Friday, June 25, 2010

Catching Up

I have been a blogger-slacker. Every day it has been on my to-do list, and every day it gets ignored. I guess I'm busy. I decided I better do it now before the reunions start and we have even less time and more to blog about. So, get ready for a picture/post overload to follow this post. As for now, what's going on with us?

Anna is growing so fast! I finally stopped trying to squeeze her into her six-month clothes a few weeks ago. She is barely five months old and is easily wearing nine-month clothes. She goes to bed about 7:00. Much later than that and she is super cranky. She sleeps pretty good through the night with the exception of a feeding around 4:00 a.m. Of course, as soon as I divulge her sleeping/eating habits, something changes so we'll probably be up all night tonight! Now if we can just get her on a good nap schedule. She seems to be a bit of a momma's girl, but is generally pretty happy. She can be entertained just watching Zane and Nora play or watching Mommy work. She giggles easily and gives lots of spontaneous smiles. She loves her bath. She cries when she's hungry or tired. She likes to play with her feet and to grab things and put them in her mouth. She ate her first solid food today. I was snacking with the kids at the park and looked down at Anna in my lap. She had somehow grabbed a pretzel and was sucking on it. I wonder if she will love salty foods? I can't even get her to open her mouth to try cereal or bananas. She rolled over yesterday, but I think it may have been an accident. She is getting close to sitting up. I know she doesn't get nearly enough floor time, but I fear for her safety down there. One Sunday the Peacock's were here. I heard Amy gasp and looked down and Zane was rolling Anna across the floor like an Easter Egg. Both kids seemed as happy about it as can be.

Nora is quite spunky. She is a girl who knows her mind. She can be the sweetest, most caring, thoughtful child. She can also throw quite a tantrum. She seems to know when Mom really can't do anything about it--like in the middle of the library while Mom's holding Anna and trying to collect everyone's books to check out. Nora will just scream and throw herself on the floor--lovely. However, she gives great hugs and kisses, loves to be helpful, and LOVES her daddy and Grandpas. She likes anything Zane likes--trains, John Deere, blocks. She likes to put things away and to sort things.

She is really beginning to talk a lot and can communicate a lot of her needs verbally, at least well enough so Mom and Dad can understand. Her favorite phrase is "Mommy? (or Daddy, or Zane)" "Do?" (what are you doing?) "Why?" She likes music and dancing and loves to sing songs in the car--especially "Elmo" and "John Deere".

We took her pacifier away a couple of weeks ago and it was fairly painless. Just a little bit fussy at bedtime for a couple of nights. She just moved into a toddler bed and thinks it's pretty neat. She and Zane still share a room and Kevin and I love to hear them in the monitor after we close the door and they are supposed to go to sleep. We can hear them jumping and laughing, and talking to each other forever. Nora used to go right to sleep, but now she will outlast Zane most nights. She likes to carry her blankie everywhere.

Zane is getting to be quite the big boy. The other day someone asked him how old he was and I heard him say "two and a half." Two and a half? Who taught him that? Whenever he sees something in the store he wants he says, "Maybe I'll get that for my birthday." He still love John Deere and Thomas. He likes to watch TV in the morning. We watch Super Why and Dinosaur Train.

He loves to sing the alphabet and identify letters on packages or around places we visit. "Mom, is that a 's'?" "Mom, there's a 'w'!" I was shocked at first. I guess TV can be a good thing. He knows many of the letters by sight. He also loves to sing songs. His favorites are the temple song, John Deere, Thomas, I Am a Child of God, and Popcorn.

He likes to ride his tricycle and can ride all the way to the park now. His conversation is getting more advanced and it is a lot of fun to see him reason and to carry on conversations with him. He likes to help Kevin and I do whatever we're doing and he is a big helper with his sisters. He loves his family and his friends from church. He talks about his cousins and friends a lot.

Sometimes Zane can be downright goofy. I see him acting really silly and I know Kevin would never act like that and I'm almost embarrassed that he picked up such odd habits from me. At least he seems to enjoy himself.

Zane got to go camping with Dad for the Aaronic Preisthood Campout. They had dutch-oven pizza and he got to run through grass as tall as him with all his little friends. He thought it was so much fun and now he wants to go camping all the time. He told me yesterday he wants to go camping for his birthday, so I guess that's what we'll do.

I am adjusting to being a mom of three under three. Most of the time I do all right. I just feel like there is too much to do and I come to the end of the day and I have less crossed off my to-do list than not, and I have ADDED to the list.

I have been into couponing for a couple of months and tire my mom with phone calls of "Listen to what I got today and guess how much I spent." I have great ambitions for completing a couple of quiet books and a quilted wall hanging I started at my moms.

In May I was put in as Primary President. I love the calling as it is challenging me, letting me call on my education and experience as a teacher and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the primary children. Even our little challenging kids. I just can't help but love them. I just hope I can fulfill my calling and do a good job. It is keeping me busy and requires a lot of mental effort. Fortunately, I think I have the world's most amazing counselors. I really mean that. I have also felt the spirit guiding me a lot in my decision making. I'm looking forward to the rest of summer and some fun upcoming activities.

Kevin continues to plug away. I don't know how he does all that is required. It seems that his calling as Elder's Quorum President always keeps him busy. For a few weeks there he had a couple of meetings a week. Then there is always a move, building clean-up or a service project. He finally finished his final course for his Master's Degree--woohoo! Now he just has to finish a project of thesis.

He keeps busy around the house with yard work, home repairs, kid duties and all that. His new hobby is guns. Well, new within the last couple of years--I think it has surpassed biking. He reloaded his first shells a few weeks ago and they were a beautiful sight. He has quite the set-up in the garage--or "man cave" as I like to call it.

He was one of ninety of three-hundred applicant selected to publish for a conference through his work and so he is working on that as well. We're hoping all this hard works brings a nice promotion this fall.

Kevin actually took an extra trip to Idaho the beginning of June for his Grandpa's funeral. He was able to see a lot of his family again and was honored to be a pall-bearer at the grave site and to hold the flag during the 21-gun salute and that ceremony. His grandfather was a WWII veteran and a POW. Kevin, as you know, is very patriotic, so this was quite an honor for him. We were glad we all got to stop and see Great Grandpa for a few minutes in the beginning of May.

I know Joey's not "officially" part of our family. In fact, I know some people are thinking "Joey who?" Joey has spent the last ten month in our home. You would think that he would have more of a presence on this blog, right? Well, he's just so independent. However, he has been a very wonderful presence in our home and our lives. What an amazing, atypical 17-year-old. Well, now he's graduated high school and gone off to BYU until he goes on his mission. Joey has been so much fun to have in our home. He was a great help to me with the kids. He was a lot of fun to talk with. The kids LOVED him. He was so much more a blessing and never, ever a burden. Now I have one more bathroom to clean and no one else to sweep the floor, but that's not why we'll miss him. He's going to be great at whatever he does.

And now I have to go. Everyone is waking up from their naps. Perfect timing for a change.

June Pictures

Off on another couponing trip! Nora's really gotten "cheese-y" for the camera lately. Zane just thinks he's cool in his sunglasses. A special treat for us when we go couponing to Rite Aid and Albertson's is to walk around the corner to Daylight Donuts. These are delicious donuts and it supports a local business, so a rationalize every trip.

Joey and Anna during Joey's "going away dinner."
One last picture with Joey. It was a great Sunday with him and his family. He was ordained an Elder and we had the whole family over for dinner. President and Sister Peacock and Joey and Adrienne helped entertain Zane and Nora through two hours of stake conference. Unfortunately, Kevin missed all the day's events. He was in Idaho for his Grandpa's funeral.

Nora loves to mother Anna.
Sisters! I hope they always love each other so much.
A beautiful day for a picnic. We went to Oxbow State Park, which Zane has declared "his favorite park."

Hockinson Fun Days

While Grandpa and Grandma Tolman were here they let us drag them to a small town parade. Why would we do such a thing? Well, the Grand Marshals of the parade were Grandpa and Grandma Pickup. It was a lot of fun to see them in the parade. Plus, there were a lot of Zane's favorite things in this parade--fire trucks, a train and plenty of John Deere tractors.

The crew--waiting for the parade. It was the first sunny, warm day in three weeks and we were not use to it!
You can't really tell in this picture, but Nora had a pretty rough day. Two falls, scraping up her face, sunscreen in her eyes, and a bit of sunburn. Not a happy camper.
Here they come! The Grand Marshals--Grandpa and Grandma Pickup.. . . Listen chums (Johnny Popper). Here it comes (Johnny Popper). When you hear that sounds rollin' through your town, the answer is clear it's a big John Deere!
Nora hugs the Grand Marshal
A boy, a lollipop and a fire truck.
Nora rides the Johnny Popper.
Zane rides the Johnny Popper. (I have video but it won't load--bummer)

The Beach-June 2010

We were lucky enough to have Grandpa and Grandma Tolman come visit for a few days in the beginning of June. I think they felt guilty for bringing a flu bug last time they came so they wanted to make it up to the kids and take them to the beach--I say whatever gets them here is great! We did enjoy a nice trip to the beach. It started off just a little breezy and cool, but by the time we left it had warmed up and Zane and Nora had their jackets off. Actually, Zane was completely shirtless because he fell in the ocean and he didn't mind one bit. Some of us even left with sunburns. How blessed are we, that a common post for us is a trip to the beach? If we ever move away, I am going to miss that!

Bucket? Check. Shovel? Check. Sand? Check. Go!
Daddy and Nora
Grandma and Zane filling the bucket, just so Zane can knock it down.
Grandpa and the kids digging.
One of Zane's favorite things to do was to knock down the "sandcastles" Grandma and Grandpa made. What a boy!
Grandpa, Grandma and Zane digging.
Isn't this picture AMAZING? If you could see it bigger it would be better. The background looks almost fake and you can see even the little specks in her eyes.
Anna--just chillin'.
Nora loved burying herself in the sand.
Zane loved gathering rocks off the beach
Nora was IMPOSSIBLE to keep out of the water. She just wanted to run all the way in!
Dad and Zane
The end of a great day! We like to go to the Sea Hag in Depot Bay. Forget Mo's clam chowder! Sea Hag's is much better. Then, of course we get some salt water taffy for the trip home.

May Pictures

One way Zane and Nora have found to entertain themselves while I cook dinner is to stick Post-It notes all over the fireplace. I figure, if it keeps them busy, keeps them out of the kitchen and gives us all some sanity during witching hour, then it's worth the price of a few extra sticky notes.
Zane got some new sunglasses and he thinks they are rather cool. He and Nora are becoming wonderful playmates.
Joey holding Anna. She is starting to develop a little personality. It doesn't take much to make her smile. You can see to the right of this pictures some of the spoils of my latest hobby--couponing. I can't believe how much money I've saved--especially on diapers!

One afternoon I heard crying upstairs (not an unusual occurrence at our house) and I proceeded to ignore it, as I do much of the crying that goes on around here (for the most part I think I can distinguish a cry that needs attention and a cry that will sort itself out). This cry however, was brought to me. Joey came down, Nora in arms and said "I think we have a problem." I took one look at Nora and couldn't help laughing at the poor girl. She tried to comb her hair and the comb got stuck.
One day in May I woke up feeling not quite right. It had been an unusually late night for Kevin and I and an unusually rough night with Anna, so I thought I was just tired. Then my vision started "strobing" and I thought that was weird. Then I started to get a little headache, I called and talked to Kevin for a minute and mentioned it, but didn't think much of it. Shortly after that I got very nauseous and completely wiped out. I realized I was having a migraine. I have never had one before, so I wasn't sure, but this is what I would imagine. I called Jennifer and Jessica, who thankfully had not found jobs yet. As soon as Jessica said she could come, I just started crying and went straight to bed. I was able to get a few hour nap and then felt much better, but Jessica stayed all day to help out. What a great sister-in-law and Aunt! I'm so thankful to her!!
Nora likes to organize things and put things in their place. One morning I found her taking all the wipes out of the case and neatly lining them up on the computer desk--so helpful!
Anna--like I said is easy to please. Just look at this big smile as she sits on a sleeping Daddy waiting to head off to church.

Trip to Idaho

In early May we got to take a trip to Idaho. The main purpose of this trip was to be a part of the blessing for our niece/cousin, Hannah. Hannah and Anna are two months apart. It was a great trip and we got to spend some wonderful time with family. Kevin and his brothers and our brother-in-law, Chris, who is like a brother got to go on a couple of bike rides (I don't have any pictures). We got to see our niece, Hailey, dance in her Spring dance recital. Of course she was the best little dancer and it was so cute! We had a super delicious dinner after the blessing. Zane and Nora got to play with their cousins and Anna got to be acquainted with everyone. One day we went to the Rex and played on the jumping equipment and went bowling. We stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Tolman so we got to spend some time with them too. We got to go see cousin Kyler sing with his class at school. Of course Zane and Nora loved staying at Grandpa and Grandma Tolman's and riding the John Deere--even if it feltlike February! Aunt Jennifer and Aunt Jessica stayed the week with Kristi and her family, I think mostly as a favor to me so I could stay an extra week with my family and not have to drive home alone with three kids. They were a huge help!!! On the way back to Portland we stopped at a rest area to let the kids run around, feed Anna and well, rest. Aunt Jessica helped Zane and Nora keep their eyes on this tiny little bunny we spied. We also got to stop in Boise and visit our friends Darwin, Hannah, Macy and Livia. We had a lot of fun jumping on their trampoline. It was a long ride home, but we did pretty good.

Kevin's Birthday

Kevin had a birthday. We won't say which number. We celebrated with the kids and Joey and with Grandma Pickup. Grandpa was in China. After eating at Red Robin we came home and opened presents. He got two big packages of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups from Nora, "The Patriot" (edited) from Anna, "Sherlock Holmes" from Joey, a fire starter kit from Zane, a weed-eater from me, a bluetooth from Grandma Pickup (mom) and a card with $$ from Grandma & Grandpa Tolman (my mom and dad). I think that's it. Funny how excited someone can be about a yard tool and Zane and Nora had fun with the box.