Saturday, April 28, 2012

Surviving a Master's Degree

Having two little boy's while Nathan has been gone a lot this semester for his master's has been tiresome to say the least. I have struggled with his absence, not only because we miss our daddy, but I miss my best friend. I wanted to be a parent with him, not by myself. Feeding them (especially James), putting them to bed, playing during the day, running errands, all without daddy, is hard work.
Anyone who says that being a stay at home mommy is not work, I'd like to leave you with my kids for a day.
These last three weeks have been the hardest. Of course they were the weeks leading up to Nathan's master's project presentation. He was missing key figures at work while they were in India for eighteen days for one co-workers wedding, and another partner got married and was on his honeymoon during that time. Doing work and school work has made Nathan MIA.
I pray that I'll never have to really do it by myself.
Yes there are tears daily, but there are good times, too.
Sometimes I wish that I was the one in school, learning new things, applying them by problem solving. Maybe again someday.
James playing with Simba and Nala

Jack-Jack giving smiles

Anyway, we still do things even though Nathan has been doing his master's project and write-up most nights. To keep sane (and fit) I like to head to the gym every morning to get a workout in, be it lifting weights, running, and usually a combo of both. That time to myself usually gets me through the day. Nathan has to stay home on weekends as well lately, so the boys and I go out and have adventures. We've been to Heber to help with Amy's baby shower at Aubreigh's house, doing yard work, and various holiday activities for Easter and Earth Day.
Cole and James at the Ogden Nature Center on Earth Day

I'm getting a good routine of doing "life" with two kids by myself. Other things we do include going to the park, and having James play with friends he has around here as well (and I get to visit with my friends while he plays with his), We visited Kirstin in Provo one day this month. Sometimes I get to see Kristie and Lilah in Provo, too. I even got a sitter and went out with some girlfriends on a Friday night to see The Hunger Games movie.
Aubreigh and Quinn came up to see us one week...
Soul sisters and Jack-Jack

Quinn hiding in the toy box

...then we got to meet them in Park City for some much needed shopping at the outlets another.

Aubreigh snuggling with Jack-Jack

I have to remember that things don't have to be perfect, such as the house or dinner or the lawn mowed. I do a pretty good job of keeping the house picked up, but I despise making dinner. And folding laundry.
James making the smoothie for us one night
I have to think each day are the kids happy, did we spend time together, are they fed, did I give them a kiss, do they know that I love them?
If I can answer yes to those questions, then I think I'm doing a pretty good job.

I love this quote, and it is perfect for this period in our life right now:
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about dancing in the rain

Friday, April 27, 2012

Easter Sunday

Easter was a beautiful day, probably one of the first really nice days. It just was great to see that by celebrating Christ it was as if the Earth knew, and everything was coming to life again. I have been wondering how to teach James the reason for Easter, and thought that the Easter Bunny comes because we celebrate Jesus. After teaching that, it was all that James could say. I did like that we have church early, so we had to go to church first before we saw what the Easter Bunny left. I loved them in their little matching suits too :)

James, Mommy, Jackman, and Daddy on Easter morning

After church we got to see that the Easter Bunny had hidden our eggs in our backyard to find!
There were also baskets for everyone, and treats to find in the living room.
Nathan remembers the Easter Bunny leaving treats all over the place to find, and luckily, the Easter Bunny was able to do that tradition as well.

Daddy holding the egg cartoon while James found a hidden egg

Easter Baskets and treats in the living room
Even tractors got in on the egg action :)

Easter dinner we were able to spend at the Borrowman's home in West Point.
They put together a fun egg hunt for the kids there too which was especially sweet.
Kira and Tanner, and Kirstin got to come up too, helped James find his eggs.
After the egg hunt we had dessert that Kirstin and her friend Blake made to bring,
homemade apple and cherry pies.
Well, Tanner likes whipped cream.
He held it up for us to take a picture.
Ann then pushed it a little into him to get a little on him.
Then he pushed the whole piece onto her, then ran away.
Kira's face was priceless, her jaw dropped open.
Tanner was saying "she did it to me first, she did it to me first"
I think Ann laughing, a little.
And Mike missed the whole thing:(
Everyone else couldn't believe it.
At least we can laugh and have fun!

The best part about the day was spending it with family, loved ones, and friends.
Happy Easter!

Dying Eggs

I have been doing the tradition of dying hard boiled eggs the night before Easter for the Easter Bunny to hide for as long as I can remember. This year we decided to try golden eggs. Though fun, and they looked pretty, they were really messy, and even after they were dry if they got wet, or now trying to peel them, the dye gets all over your hands. So we will probably not be doing it again, but it was a good experience. The "gold" is pretty, but takes a lot of it to cover the egg, completely. A few coats of it. Then you can add colors to the gold to make a gold tinted egg. I'm glad I thought of taking all of James' clothes off for this one.

James starting to paint with just the gold

Each person's special name egg

Daddy and James painting the eggs

After just one golden egg, we decided to get crazy and add colors.
Painting the eggs also takes a lot longer than the regular way of dying them.

Mommy and James busting out the colors and gold

Painting eggs, James thought this was great.
Then he found that he could paint his leg too, and then we decided it was bath time :)

Close up of finished eggs, see the gold tint?

James and Mommy the egg artists

HeeHaw's Egg Hunt

The day before Easter we went to HeeHaw farms in Lindon for an Egg Hunt with the Park's and the Kohler's. Nathan had to stay home and work on his master's project.
Each kid could find ten eggs, and there were 10 golden eggs to find, and those had prizes in them. There was a man who was watching over an egg, and it was a golden egg! He said "why not have you're little boy find this". James got a Golden Egg!!
How nice was that. In the egg was a Utah's Pass of All Passes!
What a prize.
Besides egg hunting there was a cute petting farm, pony rides, and a fun dried corn pit.

James loved the baby goats. He's pointing and saying "oh it's so cute"
Anything that is a baby, or little, is now so cute!
Thanks Parks' for the invite! It was awesome!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Some Mommy Fails

So on this blog I usually write about the good things that are going on.
But don't get me wrong, life isn't always rose petals and peaches around here.
There are tears and tantrums too.
Two mommy fails this week were:

I forgot sunscreen on our hike on Wednesday. James fared okay, a little sunburn on his neck.
Jack-Jack did not fare as well, and his whole head and face got sunburned.

At least he still looks happy, right?
Today his little chin even started to peel :(

And this is what James usually (not always, but mostly) looks like when I say it's time to eat:, I have resorted to bargaining to get him to eat. I don't want him waking up every night hungry because he didn't eat his dinner, I can't handle the lack of sleep.
For two bites of food, he gets a drink of chocolate milk.
Then two more big bites, then some more drink,
which I also have to take away or he will just gulp the
whole thing down without bites in between.
Then I've lost my bargaining power, and he's full and doesn't want anything else.

Life is good, but we are real people

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cute Kids and Catch Up of March

I guess I need to catch up and write about what this cute family has been up to.
Pictures are a good way of doing that.

We take as much advantage of Daddy time as we can. Nathan has been working super hard this last little bit as now is crunch time for school. He works full time, goes to school full time, and is working on his master's project which he is due to present in three weeks. This guy is burning it at both ends of the candle, and just set the middle on fire, too. In a few short weeks though he'll graduate with his master's in information systems, and it will have all been worth it.

Daddy and Jack-Jack hanging on the couch

We went to Quinn Parks' 2nd birthday. Happy birthday buddy!
What a cute party too, just a bunch of two year olds running around, have a good time while the parents talked and had some good food.
Here is Tucker (Quinn's cousin), Quinn, and James all enjoying a bath before bedtime

Jack-Jack is such a cutie, and smiles all the time

One of James' favorite activities right now is he likes to take all the pillows off the couch and
"go hiding"
Here he is getting Jackman in on the game...

...I don't think though that Jack likes it all that much.

James' other favorite activity right now is to go outside and play in the dirt flower beds, maybe someday soon he'll appreciate the grass out there too?
For now though it is just the dirt, dirt, and more digging in the dirt with diggers, bulldozers, front-end loaders, dump trucks, and scrapers
(thank you 20 trucks DVD for teaching all those different kinds, even to me)
I am very grateful for the fence that you can see in the background.
James goes in and out while I work on things in the kitchen and can watch through the windows

And another of Jack-Jack being a cute little bro

James eating one of his favorites, "soft carrots"
I had to catch it on camera because this kid is an awful eater
He likes everything, but will willingly eat almost nothing, and don't even think about serving the same thing two days in a row. That won't work.
If he liked it one day chances are he won't like it for at least four more days

Then there's Jack
For as much as James won't eat, Jack will.
He eats everything you put in front of the kid, and lots of it.
Though he's still smaller on average, he's bigger than James was at this age.
It is nice to have one kid where not every meal is a battle.

James likes to vacuum his messes up...
...and pretends that he is using an "impact hammer"
(again, thank you 20 trucks)

And we've got a crawler on our hands! He officially started forward motion, but mostly on his belly, on March 7th. Now he is off and going.
Here I put him on the floor so he could clean his own mess of Cheerio's he had spilled.

Not really, I'm just kidding:)

Nathan turned 28 last week! Happy Birthday sweetie!
Here he is with his happy boys as we enjoyed tapioca pudding for his dessert.
Nathan is really into pudding at the moment and wanted that instead of cake.


These Sand Hill Cranes have been around the neighborhood lately, and they are huge.
They squawk so loudly that I thought they were right under one of our windows.
I've seen two mating pairs just walking around.

The cranes were just across the street.
They squawked and James yelled "Mommy, mommy, come see the quanes!"
I love that he likes to spot animals, just like me!

This week we went on an adventure hike with my friend Connie and her niece and nephew up the hill by our homes.
We were on the hunt for natural treasure, i.e., antlers, neat wood, and such.
It was such a fun time with friends,
Connie is a kindred spirit and loves animals as much as I do.
James did great and didn't complain at all.
In fact, he got that little walking stick, and pointed out all the deer poop that he saw, which was every few steps because he is after all only a few feet from the ground.
Deer poop is a good thing, it means that the deer and elk are around!
(And hopefully moose too!)

James, Connie, and little Eddie
Jack and Mommy

The kiddo's with their treasures that we found!
James has a bone, Bryn a skull of a sheep, and Trey with the skull of an elk!

We went to on Sunday to Grandma Hiller's house to watch General Conference with her.
I love how everyone just piles onto the bed to watch.
Don't let the picture fool you, Grandma was lying on the bed too with Nathan and the boys.
We appreciate it so much that she lets us come and spend time with her while listening to the wonderful speakers.

Grandma loves the babies:)
And the babies love her!
Thank you Grandma!!
And to wrap things up, a smiley Jack-Jack
Hope everyone had a happy March!