
It was just an outpatient surgery and the only effects that he has had have been from the sedation. He's a little forgetful, but I think he's getting better. This morning he forgot his badge for work that he needed, so he turned around to come home and get it and when he was almost home he got back on the freeway to go back to work, then realized that he still had never made it home. He's been funny, but medicine has always done funny things to him. He has so many funny stories!! In fact, once when we had first started dating he was drugged up and he actually cat called at me through the window in his house.

A birthday to remember

We had so much FUN at Chuck E. Cheese's!! The one in Utah was kind of run down and ghetto, so I didn't think we'd have that much fun, but none of us really wanted to leave. They even had ski-ball, so I was happy. The kids rode on ever ride (probably twice) and the fire truck about 4 times. They played all of the little kid games. Avri was TERRIBLE at ski-ball, but Talmage actually got a better score than Kendall.
Mercedes was just happy to be along for the ride. She is such a good little third child!We got our pictures sketched by a machine,ate pizza (Talmage didn't actually eat it, he just licked the Parmesan cheese off of it) and the kids got to meet Chuck E. himself.
Avri says that he is her new best friend. They won 177 tickets so we got some completely worthless little prizes that the kids loved and we can't wait to go back again! Then we came home and Skyped Grandma and Grandpa in Utah and Uncle Ammon, and we opened all of his presents.
What a spoiled child he was. We got him a big wheel that he can really only ride inside for a while. We had cake and ice cream and had way too much fun. It was totally relaxing and fun and the best birthday yet!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Talmage!!

Where it all started 2 years ago today! He was born at 1:45 am after 2 1/2 days of hard labor and weighed 7 lbs 3 oz and only 18 1/2 inches - my smallest baby. But it only took him about a week to catch up and pass the girls in size. That kid hasn't stopped eating since the second he came out!At one years old he was quite the little charmer with his dimple (only one) and huge baby blue eyes.
His first birthday party. He wasn't so sure that he liked the hat cake that I made him, but he sure loved the ice cream!!
Talmage with his crayon birthday cake last night, right after I finished it. He tells everyone that he is three and that he has a "colors" cake.
It's just amazing how fast time flies. My kiddos are growing up way too fast, and I'm sure I have no idea how fast it goes!!

Big trouble in little packages

It's official - Mercedes is a bum-scooter baby. I always thought that babies who scoot on their bums were just hilarious, and now I am fortunate enough to have one! She continues to be my very funny child. She is starting to figure out how to sit up from being down on the floor and she is getting better about getting on the floor when she is sitting without flopping and hitting her head. She has also figured out how to open drawers (low ones, like dressers and things) so she scoots herself over to them and opens them and takes things out.Other news, I was lucky enough to have all three of my kids get sick on the SAME DAY!! We woke up Friday morning with 3 sick children. I'm really grateful that they got sick together because that means we don't have to pass it around for months like we did all last winter. So we will have a few days of coughing and snotty noses and hopefully it will all go away after that. Hooray!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend just hanging around at home! My grandma and grandpa came down from Michigan to visit, but they stayed at my parents house. We spent quite a bit of time all together, but when we were tired we were able to retreat to our own house to rest. We ate and prepared food all day long on Thursday. We also did a couple of Skype calls to Kendall's family as well as my brother and my Dad's brother and sister and their families. So any family that we weren't with, we saw and talked to at least.

The day after Thanksgiving we did NOT get up early to go shopping, but we did go later in the day when everyone else was tired, so the lines weren't too long and things weren't very crazy. We went to the Dollar store and let each of the kids pick out what they wanted to get for every other member in the family. This was a great idea, and a nightmare to actually do. Avri was not understanding that we were not shopping for her. She threw some big fits thinking that we were telling her that she was not going to get any presents, and it was kind of ridiculous. We then went to a tree farm and found a tree and cut it down with my parents. We are trying to save a little money this year, so we are going to use their fake tree. We spent that night and the next day decorating both trees. We only broke ornaments at our house, and had to pull the kids out of the glass a couple of times, but there wasn't any blood.
Here is a not very good picture of the tree and the hoodlums who decorated it! We also went out to dinner on Saturday with my grandparents and that was fun for everyone. Finally a meal that we didn't have to prepare OR clean up!! Those are my FAVORITE! Saturday night we got our first snowfall! So we woke up Sunday morning to a white world and that was very exciting for the kids. After nap time on Sunday we went over to my parents to sled down their hill. (Is sledding a Sunday appropriate activity?) But by the time everyone was awake and all the gear was on it was totally dark. So the pictures are dark, but the kids had way more fun than I would have ever guessed! Here is Macie in her first snow!! She wasn't out too long, but she thought it was great.Here are all of us girls, cheesing it up! Well, at least Avri and I. But Macie's look cracks me up!Daddy is so good at playing, he seems almost tireless!
Last year Talmage was still kind of little for the snow, but this year he trekked up and down the hill so many times, and all by himself while it was dark! I couldn't believe him! I don't think that he went down the hill the same time twice, either. He went down on his tummy, on his back, sitting, kneeling, backwards, forwards and every other way he could think of. Then he'd haul his own sled back up the hill and Kendall would push him down again.
Avri and Mom made snow angels, but when I tried to get Talmage to he just cried.
While Talmage kept sledding Kendall helped Avri build a snowman. It actually fell over before we even left my parents' house that night, but we didn't tell Avri that.
While the older kids were outside Mercedes was enjoying some time all to herself with Mom and Grandma and Aunt Amber. She was quite happy so we got a bunch of pictures of her. She is such a little elf. She has the Dietz ears that go back for many generations, poor girl.
We then did something that is becoming a tradition for Sunday nights, a movie picnic. We make dinner and eat in front of the TV while we watch a movie together as a family. To save the carpet we get out a big blanket and call it a picnic and the kids think this is so much fun. Well, we decided to do it at my parents house this time and we watched the old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It occurred to me a few days ago that my kids don't know the classic stories of Christmas, so we introduced them last night.

The only other thing that we did this weekend was Harry Potter marathon. Kendall and I are finally reading books together again, and we are working on Harry Potter 5, which we started ages ago, but didn't ever finish. So all this Harry Potter made us want to see the movies. Over the weekend we watched 1-4, and we still have number 5 waiting for us. We watched every night into the late hours, and anytime the kiddos were sleeping. I always said that I would never be Harry Potter crazy, but I guess I should never say never.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Where Have I Been

I'm sure that most of you haven't noticed I've been lax in my posting, but I've been away for a while. No real reason, just trying to catch up. I keep telling myself that if I can get caught up then I can post things again. Well, catching up is not something that is happening anytime soon. But since I woke up this morning at 5:00 am and couldn't get back to sleep, here's an update post.

We are getting extremely excited about Christmas around here. Kendall and I are actually done shopping for all of the kids, and just have a couple of little things left to buy for other people. I am having a really hard time not giving the gifts to the kids now. In fact, a couple of nights ago we actually did let Mercedes play with one of her new toys and I've never seen her have so much fun! Her only quandary was the she didn't have enough hands to hold all of the blocks at the same time. So she would pick up two and then look at the others on the floor and back at her hands, like "what am I going to do?" I was having so much fun watching her! Here is a picture of the kids looking at the Toys R Us Big Book of Toys. We've gotten 2 of them and Avri carries hers around with her.We've actually been working with Avri because she says "I'm going to ask Santa for that" about pretty much everything. So I told her that if she asks for more than two things that Santa will think she is greedy. So she decided on a dollhouse and a wagon for her dollhouse. The second item keeps changing, but the dollhouse stays constant. (Hmm, I wonder what she will be getting...) Talmage still doesn't get the Santa thing, but he does get the present thing. His birthday is a week and a half away, so we already have all of his birthday stuff sitting out in a pile and he's excited about that. (I don't have any new good pics of him, but here he is falling asleep in his lunch.)Mercedes has gotten to be quite the little trouble maker. She scoots around now. When she's on her tummy she goes backwards and gets stuck in corners. When she is sitting up she bum scoots forward. But she hasn't figured out how to do it to intentionally get somewhere. Her other favorite past time is emptying the wipes. Here she is with a few of them, and Avri thought they would make a good hat for her. I'm obviously cleaning, hence the mess in the background.Avri and I continue to play with her hair. This one is her favorite because it looks like a flower. Not a perfect picture, but you get the idea!This is just my little sweety. I try not to have favorites, but on any given day I just might due to behavior on the older childrens' part. She has a small head for her age and this hat really shows it!! Although I think the hat was made for a child with a HUGE head.Mercedes LOVES her Daddy. She now says mamamama and dadadada and she seems to direct it to whichever parent she sees or wants. But you can tell that she plays favorites sometimes as well.

I have such a funny video to post, so I'll see if I can get it to work. If not, too bad for you. But it will have to come a little later since I'm leaving for Thanksgiving breakfast right now. I hope you all have (or had) a fantastic Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Doctor a Day Keeps the Apples Away

At least, that's how we feel lately. However, I must say that we have found a FANTASTIC doctor named Dr. Steve (Lichtenstein) who is the pediatric ophthalmologist that we went to yesterday. We have finally solved the mystery that is Mercedes eye! So it IS a hemangioma that she has in her eye, it is just under the surface instead of on top, like the strawberry hemangiomas that are common on babies. The doctor was able to test her prescription in her eyes through lenses and shining lights in her eyes (which she HATED because they had to dilate her eyes again!). They said that hemangioma is causing a slight astigmatism in her right eye. it isn't a problem yet, but if it keeps getting bigger then it could cause her some problems with her eyesight. So we go in again in one month and they will check it again and see how it has changed. If it becomes a problem then they will treat it. But if it is not a problem then it will go away on its own in a few years. I'm torn on the issue, because I don't want to give her medications or steroids that she doesn't need, but I also don't want her to have a black eye for the first 4 years of her life.

I think that the thing I liked the most about this doctor is that if I think it's getting worse I can email him a picture and he will tell me if I should bring her back in or not. And if I take her in and everything is the same, or no need to worry I don't get charged. If it is something worth worrying about he will fix it. I'm so glad that we are in the right place finally!!

I related news, Kendall went to the doctor, and still no news on his throat or swallowing problems. He doesn't have the Zenker's Diverticulum that we thought, so they are going to try stretching his throat again in December and this doctor will do the esophogram so that he can get a good look at his throat. So at least we know what one of the problems is. :) Sorry about no pics. But that is our update.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall Leaves

I guess the last picture that I posted of the leaves in our back yard was premature. I took the kids out today to finish raking leaves and we had a pile worthy for Clifford the big red dog to jump in! I was slightly concerned that I might actually lose one of the kids in it. But we had a blast!

Lego Zoo

It is officially cold now. We went from 80 degree weather to like 40 degrees in one day, so we will be spending a lot more time indoors. A couple of days ago Avri was wanting some attention, so I decided to sit down with Avri and Talmage and make some Lego zoo animals. We spread them all out and had an entire zoo to play with. Avri thought it was great, and Talmage was really enjoying pulling them apart. It took a great deal of work on my part to get a picture of all of them put together. The animals from left to right are: my own renditions of a tiger, a lion, and giraffe, then there is an elephant, a sad excuse for an alligator, a zebra, and then a camel. Then we had to have a concession stand, complete with a cook and a customer and benches. Our version of a zoo made from one small box of Lego's.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Interview and Voting

Kendall has a job interview today. I know, he's only been with his current job for a few months, but he got an interview with Caterpillar and it would be a really fantastic opportunity, so we will see. The interview is from 9 until about 2:30 with 1 hour of a break for lunch! Pretty intense!! I think he's a little nervous, but I think he'll do great. We'll keep you posted.

As a side note, I LOVE early voting. Hooray for the chance to vote before the lines are hours long. But if you haven't voted, go do it! I think that in these days it is getting even more important to vote than ever before.

"The" Halloween Post

This wouldn't be a blog without a post about Halloween. So here it is. When Kendall got home we carved pumpkins. I know, a little late. But better late than never. The kids picked the designs, and Avri enjoyed helping, but Talmage didn't want to sit still to do something like carve pumpkins. Avri's is the witch. Talmage's is the smiley face.
And here is Kendall's pumpkin. However, it was carved a couple of weeks ago, so it is looking a bit sad and wilted.Then we ate dinner and got dressed up. Mom is not in the picture because the extent of her costume was an orange shirt and Halloween socks. No time by the time everyone else is dressed.Avri was SO EXCITED to be Snow White. She was bummed though that I wouldn't let her wear her Snow White shoes, which are the toy plastic heels.Talmage made a cute giraffe.And Macie got to be the turtle (you can't see the shell that is on the back.

Mercedes thought the candy was great! She was chewing on something almost the whole time, until she just got so tired that she fell asleep in the middle of trick-or-treating.We got home and dumped out our loot and I couldn't get the wrappers off the candy fast enough for Talmage, so I think he ate a couple of them with the wrappers still on. Then we took the silly string that they got outside and had a war.It was so funny to watch them! They didn't like it until I plastered Kendall with it and he was getting me, then they decided it was okay. Some got on Mercedes though and she freaked out. But I just laughed the whole time. It was pretty funny. We got them all sugared up and my parents came over and decided to take them home for a slumber party. Which was fine with us since they were now BOUNCING off the walls. So we sent them away and watched "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken." (Kendall is a HUGE Don Knotts fan, in case you didn't know!) That is my kind of scary movie!! Fun times.