October 26, 2010

Now I know.

Guess what opened up walking distance from my house?
My favorite Papa Murphy's Pizza!!!
The first one on the east coast, 3 miles from my house... how's that for fate.
It has been my favorite pizza since I was 16, and worked at Papa Murphy's.
In fact, I don't really like any other take out pizza, like at all.
Now I know why we were sent to Virginia Beach, now I know.

Also, other good news.  My Mom met a lady from our VA Beach, who used to work for the early intervention program here, or something like that.  She mention that our area was the BEST for Autism specialists and programs in the state.  Good news!  Now I know...

October 21, 2010

Happy (Late) Birthday Harry!!!

For Harry's 2nd birthday we took him to Chuck E. Cheese.
It was a little crowded and loud, so he was a little unsure most of the time,
but I think he had a good time.
Daddy and Harry
Daddy took him around to play games.
He loved riding the carousel, and playing the driving video games the most.
After some pizza, soda, and games we headed home for cupcakes and ice cream.
Happy Birthday
Singing Happy Birthday :)
He wanted to touch the candle flame so badly, Jason had to hold him back.
(Do you see how excited Clark is in the back round, I am surprised he was not right up in Harry's face.)  I made Harry chocolate cupcakes, with chocolate icing (my boys really love chocolate),
 and I put Harry's favorite Reese's Pieces candy on top.
He opened his presents (or rather I did for him), 
and thanks to Nana, and Daddy, he got a lot of books.
He loves to read so much, and spends hours flipping through the pages of his favorite books.
(We also got him a red Coupe Car, but he isn't too keen on it, he would rather have the books.)
His reading face.
This is his concentrating, or reading face.
He gets so into the words and pictures, I love watching him, and reading with him.

(Now for the obligatory blast to the past, were I morn the loss of my tiny little babies, 
and try to come to grips with them growing  WAY TOO FAST.)
Harry was -and still is- the sweetest little baby ever.  He would -and still will- spend hours cuddling with me and Jason.  He loves to be held and hugged, and rocked in my chair.  Most nights before he goes to bed we will spend an hour or so rocking in the chair, reading or watching tv, he loves to nuzzle his face close to mine so I will give him kisses.  I love that he is so affectionate.  He went through a phase when he was younger, where he didn't like to be held or touched, I am so glad that is over.
Little Harry, about 4 months old.
I loved that big baby smile.  He always makes me smile, no matter how bad a day we are having.
He was always so deliciously chunky.  I don't know how I managed to carry him around everywhere.
We went to a doctors appointment last month and he is still at 90% for his height and weight, 
he is a little over 3 feet tall and 39 pounds.  I have a feeling it is just going to be a matter of time before he is towering over me.
Harry, just over 1 years old, and so very happy.Harry!
Harry, 14 months old.  This reminds me of Harry's outside phase, he had for the first 18 months of his life.  He always wanted to be outside, just had to be outside (!), exploring, and collecting his sticks and leaves.  He has calmed down some lately, but still loves to play outside.
(I feel like I restrained myself some, there were so many little baby pictures I wanted to post.)
October 2, 2010- Enjoying his birthday cup cake.
Dear Little Nugget (we are trying not to call you fatty nugget anymore, we don't want you to have a complex when you are older),
These past two years have gone by so fast, like they always will.  I have loved getting to know you, and your sweet spirit, you really do bring a spirit of peace into our family.  I love the funny little games you play, and how much you love to read.  I love that you finally seem to becoming more of who you are going to be, even though it has been a slow road.  You are so good at letting me know what you want, even if you don't talk yet.  You have come up with some pretty creative, and silly ways to tell me you want some milkies, like trying to give the sippy cup to my feet (instead of my hands).  You love to take apart things, which is hard to love when I am always fixing and cleaning up messes, but I do love how curious you are.  Your love of going outside and visiting your favorite places (like the mall, or the playground) is so contagious, and I know I am always going to have a good time when we hang out.  I also really love how well behaved you are (for the most part) when we go out, you always hold mine and your Daddy's hand so well in busy places...
well except for the one really scary time when you wandered off.
(Oh, I didn't tell you about that.  I was shopping, and Jason was playing with the boys at the mall in Hawaii.  Harry wandered off, and for 20 terrifying minutes we couldn't find him.  Twenty heart stopping minutes!  I was a hot mess, crying and running around like a nut.  We finally found him, on the OTHER side of the mall, UPSTAIRS! Worst day of my life so far. )
You can be pretty serious, you always have a plan, and you like your routine (even if it's a crazy routine I can't figure out).  You love to be tickled.  I can't even count how many times a day you come up to me so I can tickle your cheeks and neck, you love it, and you have the best laugh.  You love cartoons and listening to music.  Lately we have noticed how much you love watching the credits at the end of a movie.  You will hop up and down in excitement when they come on, and watch the entire scroll go by, it is kinda silly Harry.
Sometimes I am consumed with how many things you aren't doing yet, or things I am afraid you will never do.  I have to admit that when you were diagnosed with Autism earlier this summer I was scared, scared for you, for us.  But I have loved getting to know you all over again, and I understand you so much better because of it.  Before I wouldn't understand a tantrum, or your lack of attention to certain things (like your family or friends), but we are slowly figuring each other out.  You have made vast improvements this summer, HUGE.  You make eye contact with people more often, and you have started to play with your brother on occasion.  You seem less lost in your own little world, and more apart of ours... I think leaving Hawaii and going on our family road trip helped so much.
You make more sounds and noises now, some that have even resembled talking!  
In general you just seem to be more happy. 
Some of your favorite things are; Mickey Mouse  and Walle cartoons, fries, milk, chocolate, and books, books, books.  You love your special Walle blanket (thankfully we had a back up one, when Daddy lost your first one over the summer).  You love to play chase with Clark, and recently you have discovered the joys of bath time.  You love dancing in the kitchen and jumping on Mommies bed.  You don't love having your hair washed, or going to church, but you do love being with your family.  You love when we are all home together hanging out, and I love to see how excited you get everyday when Daddy comes home from work.
I hope you had a fun birthday!  I am really look forward to this coming year!
 I can't tell you how much I love the little boy you are becoming.  You have taught me so much this last year, about myself, and being a Mom, and I thank you for opening my eyes.  I know we still have a few hard roads up ahead, but I know I can do it, with you, for you,
because I love you.
Happy 2nd Birthday, my sweet little boy.
Singing CardBooks
A couple more reading pictures, just because I think he is so darned cute then he is looking at his books.

Making Cupcakes

October 2, 2010
Clark decided he wanted to help me make the cupcakes for Harry's birthday party.
He was pretty good at adding the eggs, and stirring the batter; 
but his favorite part, the job he did the very best at, was licking the spoon.
He is such a chocolate junky, just like his Daddy :)
Looks yummy, but I wouldn't know... he didn't want to share with me.
Thanks for helping Tuna, you are so fun to work with.

October 19, 2010

The Jumping Monkey

September 28, 2010
Jason was gone on a work trip to DC the week of Harry's birthday, so Harry's official birthday party didn't happen until the end of the week.  I still wanted him to do something fun and special on his birthday, and since Harry LOVES to jump,
I decided to take my little monkeys to the The Jumping Monkey.
(A fun little place with bouncy houses, toys, arcades, and all sorts of fun things for the kiddies.)
Harry, I love your face.
He has the sweetest little face ever.
I can't believe he is two years old!!!
He was so excited when we got to The Jumping Monkey.
If I had to guess, I would say this is what heaven would be like for Harry,
bouncy houses, toys, and tons of space to run and skip.
First he jumped a little.
Harry loves Thomas
Then he found a Thomas the Train, and loved on it for awhile.
And then he jumped a little more.
Circle Car
Clark passed his time playing with the train table, and riding around in this futuristic circle car.
(I guess he is too cool to hang out with me or his brother anymore.)
Harry even tired out a few video games.
He loves toys with wheels!
Get in my belly.Harry loves fries.
After the boys were all jumped and partied out, we went to Wendy's
(which is a real treat since we hardly ever eat out anymore, like never ever).
Harry loves him some fries and chocolate milk, 
and he couldn't get them in his mouth fast enough.
It is so hard to imagine that Harry is two years old already.  
When you have children time changes so suddenly and differently...
 Even though I feel like I've known Harry forever, and I can't imagine a time without him here in our family, I also feel like he just got here, on this earth.  I feel like it was just yesterday that we were snuggling together in the hospital bed, both recovering from a stressful delivery.  I remember his first days so clearly, and what a bundle of love-able joy he was, so calm and peaceful, and chubby.  
He has always been such a good little baby, and now a good little boy.

My Last Book Blog

I know nobody really cares about my book posts,
I've had enough of you tell me, over and over.
So, I'm moving on.
Besides, it doesn't really fit with the theme of this blog, 
keeping our family journal.
I could just start posting them at my other blog, but I am too lazy to move them all over.
They just seem out of place.  
And I am not going to start a book blog, I spend entirely too much time on the computer as it is.
If you want to join me on Goodreads,
 we can continue this little ole book party there.
I love a good book suggestion, 
and it is fun to share our thoughts on what we read.
It's free to join up, and there is an endless supply of book geekery available.

October 18, 2010

Meeting Diana Herself

September 25, 2010
Jason took me and the boys to DC for the National Book Festival!!
It was the funnest day ever.  There were books everywhere, authors, readers... heaven.
There was a lot to see and do, but I was most excited to see and meet one of my favorite authors,
Diana Gabaldon.
Me and Diana Gabaldon
Look at my huge cheesy grin, I was a mix of nerves, joy and excitement.
For those of you who don't know, Diana Gabaldon is the author of one of my favorite series, the Outlander series.  
I love her books, and I think she is brilliant.
GushingMeeting Diana Gabaldon
Me totally talking her ear off, gushing and gushing.
She was so kind and gracious to take her time to meet and speak to all of us (there was a small group of 10-15 people gathered around to meet her).  I told her how my Grandpa introduced the books to me, and how we read the last one together.  I told her how I have shared the books with almost every one I've met, and loaned out many copies.  I thanked her for her time and talent, and I tired to make some lame joke about her last book being a graphic novel, but I am sure it made no sense.  
She just nodded and smiled (sincerely, with kindness in her eyes) and let me talk, waiting for the chubby crazy lady to stop yammering. 
It was one of the highlights of my already super awesome summer.
After meeting Diana, we toured the rest of the festival.  
It was such a hot day, but we kept the boys happy with lots of popsicles, they were so well behaved.  
We made our way over to the author's signing pavilion, to get some books signed.  I tried to get Suzanne Collins to sign my book, but the line was so long they had to close it, maybe next year. 
Diana signing my book.
 I waited an 90 minutes to get Diana Gabldon to sign her newest book, The Exile (the graphic novel-not my favorite-but still good).  Even though it was hot, and tiring standing in line, it was worth it.
After all my Diana madness was over, we made it over to the PBS tent to meet our good friends, the Pomeroy's 
(that we finally get to see more often now that we live in Virginia again!!!).
Clark coloring.
Clark enjoyed all the activities they had for the kids there, and the boys even got some free books.  
They had characters from some of the PBS shows, but Clark was too bashful to get a picture with any of his favorites.
I can't wait to go to the Book Festival again next year!!
Museum of Natural History
After the festival we went to The Museum of Natural History. 
Clark, discovering the joy of a magnifying glass.
Clark and Taryn
Clark and Taryn, little buddies. 
Clark ran around the museum like a crazy person, but Taryn did a good job keeping an eye on him.  Every time we meet up with the Pomeroy family, he gets so excited to see "my friends" he says, no matter how much I try to teach him Taryn's name, he just calls her friend. 
He loves having someone to play with. 
It was such a fun day trip to the city.  It made my heart ache for DC, and all the fun things we used to do when we lived there.  I was wishing that we lived in Alexandria again, rather than VA Beach, but I KNOW we are here for a reason... and at least we can drive up whenever we want.

October 17, 2010

Pretty Please

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes
Just trying to win this awesome bike.
Isn't it so cute?
I can just imagine how much the boys would love to ride around in the back of it.
Or, maybe I could even get a cute little doggie, like this lady with the awesome boots.
Click on the link to learn more....
you know you want to :)

ps. Thanks, Michaela for sharing the link.

October 16, 2010

Sneaky Little Baby

I guess Harry wasn't done with bath time yet.
He used to HATE bath time, hate it, with a capitol H!
He would scream, tantrum, and beg to get out.  I could barely wash him most of them time, or even get him to sit down, he would just stand there and cry. 
 And you could forget about washing his hair, just forget about it!
Then all of the sudden, these past couple weeks, without any reason or warning, 
he started loving the bath.  He plays with his brother, splashes, even lays on his tummy.
He is enjoying bath time, and it makes me so happy.
In fact, today I was cleaning the bathroom, and he had a fit because I wouldn't let him take a bath!
What a total change, and a good change.
I still can't figure out how to wash his hair without him freaking out,
but no matter, he is in the bath and happy for now.

Raining Day

October 3, 2010
Fall kinda snuck up on us.  One day it was hot and sunny, and the next day it was cool and rainy.
Really rainy.  Our side porch gets flooded when ever it rains too much, which means...
instant rainy day fun, puddle jumping and splashing for the boys.
Clark jump, jump, jumping.
He had the most fun playing in the puddles,
even more so when the neighbor's dog snuck under the fence to come play with him.
(Dumb dog, he just can't stay away from my boys, and out of our yard.)
Even Harry joined in the fun.  
After he was all jumped out, he tried to catch the water in his hands,
a favorite past time of his, most of the time he really loves the water
(unless it involves washing his hair).

Watching the noisy planes fly by.
(The noisy planes that fly over all day, even night sometimes. 
The noisy planes that we NEVER heard once the five times we came to look at the house.)
I love his little curious face, checking out who was making all that racket.

This is our first real Fall in years, and Clark and Harry's FIRST.
I can't wait to get out and take some pictures of the changing leaves
(if I didn't already miss them all).
Dress the boys up in their winter clothes, that I just finished buying
(for the first time ever).  They look so adorable all bundled up.
Cuddle up with some hot chocolate and a good book...
OH! I love Fall!!!
Until then, we will enjoy the last warmish days of the year.

October 15, 2010

Backyard Barbeque

We love a good backyard barbeque, even if it is only the 4 of us.
Grill Master
Daddy at the grill, cooking up his home made hamburgers.
He loves trying to prefect his hamburger recipe with every cook out we have.
This night we tried a mixed of hamburger meat and ground sausage, not very good in my opinion.
Clark enjoying his favorite cheesey hot dogs, uncooked (blech).
Harry, wondering why Mommy did not set out the pretzels yet.
 I did manage to get him to eat a hamburger,
without the meat, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes or kethup,
yea, so basically some bread.
He loves being outside in the yard.
There's Mom's tasty hamburger, yum-o!
And an ice cream sandwich to finish off the night.
Clark got a little bit messy enjoying his, he loves ice cream, adores it.
I love spending time with my family.

Happy Meals

Ew! No! Not these uber gross Happy Meals.
(Seriously, doesn't that make you want to BARF.  I loathe Mc Donald's, I just wish everyone else in my family felt the same way.)
Anyway, back to my happy meals.
I made egg rolls!
Look! I made homemade Chinese food!
In an effort to be a more organized, and save a little money, I have started planning out our weekly meals.  This is not a task I particularly enjoy, especially since my children would rather eat crap than anything I cook, but it needs to be done.  We spend entirely too much money on food, junk food mostly, and eating out.  The first couple weeks were rough, I was so used to shopping for two weeks worth of food, that I over bought.  But, I am getting the hang of it, and if I don't take Jason along (the junk food king) I can even stay on or under budget.  
Every Thursday I make a menu for the following week; Friday night homemade pizza night, fancy Sunday dinner, a couple favorites, and a NEW recipe to try (see, my homemade egg rolls).  Then I go shopping on Friday...it has been such a blessing, to finally have my own car to do these homemakery type of things.  It has been so much easier to have all the food we need for the week, and not have to make emergency trips to the store to get bread, milk, cheese-and of course 10 other things we don't need.  Dinner time goes much more smoothly too, cause me and Jason aren't arguing what to make for dinner for 30 minutes.  I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.  
Now, I just need to work on my coupon clipping.

October 14, 2010

The Haircut that aged me 10 years.

September 1, 2010
Before the terror that was Harry's haircut.
See, it was really long and shaggy... I didn't have a choice.
HarryBefore the haircut.
A few weeks ago, before my Mom flew back to Utah, I decided to get the boy's hair cut.  Clark was a breeze, and just got a little trim, so as not to mess up his pretty -ahem, I mean manly- little curls.  Harry, on the other hand, was out of control.  It was like a scene from a horror movie.  He was biting, kicking, arching his back, throwing his head from side to side.  We were only planning on trimming it a little, because I like it on the longer side.  But the kind, and very patient man, who was attempting to cut Harry's hair was afraid to use scissors and accidentally stab Harry in the head.  So... out came the...(gulp) clippers, and off went all of his hair. It was impossible to do any kind of style, or even get it all the same length, because Harry just could not handle it.  He was crying and screaming, I was trying to hold him down and not cry myself.  It was 20 minutes of pure hell.  
I do not plan on getting his hair cut anytime soon, or maybe even ever. 
This was not his first haircut, not even his first one this summer, so I am not sure what went wrong...unless he just didn't like this salon.  
(The place we went to in Hawaii had little tvs, with kid shows on, maybe that is all he needed.) 

The After Picture...
a couple days later, when I was over the shock of it being SO short.
He is such a little cutie, and I love making his hair all spikey.
It seems to be growing out pretty fast too.
It took me forever to trim the hair around his ears and neck.  I couldn't use the scissors, because...I cut his ear a little :(  So I had to use Jason's little beard trimmer thing, it worked really well, when I could sneak up on Harry.
This is his smiling face,
or "MOM, your flash is too bright" face.
I love my little nugget, tantrums and all.

Home Sweet Home

Our New House
Our New House
After two hellish weeks of looking for a new house, we finally found one!
Albeit, a little too blue...
The living room, and two of the three bedrooms are painted four different shades of blue.
And one of the bathrooms is orange?!
(I know, I know, we could repaint, but I don't wanna.)
It is bigger than any place we have lived before, and still in pretty decent condition.
The guy we are renting from seems really nice, and I am hoping we can stay here for a few years.
We have a fireplace, that Jason is so excited to use, and a HUGE dining room.
The boys are loving all the extra space, and their very own backyard.

I am so glad we found a place in a nice neighborhood.  I am loving our new church ward, and our neighbors are really nice to us (so far).  We are finally all unpacked and settled, expect for a good garage cleaning, and hanging the pictures on the wall.  We have so much extra wall space, I don't really know how to decorate, or where to put things (I am so fortunate to not have it be the other way around).
I wasn't happy at first, I was snobby and wanted something newer and bigger, but I have really grown to love it, and I am glad Jason found it, and convinced me to take a chance.