Saturday, September 3, 2011

It must be summer... at least weather wise...

It's a rare thing that we have beautiful sunny weather around here, but since we do we have to enjoy it. And what better place to enjoy the sun than by (or in) an outdoor pool? We have an outdoor pool in our apaartments, but it's always freezing and partly covered... so we thought we'd try out one of the two... yes. TWO Portland outdoor pools. We went to the Sellwood Pool. It was pretty packed, but would you expect anything less during a hot day? The pool is wonderful. Not only is it surrounded by the beautiful Sellwood Park, but it is an old pool- just celbrated over 100 years now.

It is also extremely family friendly. The pool has a zero degree edge, so the little kids can play and walk right in. Not to mention it has lots of water sprayers, a side, and a kids basketball hoop. We will be returning next year, as that will probably be the next time the weather will be that nice. :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

I heart Portland!

We went to the Sellwood Park with a bunch of friends and all their kids. In total we had 8 kids and 3 moms.

A litle crazy?

But it was fun.
The Sellwood park has fun playground equipment like see saws. Remember those?
Braxton was a little more interested in all the cool dogs being walked.
I thought this picture was so funny of Quincy. He was a little terrified of being up so high and did NOT want to smile for a picture.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A trip with my Moma

The weekend after Quincy's Birthday I took a little trip up to Cashmere, WA to visit my cousin Hanna. She just had a little boy, Oliver. I haven't seen her in years and it was nice to make the trip up there to see her, as well as my Aunt, Uncle, and Halli (her sister).

Since it was just me and my mom we had lots of time to talk in the car and do all the fun girly stuff. Although the drive was a little long for a weekend trip, it was definitely much nicer to make without the kids. Speaking of the kids, they stayed with Tyler. It was his first time alone with both of them for a whole weekend and I think he did a great job taking care of them. He even got them all to church on time. I'm so proud.

Maybe I should leave more often? :)

The two pictures above are from Leavenworth a cute little touristy town nearby. We spent a hot afternoon walking through the shops and visiting my Aunt while she was working in a wine shop.

Thanks mom for letting me take the trip with you. :)

A Tale of Crunchy Tacos...

For Quincy's ACTUAL Birthday we let him choose what he wanted to have for dinner. He picked tacos.

Really? I even explained that I would make anything he wanted, but tacos were what he chose. More specifically he said he wanted crunchy tacos. Okay. I could deal with 'crunchy tacos' for dinner. Not much labor for me, right?
August 15, we had our delicious crunchy tacos. Quincy was happy. Braxton was happy. Tyler was happy. It seemed they were a real family pleaser.
Now... on to the rest of the story. Let me preface by saying that for a few weeks prior to Quincy's birthday dinner I had been feeling sick. The boys were getting awfully mad that mom was "sick" all the time. In fact, one day Quincy got mad when I told him I couldn't play with him because I was sick and he angrily said, "Well, just take some medicine!" I decided at this point I could no longer keep our secret from them. I consulted with Tyler and we decided that we would explain why mom was so sick all the time during Quincy's dinner. I waited until Tyler got home and we were all eating. After finishing our dinner Tyler asked Quincy, "Do you know why mom is so sick all the time?" "No" was his response. Then he explained, "Mom has been really sick because she's going to have another baby!" At this point we were expecting Quincy to be happy, however, we were a little shocked by his reaction. His response was, "What? Another one?" 

Talk about building up a special moment in your head. At first he looked like he was in disbelief, then after talking about it for a while longer he warmed up to the idea. We had to explain that the baby was really small and wouldn't be here for 9 months. He was a little disappointed with that news, but I know once I start showing he'll be happy again. Braxton doesn't really understand the concept of a baby yet, but we are trying to tell him often that there's a baby in mom's tummy. He likes hearing this and hopefully once my tummy is big enough he'll give it luvs like Quincy used to. 

Originally after finding out that I was pregnant (August 1st) Tyler and I had decided that we would NOT tell our families until I was further along. I kind of had to change that plan when I decided to go on the road trip with my mom. I knew that if I was around her for a whole weekend that she would suspect it right off the bat. So the Friday after Quincy's birthday I had Braxton give them a card in an envelope that said, "In Braxton's words... I'm going to be a big brother!" They were shocked at first, but said they had suspected something was up. 

Tyler later decided to tell his parents on the phone....I wanted to send them a video with the boys announcning the news, but he didn't want to wait. Funny how that original plan of "not telling anyone" sort of went out the window. However, for about 3 weeks we did keep the secret. It was really nice that my parents knew though... there were definitely moments on my mom and I's trip that I was feeling sick and she would discreetly help. 

About this pregnancy: I have been sick for about 5 weeks straight now. It is awful. In fact I don't even think that word fully describes how miserable I have been. Some women relish in the whole pregnancy thing... personally right now even the word relish makes me want to barf. I can't eat food. I really HATE food right now... Nothing tastes good. Everything that smells flavorful, spicy, or greasy makes me gag. I can barely stomach the least flavorful things. Pretty much all foods that are cooked give me heartburn. It is horrible. I can't lie down because of it, but when I'm sitting I'm nauseous and dizzy. I feel dizzy pretty much from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep. And speaking of sleep... I get very little of it. Between the one million potty trips, the heartburn, and the uncomfortable-ness I get an average of 4 hours a night. I sound like I'm complaining don't I? Well, I am. And you would be too if you experienced these things non stop for more than a month.

However, I am managing. I am tired pretty much ALL day long. In fact, this is what my house has looked like for a few weeks now. It is truly disgusting. I can't even stomach walking into my kitchen like this:
I am about 9 weeks pregnant now. I had an ultrasound last week to reveal that I have one healthy baby inside my tummy. It was rather uncooperative for a picture, but we have a cute little lima-blob. :) As tradition calls for, we had to come up with a name for 'the baby' until we find out the gender and so Howard Baby #3 will be known as baby Pula. (Said like: 'poo-lah').

Baby Pula is alive and well... causing misery for this mama, but it's all worth it right? It might even be especially worth it if I could finally get a girl. ;)

In the meantime we will keep you guys posted on things. As of now all I have to say is that Pula will be here April 4th or sooner. We can't wait!

Quincy's Birthday (A little Late on the pictures...)

We had Quincy's party (August 13th- two days before his actual birthday) so everyone in town could attend. Every good party has to have good food.... so we had an assortment of finger foods.
Wiener wraps and bite sized pizza.  
 Some veggie snacks to balance out all the salty greasy foods...
 And some yummy deviled eggs.
 The whole spread...
 Grammie and Pappy smiling for the camera.
 Even David and Spencer were able to make it over to our place for Quincy's big day.
 Grammie and Grandpa Loren with the birthday boy!
 An attempt to get a picture with both the boys... Braxton's not wanting to stay put.
 First gifts to get opened from Grandma Teesy and Grandpa Kent: Popcorn!
 ...And some Twizzlers... I think we might be sensing a theme??
 What could go better with popcorn and treats than a great movie? Quincy got the new RIO movie!
 And even better he got a few extra dollars for some spending cash! :)
 Next gift to open was from Grammie and Grandpa Loren...
 Some Vanilla oreo cookies... an activity book... and some lined notebook paper for practicing writing!
 Grammie also thought it would be fun to put four dollars worth of quarters on his gift. Quincy thought this was cool and couldn't believe he got $7.00 from both grandparents!
 Braxton and Grammie.
 Quincy also opened up a Cat in the Hat game for kids. We have since played this game for FHE with the boys and their favorite things to do are tasks requiring the 'trick-a-ma-stick'... because of course it's a fun word to say!
 Finally... gifts from mom and dad.....
 A Lightning Mcqueen car and a Mater Car... this kid has been pretending his other cars were these two characters forever. We figured we should get him the actual cars- though I do appreciate his creativity. :)
 We also got him the movie Open Season.
 And I also splurged to get him some Cars pajamas. He loves them! Braxton loves them too and frequently points to the cars on them.
 When I asked Quincy this year what kind of cake he wanted he said Mater Cupcakes. It was quite the specific request and so I did my best to create little Mater Cupcakes. It took a few hours to finish decorating them, but I think they turned out pretty great!
 My biggest challenge in making them was to try and get all the detail on the little cupcakes.
Quincy loved them!
 Since it took me about 4 hours to complete 12 Mater cupcakes I decided to just finish out the next dozen with a Birthday Message... complete with chocolate sprinkles.
 My Quincy James is now 4 years old. Wow!
 Braxton enjoyed the cupcakes very much. Don't you love his black mustache?
 Diggin' in!
 Delicious Mom!
 He had to lick every last drop up. :)
 And this little kid thoroughly devoured every last drop of his cupcakes.... well, except for the parts on his face.
A little bit of fun facts about Quincy:
- He is still independent as ever. He can now dress himself completely- fortunately the outfit combos haven't been too terrible.
-He loves to sing primary songs, and when I say sing I mean he will hum the the tune and we have to guess the song. Although I did capture him singing The Itsy Bitsy Spider on video.
- His 4 year old stats are: Weight= 34 lbs Height= 39 1/4" (He is consistently in the 20-30%)
-He loves cars. I don't think it matters what kinds of other toys this kid has he always can be entertained with his cars.
- He has been practicing riding his big wheels and can now successfully reach the peddles and peddle on his own. If only we had a bigger area for him to ride on.
- He randomly surprises us with things he says. For instance yesterday when we were getting out of the car to pick up some prescriptions from Walmart he shouted "Okay. Lets do this!"
-He loves Braxton so much. Although the two fight frequently... they also have a ton of fun together. In fact I have caught Quincy in Braxton's crib three different nights sleeping next to his brother. They definitely have that brotherly 'love/ hate' kind of bond. :)
-Quincy is doing really well in reading and writing. Although it's been difficult for his to find the patience in learning to write, he does enjoy it. Next year I will be doing preschool at home with him.
- He is obsessed with a schedule and times.... he constantly asks me what we are doing and what will come next. I have to give him an hourly play by play of how our day is going to go down.
- He informed me that when he turned 4 he was going to like onions, tomatoes, and peppers (things he currently detests!) Unfortunately this announcement has yet to happen with my newly aged 4 year old.
- And speaking of food... anytime we go to a sit down place to eat this kid is ordering his meal before we get a chance to tell the waiter. Have I mentioned he's independent yet? ?

Overall we love Quincy so much. I was talking with my mom about how I can't wait to see how my kids develop their own personalities and they will change over the years. She commented on how she was watching some old videos of me and my brother's as young kids. She said "at one point I realized that you all haven't changed one bit! " I mean of course we have all matured in ways since we were 10 or 8 or 5 or 3... but for the most part that statement remains true.

Quincy is cautious. He loves to be the center of attention, but only after he feels comfortable with his crowd. He is a perfectionist at heart, much like his own mother. He doesn't like to try something new until he has mastered it. This is why he doesn't particularly like writing, because his letters don't look just like mine yet. We try to encourage him to remember that practicing something will help him get better at it and to not worry so much at being perfect the first time. He was rather mad at Tyler one night when Tyler was trying to urge him to sound out some of the words to read along with him. He finally shouted "I don't WANT to read it. I want YOU to! I don't know how to read." Well, of course he DOES know how to read, small 3-4 letter words, but he's not fluent enough to read them smoothly like we do. Tyler explained that he needed to try. Quincy is stubborn. He has been since the day he was born. He told Tyler no. Finally we explained that it was important that he TRY to read so that someday he would be good enough to read to HIS kids. This seemed to momentarily defuse the situation and he began trying.

Quincy is a natural leader... I find that this is pretty common among oldest children, but Quincy is often found directing kids older than him to do things. He has never had a problem befriending kids younger or older. He pretty much gets along with everyone. He loves to help. In fact, he is usually best behaved when given a job to do. He needs a purpose. When he isn't busy or challenged enough he becomes a trouble maker. He so desperately wanted to help Tyler clean hair out of the drain in the tub one day. Tyler, who had his hands full as it was, grew rather frustrated with Quincy "helping". Finally he gave Quincy and measuring tape and told him to measure all the things in the room .Quincy was happy to help and continued measuring things for an hour.

Most of all... I love that Quincy feels strongly. He may be stubborn and ornery, but he's also kind and sweet. He usually surprises me with loving gestures or sweet words when I least expect them. I suppose that I'm truly grateful for his natural stubborn nature. I hope and pray that we will be able to raise him in the knowledge of the gospel so he will gain a strong testimony of what is right. That he will use that strong willed personality to resist the many temptations of Satan. That he will be courageous enough to stand for what's right, even if it's not popular. That he will be worthy to serve a mission to spread the truth when circumstances are most difficult. That he will find a beautiful woman to marry in the temple. That they will be able to have an eternal family of their own. Yes. I know that SOMEDAY... or rather MANY days in his future he will be able to stand for truth when he's tempted by lies. I love my stubborn, loving, son and know that having him be part of our family is such an essential part of the plan of salvation.

Thank you to all who sent Birthday Love and Wishes to our wonderful little Quincy for his 4th Birthday!