Monday, June 13, 2011

May update

May was a pretty exciting month for us--especially Nora. She has become quite the big girl! She is now officially potty trained and it only took about a week, and quite a bit of bribery. We still have a few accidents, but she is very proud of herself. She is even sleeping through the night and waking up dry. She can also buckle her car seat by herself (if I'm willing to wait about 10 minutes) and usually insists on it. One evening as I was putting her down to bed I couldn't find her blankie--the blankie that she has slept with EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for the last two-and-a-half years! She confidently declared "I don't need it," and went to sleep just fine without it. She didn't even seem to miss it. A couple of weeks went by and this mommy was a little sad about it. First of all, how can she just be so grown-up so fast, and secondly, if she doesn't need it, I do! I would like to put it in my cedar chest. After almost two weeks I decided to move some things to vacuum and I found her blankie behind the kids toy kitchen. Zane suddenly remembered that he hid it there and Nora suddenly decided she did need it after all!

Anna has become quite the little jokester. She is always trying to make people laugh and to get a reaction out of people. She is not yet talking, but she seems to really be taking in the world and understanding how things work.

The most memorable thing we did in May was to go to "Dozer Day" at the quarry in Vancouver. It is a huge event with dozens of big machines that the kids can help drive, plenty of food vendors, free "hard hats", lots of dirt, and you get to ride in the back of an articulated dump truck. As Zane would say, it's a "huge, huge, huge, huge dump truck." Nora didn't think the ride was so great, but Zane thought it was awesome. They didn't want a turn to drive any of the machines, but they sure enjoyed watching. Grandpa Pickup joined us for the day, which made Mom really happy. As we were leaving Zane said "What a great day! I like it when Grandpa can play with us." I'm sure it helps that Grandpa buys pizza, pop, and popcorn, but I think they really enjoy being with him.

We had a string of nice days and we took advantage of every one of them, spending hours at the park, playing and eating lunch. Anna has gotten too brave for my liking, she climbs as high as she can and isn't afraid to do whatever Zane and Nora.
We enjoyed having the Peacock's in town for few days for Collette's wedding. Zane thought it was pretty fun to go to "Joey's party" and they enjoyed blowing bubbles they got there.
Zane was most excited to take swim lessons again. He was much more confident this time and sometimes I had to fight the pool-side urge to tell him to settle down. His teacher seemed to like him though and I think he made the class a lot of fun. He liked to come home and practice his skills in the tub. He passed the first level, "Goldfish" and is now on to "Penguin." However, he informed me he does not want to be a penguin he wants to be a goldfish, so I guess when I register him for his next session we'll just have to wait a few classes to tell him he's a penguin.

Now we're just anticipating a fun trip in July to see family and then the arrival of this baby! We're down to just a couple of months. We still haven't picked a name and we're really limiting ourselves. Kevin insists that it has to be four letters and Zane says she has to have an 'a' and an 'n' because all the other kids do. I am totally open to suggestions!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Kevin

Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL day and we had a lot of fun celebrating Kevin's birthday. We let him sleep in a bit and then made him breakfast--"roll-up pancake" as Zane and Nora call them. Then the kids and Kevin played outside and worked in the garage while Holly baked a cake and got some things ready. Grandma P., Jennifer and Jessica came swimming with us. Then we came home and had pizza and presents. Grandma and Grandpa got him a hitch for his truck so Grandpa and Dad decided to make a project out of it, then and there. Probably the best thing Kevin could do on his birthday. We girls and kids hung around for a while, then walked to the park and played, then came back to see if they were ready for cake yet! Finally, after about another 45 minutes, they were ready for cake and we ate it quickly as Jennifer and Jessica had some things they wanted to do and Holly and Kevin were heading out to the temple. Going to the temple was a perfect way to end a perfect day and to prepare for our Easter Sunday.

March/April 2011

Wow, the time can really get away. I may just be able to update every two months. I went to import my pictures today and sadly realized that I have not used my camera nearly enough. Only three pictures the whole month of March! I have been better the last few weeks, though.

In March Zane had a Primary Music Program. It was the first time he had ever participated in anything like this and I was little concerned he might not do it. However, he was pretty excited and did a great job. Our primary sang "Saturday" and "Seek the Lord Early." He was always practicing and was excited to sing on stage. Then all the primary children in the stake sang "If I Listen With My Heart." Grandpa and Grandma Pickup came to watch. It was a fun night and I think Zane felt very proud of himself. We ended the evening with Zane and Nora's new favorite treat-- root beer floats!

The very end of March we had an ultrasound and found out we're having a GIRL! I have to confess, I was a little disappointed as I was hoping to have a brother for Zane, and he was too. I guess these girls just need a really awesome big brother. Kevin also seemed disappointed so I asked him if he was okay and he said he was just sad we had to give most of our kids away and he was thinking about paying for three weddings! Now that we're used to the idea we're very excited and are having fun thinking of names.

In April I decided I needed a change of pace so I decided to take the kids to Idaho to spend some time with my parents. We also wanted to attend the baptism of our nephew/cousin, Kyler. It turned out that Kevin's aunt unexpectedly passed away and the funeral was the same day as the baptism in a nearby town, so we were also able to attend the funeral. That also meant that I had some help traveling, as Grandma and Grandpa P. were going to the funeral. Grandma was a big help, and the kids traveled pretty well. Zane and Nora were excited to sleep in a hotel. Zane had a lot of questions about death and was pretty nervous, but by the end I think he felt more comfortable and had a better understanding so it was a good experience. I was glad to be able to be there with Kevin's family. We had fun celebrating Kyler's baptism with Grandpa and Grandma and cousins and staying in a hotel with Grandma and Grandpa, but we were also glad to finally get to Grandpa and Grandma's and get out of the car.

The kids really enjoyed being in Idaho. They didn't mind that it was a little cold. They wanted to be outside EVERY day. Every time Anna heard the word "shoes" or "outside" she would run to get her shoes and jacket and would demand to have help getting dressed to go out. Mostly they drove the John Deere Gator. I was able to convince Zane to try and take a ride with Grandpa on his ATV. He was not so sure, but he tried it and before long he was yelling "Faster!" Of course, that gave Nora assurance that it was okay and they had a good ride together. We also spent a day with Aunt Kristi and cousins. Again, no one seemed to mind that it was a little chilly. We were just glad to get outside. The week went by too quickly and we left early Saturday morning. Before we even got out of the driveway, Zane said, almost in tears, "Mom, I miss Grandma Tolman." Grandma Pickup had stayed for the week to spend time with Kristi and family, Sean, Jennifer and Jessica so she traveled home with us, for which I was very grateful! We were happy to get home to Daddy. We missed him! We just wish we lived closer to Grandma and Grandpa Tolman.

While we were in Idaho my good friend had an emergency C-section, so I was kind of anxious to get home and help her. She doesn't have any family here and I know, having had three C-sections, how much it meant to have people help. I took her kids every day the week we got home. All the kids play really well together but by Thursday afternoon I think they were all ready for a break--too much of a good think, I guess. We had a lot of fun having them here, though. Also, Joey came in to town for a wedding and we got to visit with him some. He is getting ready to go on his mission and finalized his papers while he was here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

January/February 2011

I'm going to try to keep a better record of our lives. I have been going back trying to do my family history for 2009 and 2010 and the months that I have kept the blog updated have surely helped with that. Otherwise, I really have no clue. I'm already having a hard time remembering what happened in January and February of 2011!

Zane started going to Primary. The first few weeks were a little difficult as he wasn't quite sure what was expected or what to expect and he just wanted to cling to Mom. He is really enjoying it now and is staring to be willing to participate more. He is continuing in "school," which is something that a couple of friends and I have been doing with our boys. We each take a week and teach two days that week. Zane loves it and really has been learning a lot. He is beginning to read some words and always wants to know how to spell things. Often our dinner conversations are "What does _____ start with?" He can spell everyone's name in the family. He has really started to enjoy playing on the computer. He likes and He is so excited about watching Anna learn new things and he is (usually) a really good friend to Nora. He is really just a happy boy who loves to laugh. He has outgrown his tricycle (a long time ago) and Kevin found a "big boy bike"at Salvation Army. Zane spent about four days earning stars on a "Obey Right Away" chart so he could earn his bike. He was happy to earn it and help dad tune it up and put training wheels on. He is getting a little harder to entertain, though because he always wants to be doing something. Some days he'll say "Mom, I want to do something fun!" Well, it would be fun if we could go to the zoo, or the museum, or swimming every day, but we can't. He still entertains himself pretty well.

Nora has become the most fun little girl. She likes to be really helpful. She is into the stage where she wants to do everything herself. If Zane can do it, she can do it. Sometimes I almost can't stand how cute and sweet she is and sometimes I can't stand how stubborn and determined she is! She has also enjoyed going to the Children's Museum. She likes to help Anna do things and is always watching out for her sister. Within the last few months she has really started to like "Dora" even though she had never seen a Dora program. That is good marketing. So now she has a Dora movie, Dora toothbrush and toothpaste, Dora books, Dora underwear (which she doesn't yet use), and a Dora tent. She loves them! She is quite a talker and makes her needs known.

Anna of course has changed the most. In January she celebrated her first birthday. I'm sure you can guess who was most excited--Zane and Nora of course! She has four teeth on top and is working on her fourth one on the bottom. She started walking at about 13 months. She is so happy with her new independence. If I am in the kitchen, she loves to be in there too. She opens all the cupboards and pulls everything out, so cooking without stepping on things is quite a challenge. She is really beginning to develop a personality. She used to be so content just to watch and enjoy others having fun, but now she wants to be in the middle of it and she tries to make people laugh. She gives lots of hugs and kisses. Yesterday she started saying "woof" for dog. She's so proud of herself (and Zane and Nora are too).

Kevin and Holly
Really, not much new for us. The most exciting thing for us is that we have put our house on the market and are really hoping to sell! We would like to move more "suburbish" and perhaps a little closer to Kevin's work. We're tired of the city. Holly is enjoying being Primary president. She feels that she has seen some success there and loves the kids and her amazing counselors.

Oh, yeah, we are expecting--again! Baby number four will be here in August. We'll find out in a couple of weeks if it's a boy or a girl. So, most of January and February Holly spent on the couch and Kevin spent picking up slack.

Kevin is adjusting to his new job. It's not exactly the kind of engineering he wants to do, but he has some good projects. We're just trying to figure out what he is supposed to learn or contribute by being there and for how long. Kevin has now been Elder's quorum president for two years. It's gone by really fast.

We all enjoyed a visit from Grandpa and Grandma Tolman in February, but of course, no pictures because my hands were full!

Here are a few pictures of the last couple of months.

Boyd, Clark and Zane--at "school"

Zane trying out his new bike.
One day I heard Zane calling for help from the bathroom. I opened the bathroom door and found him stuck like this:

This is how Nora likes to watch TV.
Anna opening birthday presents, with a little help.
Her hair is finally getting long enough and thick enough for a little ponytail--if I try really hard!
She insists on feeding herself and on having a utensil (or two).
Helping Grandma P. celebrate her birthday in January.
Playing together on the computer (with faces painted from the Children's Museum).

My birthday. . .

. . and a few other things to remember about 2010.

I had a great birthday. Kevin and I went shooting (which was my choice, yes), and we both got some practice on his new gun. I like it much better than his old one. We went back to Grandma and Grandpa's and all the kids had made me a picture. We had pizza lunch and then I opened presents. I was very spoiled. I got a new church bag from Ray and Lynnette, and I love it! Kristi got me a Burgerville shake which I was not supposed to share, but c'mon, I've got three little kids. Sean fixed my van so it doesn't squeak any more and now it seems like a new van. Jennifer and Jessica got me a cute new hat. The kids got me some workout clothes and socks. Kevin got me a color laser printer--woohoo! After presents we all went swimming and had a blast and that made for a pretty full day.

A couple of other items of note for the end of the year. . . On Christmas night we were burglarized. We came home the morning of the 26th to go to church and there was a card from a police officer in the door. We had driven separately, so Kevin was ahead of the kids and me. He called me, which I'm glad he did because I was pretty shaken and was able to pull it together before I got home. The thieves threw a rock through a window and got in. They took Kevin's bikes, a safe from our closet that was bolted down. Usually the safe has Kevin's gun, but he had it. Unfortunately he had just put a bit of cash in there so that was gone. They also got away with my jewelry box which had my wedding ring in it. I was most sad about that. Fortunately it was insured. They made a mess and did some damage. It has been upsetting dealing with the mess and the damage and feeling insecure. We have learned, though, that all of those things are just things, and we can live without them.

On a much happier note, Kevin has experienced some good successes at work. He received the "New Innovator Award" for an individual through his company. This is a pretty prestigious award and he definitely deserved it. In October he went to a conference in San Jose and did a presentation on the project he has been working on. He had a good time, but we really missed him. He was sought out by another local company who he interviewed with "just for practice." They ended up making him a very good offer and his company could not compare. After a lot of prayer and discussion he decided to take the offer. We are so blessed that he has a good job.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Better Late than Never--Christmas 2010

Well, this is almost embarrassing to put up. I know Christmas was more than two months ago, but well. . . I haven't had a lot of energy. Looks like I'll be playing catch-up now.

We started the week of Christmas going to see the lights on Peacock Lane. Grandpa, Grandma, Jennifer, Jessica, & Chris and Kristie and their family came too. We had stew and rolls at our house first, then went to the lights, then came back for cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate. Grandma Pickup has all the pictures from the lights, but here's Nora at the house helping Grandpa feed cousin Hannah. I love her little fish lips. She really had to make sure Grandpa was doing it right.

Boyd and Blythe were at the house that week and the kids wanted to put the dress up clothes on again. Nora has her baby "Jesus" and Boyd has the sheep even though he's a wise man.
A couple of days before Christmas we had some friends over to make "gingerbread" houses. Clark and Daisy, Boyd and Blythe and cousins Kade, Hailey and Kaleb. Everyone brought a treat so there was plenty of candy for the houses. Luckily Aunt Jessica was at the house that morning (because she babysat the night before so Kevin and I could go on a date and then she just ended up staying) and helped get frosting and everything ready. The kids had a blast and enjoyed eating them over the next few weeks.
On Christmas Eve we went to Grandma and Grandpa P's. Our friends, the Cardon's joined us (bringing with them way too much delicious food). The kids had fun playing and after dinner we had our Nativity and musical program.
Christmas morning was wonderful. Zane and Nora were quite excited. Anna was happy to be in the middle of it all, until morning nap time. They enjoyed playing with their cousins and their new toys.
Perhaps the happiest boy on Christmas morning was this Mr. Pickup. I actually finally surprised him, and boy was he surprised! Look at that giddy face!