Monday, June 3, 2013

4 | happy birthday Ryan

31 lbs
3 feet 2.5 inches tall


My sweet boy, my monkey man, my super hero. You are FOUR. You are amazing and I can't believe we have had you in our lives this long. I can't remember what my life was like before you. You are my world and I love it.

Four might be my favorite age so far- just don't mention that to Weston ;) You are the perfect amount of independent and dependent. You can get up in the morning and get some breakfast and play a bit on your own. You are can put on your own shoes and buckle your car seat. But you still let me carry you and want me to cuddle with you before bed every night. You still take naps and want me to help brush your teeth. I also want to shout from the roof tops despite the fact that this will embarrass you when you are older- you are TOTALLY potty trained. You started #1 on the toilet when you were 18 months old, it wasn't until after your 3rd birthday that you decided to wear underwear full time. Well it wasn't until last week you when you thought it would be okay to take care of your #2 business on the potty instead of in a diaper while you slept. Thank heavens that is taken care of, we all feel so liberated! We have had many celebrations and I cried happy tears. SO proud of you dude.

You are a good friend and a good brother, you take care of everyone around you. You help out and make sure everyone is happy! Weston looks up to you so much and you are learning how to make good choices so he can grow up having a great example. Keep up the good work!

You are about to wrap up your first year of preschool! I can't even believe it. You are almost reading and counting to 100. You love science and math and always bring home the best art projects. Our goal is to have you reading books on your own by the end of the year, you are so ready for it! It has been so great to watch you blossom. You were super nervous about being at school and it was great that Miss Kim would text me with updates and pictures as to how you were doing. I loved when I got a message that you played with someone else, that you talked a ton turning lunch time, and that you DANCED. You dance at home all the time but it took a while for you to be comfortable with dancing around other people. I am happy with the growth you have been making there it is so fun to watch.

Along with dancing you sing. All the time. About everything. You make up songs about power rangers and monsters, you sing to your food, and to your brother. We love it. You recently decided that you love beat boxing as well. After watching it on tv and hearing it on the radio you were hooked. I made a beat boxing station on pandora for you!

Your best friends are still Yia Yia and daddy. I know I am in there somewhere ;) but I am glad you love other people too since the first year it was all about mama time. You love papa and mimi and papi too! Grandparents are a huge part of your life. We talk to one of them pretty much every day and see them all regularly. You are so blessed to have them close and to have a strong relationship with them. Daddy and I both grew up close with our grandparents and it is important to us that you and your brother have the same thing. 

My favorite things about you are your laugh, your dimple that is just like mine, the way you say good morning every morning on my side of the bed, the way you say lellow (yellow) your love for your taggy, the way you still like me to cuddle with you, our talks in the car and over lunch, your love of sunshine and fresh air, that you want to start going on runs with me, your deep love of restaurants and target, the way you say your prayers and help out in class at church, your logic and 2 cents about everything, everywhere, all the time, the fact that you are still a little timid of new things and take your time, how you want to grow your hair out "long like the other Ryan at school" your fondness of personal hygiene and the way you dress, and your sweet but fire cracker personality.

I am so excited to see what this year hold for you little man! You are one incredible kid and I thank Heavenly Father daily that he trusts me to raise you right. We love you!


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Friday, May 31, 2013

Weston | 16 months

It was so fun to do monthly updates the first year, then he turned 12 months and I stopped! I miss it. He is changing so much and if I dont write it down I will forget it. 

at 16 months

finally weighs 20 lbs!

wears 12 month clothes

size 4 diapers since that was what I buy for Ryan
cloth diapers every now and then, they stink all the time no matter how I wash them so it's really ruining the fun of it all for me

sleeps a solid 12-14 hours every night, its heaven
in between 1 and 2 naps a day, naps well too. this kid is an incredible sleeper

HAS HAIR. I am never cutting it. 

has 11 teeth and working on the lower eye teeth- its hell for him and he's miserable


becoming a picky eater and gets mad when I give him a sippy cup instead of one with a straw BUT still has 2 bottles of milk a day, one afternoon and one before bed. I will kick that habit by the end of the summer. he was really under weight since 9 months so they wanted me to keep it and do half heavy cream

favorite foods- hot dogs, cereal, oatmeal, and pretty much any dinner I make, the longer it takes to prepare the better chance he'll eat it. meaning, he likes yummy adult food

hates alfredo sauce??

says mama, baba, dada
signs more, all done, waves bye, and wash hands

has no clue where his body parts are- I am failing
can follow basic instructions- get me the cup, go get your shoes, toss the ball
tries to color with crayons, would rather eat them

still OBSESSED with his taggy blanket and wubanub pacifier. we started making him leave them in his bed for nap time in hopes to wean him off the pacie by the end of the year

daddy his his favorite, also his best friend Brie

loves playing with cars, balls, and random mardi gras style necklaces 

wants to brush his teeth and wash his hands/face all the time

can finally climb down the stairs at our house without giving me a heart attack 

loves to read books

still riding backwards in his car seat and will be for another year or more

I have a feeling he will climb out of crib soon :/ 

stuff ryan says vol 10

changing the title to stuff Ryan says.. but whatever that's not what matters.. here's the good stuff..

(after squeezing weston and rolling around on the floor really rough with him) oh sorry mom I thought he was my puppet

the girls love green, yes they do! boys like red. no one else likes the other colors.. but pink and purple and blue.

weston makes some serious crap

why did you have your freaking out face (what are you talking about?) in the store, i saw your face, it went like THIS (shows me a huge smile) why did you make it do that

please call me Antonio, that is my new name

that girl on your phone, (siri) the one we are talking too, does she play music too?

when I grow up I'm going to be a daddy, a rockstar and a power ranger!

the girl on your phone said the power rangers will be here in a minute!

"my mom is mean.. she won't let me be a power ranger or a monster.. la la la.." (in a song) 

I would like microwaved toasted microwaved toast with cinnamon cereal for breakfast please.

HURRY my baby needs a dr, check his blood pleasure! (pressure)
I need to have my protein first... ya know, like sprite. 

will you put lotion on my nipple tattoo so it sparkles

I made a CD player and it only plays music I like

I LOVE beat boxing, it is my FAVORITE sport

cows lay milk..

says everything is "kickin" 

in the bath- "I got moves like JAGGER" then dances.........

OH mom it looks like you are painting the enchanted garden, here, let me show you how to paint Daniel tiger

Hey mom did you know Weston and I are in a club, its called the SUPER BABIES

and now a conversation we had, for real. 


Me: you dont have boobs, and even if you did I don't like you saying that. You know how butt isnt a nice word and we call it a bottom? Same thing, you can say breasts, chest, pecks... chest is probably best.

Ryan: UM mom, I can't call it a chest....

Me: why not

Ryan: because then you would think I was talking about water chestnuts and you would be SO confused 

you're welcome. 

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Monday, April 22, 2013

earth day

photo by yours truly. please pin. 
we celebrated by playing outside. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Do you guys ever feel like you are totally dropping the parenting ball? I do, a lot, usually every day around 4:30 when both kids start completely melting into emotional messes.

I will admit I resort to raising my voice more often than I should... even spanking (and the crowd goes silent while someone throws rotten food at me) I refuse to raise entitled brats as brash as that sounds. I have spent my fair share around kids and teenagers the last few years and it is a sad scary thing to witness. I want my kids to have good manners, respect their elders for the sole fact that they are older than them, freely serve others, and understand that their actions big and small effect everyone around them.

I want them to make good choices because obedience makes them happy and they like feeling good about it and not out of fear of the consequences from poor choices. I can dream that they will clean their rooms because they it makes them feel peaceful and relaxed after not because they will be grounded or have their phone taken away if they don't.... a mom can dream right?

So we have started the Good Choice Jar. We had a little family meeting about it tonight- the plan is for me and hubs to keep a few in our pockets or near by throughout the day, if we see Ryan making "a good choice" like clearing his plate, helping Weston, playing nicely, getting his shoes on without a fight, or even flushing the toilet he gets a marble to put in the jar. I will be handing them out in abundance the first bit to get the momentum going, anything I see that is positive gets rewarded! There are 2 reward levels, half full and full. Ryan decided on what he wants for each and is stoked, he already earned 4 tonight.

I think it will also be good for ME as a mom to look for the good things during my day, and when things are really hard I can see the jar and think of all the awesome moments we had instead of dwelling on the bad. I pray it will change my view of parenting these littles. I know I will have to focus more on them to notice the good and I hope to give at least 10 marbles out tomorrow.

We have set some strict rules for ourselves as parents because we want the jar to be solely positive, remember making good choices because he WANTS too. No threatening "if you don't do this you won't get a marble..." or taking them away for bad behavior. Sure the bad stuff will still be punished with timeouts and losing other privileges like always but I want to shift the focus to rewarding GOOD behavior. Kids want attention regardless so let's give them way more attention for good than bad and hopefully if will shift overall behavior. Right....? Maybe....?

I posted on Instagram about it and people seemed pretty excited so I am using the #goodchoicejar if you decide to do it with your kids use it too! I can follow it on IG or twitter, it will be fun to watch. I will update with my progress as well.

wish us luck!

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Friday, April 12, 2013

taggy love

One thing you must understand about our family is we take special blankets VERY seriously. My boys each have them and in case of fire one of us grabs the kids WITH their blankets and the other grabs the laptops.

Ryan first fell in love with his blanket around 6 months. I purchased a back up, and then a 3rd back up a few months later. He started calling it tag, which turned into taggy. Now, 3.5 years later taggy is a HE and his best friend next to Grandma. He has his "favorite" which he labeled as number 1 taggy and then the others are number 2 and 3, yes he knows the difference and will inspect them all before cuddling up.

The most important part of the blanket is the tag or label, without it there would be no point. He used to suck on it, now he just obsessively rubs it in between his fingers, on his feet, on his stomach, and in his ear. He also does this weird tongue sucking thing that mimics a nursing suck. He's done it as long as I can remember and will start it every time he sees his blanket, like an instinct.  He can't sleep without it, he insists on dragging it all over the house and we finally said it can't come in the car with us anymore unless we will be gone for a LONG time. Twice, the tag has actually fallen off and you would have thought someone actually died in front of him. I have sewn them back on and went over it a few more times for good measure.

When Ryan was about a year old I bought another one KIND of like his tag, thinking he would take it as an acceptable replacement. Wow was I wrong. I held onto it, I actually used the fuzzy brown side for newborn photos way back in the day. When West was born I pulled it out of a baby box and had it near by but didn't really use it as he was swaddled or slept in our bed (and you aren't supposed to use blankets, right) When he was a little older I just like cuddling with it and him so it made more appearances  I actually called it "Weston's taggy" one day and hubs looked at me like I was crazy. I think his words were "not THAT again" Eventually he became pretty fond of the blanket. When he was 7 months old I found him in his crib, with the taggy part, rubbing it on his feet just like Ryan does. And that was that.

Weston is obsessed with his blanket just as much as Ryan is his, he loops his fingers in the fold of the tag and rubs it on his face when he's tired. He gets really grumpy if I leave it in his bed after nap and must have it whenever he's sad. He is well aware that Ryan and him both have their own special blanket and he will always give Ryan's to him if he finds it. It's like they understand the sacredness of "the taggy" and it is respected in our house. You don't have to share it with anyone, don't you dare take your brothers away from him, and if your brother is sad find his taggy for him.

Do your kids have a special blanket, lovey, or animal they just have to have?

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I packed away the toys

I recently came across an article entitled "Why I took all my kid's toys away (and why I wont give them back)" and it really resonated with me.

While we don't have nearly the amount of toys as other families, we still have far more than we need. My kids (Ryan in particular) are overwhelmed by it all and actually don't PLAY with any of it. The things we do have are organized into baskets or tubs and they just dump it all out, throw things at each other and then cry when they step on something hard. After that fun is done they whine at my feet that they are bored.

Ryan has even told me before that he is done with toys, they are for babies and Weston can just have them! I can't remember the last time he actually played with or did anything with the toys in our house.

He spends his day at my side, doing what I do. He helps me cook, do dishes, grocery shop, plays on the computer, or watches a movie. He loves "activity" type things like games, puzzles, crafts, play dough.. those are my saving grace!

I was at my wits end for sure. I was sick of the messes, the complaining, and wasting money trying to buy things I think they would like. I told friends and family not to get toys for any holidays! For Easter he got glow sticks, a book, and bubbles and it was perfect. For birthdays I am requesting books and craft supplies.

Anyway, back to the TOY issue. In a fit of rage (okay just a really frustrating day) I got a huge tub and packed away 80% of the toys and donated a ton of barely used toys and old books to our church nursery. I kept out a few "sets" of things, including the only thing that kind of gets played with- a small tub of kids meal toy type things.

So far they havent complained once, the house stays cleaner and when they open the toy cabinets they are not overwhelmed. I slowly started getting out one thing at a time from the packed away stash. Yesterday it was the kitchen and play food. Today it was the trains. You guys, they actually PLAYED with them, and for a while too! It was nuts. I was happily surprised by it. And the second they get bored and move on we clean it up together. I also noticed that Ryan can clean up MUCH easier. Even with it being organized before he had an impossible time cleaning up simply because it was just too much for him to take in. When nothing else is out, it was easy for him AND Weston to put all the trains in this one tub right here. And they did it happily.

I am happy with the choice we made to simplify our life a bit. Society makes it seem like we have to buy our kid's love, we have to have the latest toy revolving around whatever favorite tv show of the moment (we did it with power rangers, no judgement here) I also know that I get excited over new toys and want to buy it all for my kids. News flash- THEY DON'T NEED IT. Raise your hands if your kids play longer with an empty cardboard box than anything else! Yeah, us too.  Just say it with me "no more toys."

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