Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sunday Best

Grandma Kim made the girls some beautiful new matching dresses and mailed them to us. The girls were SO excited to wear their new dresses to church. Sadie said "I am just like a princess!" and Avri stood in front of the mirror doing curtsies. :) I tried to get some pictures of them in their beautiful dresses. I couldn't get them to hold still for a decent picture. Here's what we got:Talmage couldn't be left out of the photo shoot. And his picture turned out the best! Go figure.
What a bunch of sillies.
But I sure love 'em!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Behavior Tickets

Avri went through a little phase a few weeks back where she didn't want to go to school, which seemed strange because she loves everything about school. So I got to the bottom of it and found out that she was terrified of getting her name on the board. She got her name on the board two days in a row and it completely mortified her, so she was afraid to even go to school anymore. Through talking to the teacher we decided that Avri needed a bit more positive reinforcement both at home and at school. So...we came up with Good Behavior Tickets!
Every day that she does not get her name on the board she earns a good behavior ticket. If she gets her name on the board she does not get a ticket and if she gets a check mark then she loses a ticket. (She hasn't lost one yet.) I really liked the idea of having her earn tickets toward rewards. We gave every reward a "price" so that we can start teaching the value of saving up towards something bigger. One ticket can get you a piece of candy, 3 tickets=time on the computer, 5 tickets lets you choose a special activity with Mom and Dad, etc.

Then we realized that we couldn't just do this for Avri. The other kids were going to want to earn tickets as well. AND it gives me the added bonus of a lot of leverage with the kids at nap times, bed time, clean up time, etc.

The kids have absolutely LOVED this whole system and I'm happy because I have an immediate reward system to use. Win, win! The kids have had outings to McDonalds, and Chuck E. Cheese. Talmage picked out a new coloring book with paints and used up almost all of the orange paint on the first picture. haha.Avri bought a new book about puppies, and on another trip bought Nazie. She has a bit of a dog fettish, no?
I am always so happy when Kendall and I are able to come up with a system that works well for more than a week at a time.

Learning to Sit Up

We've been helping Rigdon learn how to sit up. Here is my make shift way of keeping him from hurting himself. :)
As soon as I sit him up in any way the kids just think it's time to play with him. He loves it, I love it - it is great all the way around. Sadie hands him toys and Talmage comes over to play as if they were the same age. It makes me smile every time.
Kendall has a less cushioned way of helping him sit up. He's only 4 months, for crying out loud and Kendall has him in a box. :) I guess he doesn't want cushioned sissies for sons. haha. Didn't really seem to bother Rigdon too much.
I just love how Rigdon is in a smiley phase right now. All you have to do is look at him or give him the slightest attention and you get one of his heart-warming smiles. Love it.

Stitches Again

This last Thursday at dinner time Avri was messing around on her chair (big surprise there!) and she slipped and fell and hit her mouth on the back of the chair. She bust the skin right open in the same place that she had stitches last February. So we took her in again. It wasn't nearly as hard to make the decision this time to take her in. And it didn't turn my stomach like last time either. So I was able to be a lot more calm. In fact, this time I actually watched him stitch her up. I just hope that she heals up as well as she did the first time.

First, we went to Prompt Care since they are just down the street. But they decided that since it was a face wound and we wanted the smallest amount of scarring possible that it would be best to send us to the emergency room.
So we went to the same hospital that we went to last time. Only they have totally remodeled and everything was really nice and cheery. They even had a tv in the room that she could watch while we waited - not that there was anything interesting on.
Waiting for the numbing to set in.
All done! (She was afraid to smile because she thought it might open up the stitches.)
Only 3 stitches this time! :)
As we were sitting in the hospital waiting I felt a strong sense of deja vu. I realized that Avri was wearing the very same pajamas, they are just a bit smaller this year. haha. Here she is almost a year ago with her first set of stitches.
Anyone know how to get her to be less accident prone and clumsy? Tips would be great!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Arguments of a 2 year old

*Note: The following story does not paint my sweet little angel in a very good light. However, it is one that makes me laugh and I don't want to forget it so that when Mercedes has a little 2 year old daughter who is more stubborn than you can imagine she will know exactly where it comes from!

I understand that Mercedes is a third child, and so she learns things at a different rate as, say, a first child. But this conversation was ridiculous!

Sadie: I want to take my milk downstairs.
Me: No Sadie, you know the rule is no milk downstairs.
Sadie: Well, MY rule is that I can drink milk downstairs.
Me: No it is not! You have the same rules as everyone else.
Sadie: That is not my rule.
Me: Mercedes, I am the mom and you are the child. You do not make the rules, I make the rules.
Sadie: I am NOT a CHILD! (oh really?)
Me: Hmm. Yes you are.
Sadie: I am going to run away and I will not be your friend.
Me: (Silence. What do you say to that?)
Sadie storms down the hall toward her bedroom. Half way there she turns around and yells: "I am running away now. And I will come back when you don't talk to me anymore!"

Wow. We must be getting close to the horrid age of 3! I had a long talk with Sadie about what makes her happier, yelling at mommy and arguing a fight that she will not win, or asking for a drink of milk in the kitchen where she knows that she can have it. She would not answer. This child can be more tight-lipped than anyone I know. But I knew she heard me when a few minutes later she came to me and said "Mommy, can I have a drink of milk in the kitchen?" HAHA! I won the battle of stubbornness!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rigdon is 4 months old!

With Rigdon being our last baby I was really planning on holding on to every moment with him. And really, I have been. But it just seems to be going by all too fast. My little new born is now the size of most one year olds and just getting bigger every day. But he is so wonderful and sweet. We just adore him.

He is starting to hold himself up really well. We got him a Bumbo and he thinks it is rather cool to sit in it while the kids dote on him, bringing him toys and making funny faces at him to try to get a smile or a laugh out of him.
He doesn't fit in the stroller very well anymore...
The doctor told us that to try to get him to spit up a bit less, we should start him on rice cereal early. It didn't go very well. It always makes such a mess to try to teach kids how to swallow solids. But Rigdon seemed just a little too young at 3 1/2 months. He wasn't really interested in it, so it all came back out.
Only a couple of weeks later he is seeming a bit more interested in eating, so I will give it a try again soon. He is on medication to help the stomach pains, but the only way to stop the spitting up is to thicken the food.

The next big step was his first haircut. I was trying so hard to wait to cut his hair because I didn't want him to look any older than he already does. But it was getting really bad. He looks so cute with his new haircut.
A couple of weeks ago he really found his hands and figured out the connection that allows him to move them and get what he wants. So now he grabs everything and it all goes to the mouth. He also found his toes about the same time and pulled them to his mouth as well. This led to rolling. On Saturday, January 8th (one day before he was 4 months) he rolled over. Kendall and I were enjoying a (very rare) quiet breakfast together (Grandma and Grandpa had the 3 older kids) when we saw Rigdon roll from his back to his front for the first time. And it only took the one time for him to figure it all out. By the end of the weekend he could roll back to front, front to back, over both shoulders, and windmill himself in a circle. So he is a mover now!

Tuesday Rigdon had his 4 month doctor's appointment. His stats are as follows:
Height - 27 1/4" (greater than 95%ile)
Weight - 19 lbs 12 oz (greater than 95%ile)
Head circumference - 17.4" (90%ile)
He is one huge kid! But even the doctor was saying, he really isn't that fat, he is just a really big boy. He has a long torso and he has a solid body build. I guess he is just storing up size so that he can accordion out to a 7 foot tall man.

Rigdon is such a good baby. He is easy going, loves attention from anywhere he can get it, and moves all day long. He has been a good sleeper, too. I feed him about 9:00 at night and put him to bed and he sleeps all night. He used to get up around 7:00 or 7:30, but lately he has been getting up between 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning. Still, not bad for such a young baby. I certainly can't complain. He also makes his share of noise around the house. He talks very loudly, and we figure he is just trying to keep up with the rest of the family. We just love our Big Rig!

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. Our kids are at such a fun age and it was fairly quiet, which was a big bonus for me. Since we have a baby things tend to be crazy enough without a lot of "extra" stuff going on, so it was great to have a quiet year.

This year for the first time we acted out the Christmas story, on a very small scale, as we read the Bible story on Christmas Eve. My parents came to our house and we had a nice ham dinner and then my Dad narrated the story from the Bible. For characters we only had a Mary, Joseph, Angel, and baby Jesus. Here the kids are waiting to start our story. We obviously don't have great costumes, since I'm pretty sure that neither Mary nor the angel were wearing hot pink. But they were all excited to have a costume of sorts to wear.
A very pregnant Mary and "Jofes" as Talmage kept saying. Try as he may, he could not say "Joseph."
I took a video of Sadie being the angel, but I guess I didn't get any pictures. But here is a picture of our baby Jesus in his laundry basket/manger. :)
Christmas morning came around and the kids just couldn't wait to start opening presents.

Even Rigdon enjoyed Christmas since he got help for most of the day with all of the adults around. He loves to take naps when Grandpa is holding him. My dad really knows how to make kids comfortable!
Sadie, so cute in her chef's hat and apron.
Sadie with her Christmas loot.
Talmage and his load of goods.
Avri with her new Barbies from Santa.
And with all of her other gifts.
Sadie's gift from Santa was a huge hit this year. The kids have been very busy playing with it.
Kendall made a new table top for the table downstairs. It's a much nicer wood and a bit bigger.
Then he made a lego top to go with it! One side has lego baseplates and the other is just plain wood, but has raised edges. It works great for doing puzzles because the pieces don't fall off the table.
This has been such a huge hit. The kids just LOVE getting out the legos now. We had the legos before and they played with them occasionally, but having the table has made a BIG difference!
It was a wonderful Christmas. We talked to the rest of our family on the phone and through Skype and ate delicious food and had a great time playing and resting.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

December Activities

December was a busy month, as it always is. I'm sure I won't remember everything, but I'll try to hit some of the highlights. The month started out with Kendall giving me an early Christmas present that he made for me! Isn't she a beauty?!?
The top is granite that he polished up for me and then he got a table for free off Craigslist and gave her a little face lift with a new paint job and a new top. The granite is so beautiful! It is black with gold and blue flecks that sparkle in the sunlight. When the sun shines in through the windows in the morning it really shines!!

Next up was playgroup at our house. I held a Polar Express party. Everyone came dressed in pj's and we read the story and then watched the movie and had hot chocolate. It was a lot of fun and as you can see we had a pretty full house! This was a picture of most of the kids as we were getting the movie started. The moms had a good time visiting.
The following night was our church Christmas Party. It was also a Polar Express theme, which is why I wanted to get the little ones interested in Polar Express before they went, so that they would be excited about it. We all went dressed in pajamas (again), only this party had a special visitor.
The primary kids sang a Christmas song. My children, however, chose to just stand there and listen. :) Silly kids. Just after this picture Sadie decided that she didn't like being left out, so she went right up with the other kids.
Next up was a little project that Avri and Daddy worked on together. Avri was invited to a birthday party that had a "Harry Potter" theme. We were just a little more than excited. And Avri designed this wand and together she and Daddy made it as a gift for her friend Campbell. He just LOVED it!
The rest of the month was filled with Christmas and winter-related activities. Last year we bought an advent calendar that has 26 little presents and each one is a wooden box with an opening door. So the idea is that we have a different activity or surprise for each day in December. One of the activities was playing in the snow. The ever so wonderful Kendall, went outside and made, not a snow man, but a snow dragon! Talmage named it Elliot (after Pete's Dragon). We got quite a few comments and people that came by to take pictures of the great big huge dragon in our yard. It used almost all of the snow that we had!
After it had been in the yard for a while we got a warm spell and it started melting. So Kendall then turned it into a slide. :) After the 60 degree day and rain that we had it is now just sort of a smallish pile of snow.

Other advent activities included the Festival of Lights, Christmas coloring pages, writing letters to Santa, playing games as a family, cutting out snowflakes, going to Chuck E. Cheese, reading Christmas stories from the Friend magazine, delivering gifts to the neighbors, and having movie parties together as a family with Christmas movies and dinner on a blanket in front of the TV. It was a very fun-filled month. But it is somewhat nice to be back to the normal craziness of having a "routine." At least as much as we can have with four little kids. :)

Talmage Turns 4

It's been almost a month now, but on December 8th my little boy turned 4 years old!! I told Talmage that he could have a birthday party this year with friends. He new immediately what the theme was going to be: super heroes, of course! He debated on the guest list for a while. First he came up with a long list that included pretty much everyone he knew. Then he decided that it was going to be a "boys only" party and he cut the list down to four other boys.

As the boys were showing up we had super hero logos for them to choose from and color. They were supposed to be for pinning on the capes that I made for each of the boys. But Talmage was the only one who wanted to wear a cape at first, so it turned out to be just a coloring activity. :)

Next we had all of the super heroes take turns handcuffing the "Evil Dr. Porkchop" and taking him to jail. They loved getting a turn to use the handcuffs.
Then we got to play a memory match game with all of the super heroes. I wasn't sure that all of the boys would be very good at memory, but it was a huge hit! Next we went upstairs to open up presents. Kids at this age are so cute. They get so excited about the gift that they brought that they can barely contain themselves!
He got a few super hero action figure type toys, and this fun bowling set.
Next we had cake and sherbet. We looked for Superman ice cream but never found any, so we went with the next best thing: rainbow sherbet! Here is the cake that I made for the party.
Next the boys wanted to do a little bowling. So they took the game downstairs and Kendall helped them get all set up while I cleaned up from cake and ice cream.
Then, they played musical chairs. I was nervous that they would have a hard time being "out" but they did just fine. They played this for a looooong time. We had put together a playlist of all of the super hero theme songs and the kids got to play musical chairs to it. It was at this point that the other kids decided they wanted to put on their capes. They could see Talmage's cape billowing in the wind as he ran around and they decided that was cool.
For our final activity we took the kids upstairs again where the Evil Dr. Porkchop had escaped from prison and needed to be caught yet again. Only this time, they were each playing the role of Spiderman. They each received a can of silly string and they all stood in a big line and...
they got him!
This part was a little crazy, so we didn't get any pictures during the actual activity, just the after effects. But I think that this was the highlight of the party! The kids absolutely LOVED it! And they were all so excited that they got to take their capes home, which made me feel better about all of the time that I had put into making them. :)

A couple days later was Talmage's actual birthday, and so we had his special birthday dinner, which he picked hamburgers, french fries and orange jello. Just like a miniature Kendall. :) We had another cake for this night.
And of course, opened presents.
He had such a fun birthday. It was a little confusing to him celebrating on two different days because he thought that he had two birthdays and couldn't figure out if that meant that he was actually 5. But once we cleared up the fact that he was still only 4, he was just as happy as could be.

This was the first friend birthday party that I have done for my kids - I know, I'm a lame mom. But now the girls are planning their parties. We will see if they will get them this year or have to wait a bit. I think Avri is definitely overdue for one. It was a lot of work, but also lots of fun, and some good memories!