Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Why is it that when your kids are asleep they look so much like the little baby you once held and rocked in your arms all day. I just love sleeping kids. Not just because that means my house is quiet and clean. I just love to watch them sleep. There is something so sweet about it.
Kellen Loves to be wrapped up in the towel after his shower or bath. It always just looks so cute to me!

Kellen can be such a little love bug. He has always been such a cuddler. And he Loves to cuddle and hug and kiss his sissy. If she is ever sitting or laying down he will usually go and lay on top of her and say "Awww" and give her love. When he is not in the cuddle mood he goes for something else, like trying to ride her like a horse or wrestle. It is good to be well rounded.
Climbing. Yup.
Cousin Love! Kellen seriously Adores Brooke, his little baby. He has always known to be sweet and gentle with her. It is nothing I ever had to teach him. And he is so good at sharing with her. It's so fun seeing her big enough to actually Play with them now!
Our new morning activity....sitting by the sliding glass door looking for bugs (or as Kellen refers to them...."Eeewww!!") We hardly ever see any just sitting there in the morning, but that doesn't stop him from laying there and looking and talking about them!
SUCH A BOY! I don't know what the heck he was doing outside, but he came in looking like this. Dirt on every inch of his body. He washed most of it down with a little watermelon snack. Maybe I should have washed his face and hands first, but really, is there a point? Silly boy! I love you!

Kenna has graduated from toddler bed to her "really big girl bed" and she LOVES it! As do I because she is sleeping soooo much better in it. Though she still just looks so tiny when laying there at night. It always makes me sentimental to see her sleeping.
She just adores her little brother, and she also thinks she is pretty cute herself ;)
Kenna and Rah Rah cuddling during toons with the snuggie. Ha! Maybe we can invent a snuggie that is made to share with two people. That way you and your hubby or child can cuddle and snuggle together in the same one.
I don't know what to do with this girls crazy hair anymore than I know how to get her to back off on the silly faces. Whatever. I just embrace them and love them both!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mama's Day

I think that Mother's Day just might be my favorite holiday. And not because of the reasons you might be thinking. It's not because my husband woke up with the kids and let me sleep in until 8. It's not about the delicious coffee cake that Todd made me for breakfast. It isn't because seeing my daughter up with the primary kids for the first time ever singing to the mothers about how much they love us made me sob and totally touched my heart. It isn't about the yummy dinner and dessert I didn't have to cook or the gift certificate for a pedicure. Yes, all of those things are wonderful. What woman (or man for that matter) doesn't just love being pampered?!
For me Mother's Day makes me think about and appreciate my own mother. It gives me another moment to stop and remember and think about all the things she has done and continues to do for me. All the things she has taught me. All the love she has given me and how our relationship and friendship is one of the most important things in the world to me.
It is also a day for me to appreciate my husband and my children. To reflect upon them, the joy and happiness they bring to me. The honor it is to be a mother. There is nothing in this world that compares to the love that you feel for your children and the feeling of receiving their love for you. Being a mother is so much more than I ever even dreamed it would be. It is the most amazing, rewarding, fulfilling thing I have ever done. It is such a pure and honest love, it always amazes me. A love and feeling and responsibility that comes from the core of my very being. I am so grateful to my husband for being my partner in this amazing journey and sharing this incredible responsibility with me. I am thankful to him for the children he has given me. I couldn't be a mother without him. And I am so grateful to my children. Grateful to them for choosing me to be their mother. For bringing such happiness into my life. For loving me and trusting me and putting up with me.
I love Mother's Day because it reminds me of how deeply blessed I have been by the Lord. I feel humbled and honored to be blessed with these souls to raise and teach and lead and be able to receive their love and adoration.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Not quite ready for this...

If you ask me, 3 1/2 is still pretty young. Yes, I know that my little girl is growing up and getting older. I know that she is getting smarter, more aware of the world, the way things work around her, why and how things happen. I expect as she grows and learns and becomes more aware that we will be having more and more mature conversations. But the conversations I have been having with her lately have just really surprised me to be coming from someone so young. Maybe I was just naive, never having raised a child before. Maybe I just never knew that this sort of stuff comes up this young. Or maybe she is young to be asking these sort of things. Either way, all I know is that it has caught me off guard.
Once when I was talking to my mom I was asking her about when and how you tell children about "adult" sort of things. She gave me a great answer. She said you tell them as much as they need to know to be satisfied. You give them the answers for the things they are asking and looking for. You give them the minimum. And if they continue to ask, then you continue to expand until they are satisfied.
The other day was the first time that I approached such a conversation with my daughter. Kellen was looking at my belly and she was watching him carefully. Suddenly, with a mildly concerned look on her face she asked me "How is baby Conner going to get out?" I casually turned the question back on her and asked her how she thought he was going to come out. She thought maybe he would make a hole in my belly and come out. Or maybe he would come out my mouth (both very smart and logical ideas). I told her no to both of those and she asked one more time and I again said, "Well, how else do you think he could come out?" and then she sort of dropped it and moved on. I myself didn't have a problem with telling her the true and honest answer. I just wanted to give Todd a heads up and see what he thought before I told her the whole truth. As I said, this is the first time anything of this nature has arose. We both agree that when/if it comes up again with her then she will be told how babies get out of their mommies, sparing any details or graphics. I just can't believe I am talking to a child under 4 about this sort of stuff.
The other topic Makenna has been deeply involved in talking about is death. Somewhere in the last few months she has picked up on the fact that people/animals/bugs/things die. When she first started talking about she would say things like "Look Mom, the bug is dead!" Or she would lay on the ground and close her eyes and want to pretend like she was dead. I kept wondering if she really understood what "dead" was, but I wanted to wait until she asked for more of an explanation. And she did ask one day in the bath tub. She was laying in the bath water and said "Look Mom, I am dying" I told her no she was not dying. And then she sat up and said "Mom, what does die mean?" I gave her a basic explanation. That someday our bodies will stop working, we stop breathing and our heart stops and that is when we die. I told her that our spirits then get to go to heaven and be with Jesus and Heavenly Father. She seemed satisfied with this and occasionally would continue to talk about things being dead. A number of times recently she has re-told the story of when she drowned last summer. It is amazing how much of it she recalls. Now when she tells the story she will say that she died in the pool and then KC and the firefighters saved her. I always tell her that she did not die, she just stopped breathing for a little bit but that her heart and body was still always alive. Still, it is interesting to me that she explains it this way. Still heard to cry when she tells the story, but I try to never let her see any worry or fear in my face.
Well, tonight while tucking her in bed she started asking more. "Why do we have to die?" "When will I die?" "Will you die?" "Who else will die?" "Will Jesus be nice to me in Heaven?" After a number of questions and me giving her answers I thought were comforting to her she looked at me, very scared and almost in tears and said "But Mama, I don't want to die!" I can't tell you how hard it was to keep my composure and hold the tears back in that moment. I just hugged her and tried my best to assure her that she does not need to worry about that at all and that we are together as a family and always will be. Then she said she never wanted me to die. And again, holding back the tears was so hard. I remember being a little girl and being terrified of my mother dying. Actually, I still am terrified of that. But seeing my little girl thinking and feeling these things was totally different. And I was just so unprepared for it this young.
Is this normal? Do kids her age usually start thinking and asking about these things? Am I doing a good job answering her and and reassuring her and making her feel safe? Where are these questions and thoughts coming from?
Perhaps my little girl is just growing up faster than I thought she would and it is surprising me and making me sad. It's just hard because I feel like I am having to have such grown up talks with a little girl I still see as my baby. Motherhood. You never know what is coming next.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Practically Cousins

Last week Sarah and I got together so that we could have some girl time and so the cousins could play together at the park. Sarah brought her niece Hailee with her (her sister in-law Laurie's daughter. Laurie had just had a baby and we were also looking to get Hailee some play time and Laurie some alone time with the baby). Even though my kids and Hailee are not "technically" cousins, they might as well be, right? So that is what they think of each other as.
We had a really good time getting together. We met in Temecula for lunch and then went to this really great park where the kids got to run and play and splash in some water. It was a lot of fun to spend the time together and see the kids all play together. I look forward to doing this a lot more in the future!
Makenna and Hailee really get along so well. And even though Hailee is over a year younger, they are practically the same height and have a ton of fun together.

Kellen Boy. He loves his Auntie RahRah and his baby, baby Brooke.

Brooke and Hailee were having fun swinging together. Kellen wanted to join in. Thank goodness Brooke is so petite, Kellen could just slide right in with her. They looked like they were having a ton of fun, until Brooke seemed to be getting fed up by being smashed next to 28lbs of Kellen :)

Brooke just wanted to like the rocks. I don't know what her mother was thinking by allowing this, but whatever...not my baby ;)

Maybe Hailee was a little embarrassed to be standing by such a poser....can't totally blame her. I wish my daughter could just stand and smile. But then I guess she wouldn't be Makenna...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What are the chances??

So, currently in our ward we have 6 women pregnant. I know, that is a lot of women pregnant at once! It is crazy. Something was in the water. And we are all due within months of each other. 2 are due this month, 2 are due the end of next month, and then one is due very end of July and I am early August. So we are each sort of paired with one other person within a week or so of our due date. I am the caboose, which has it's benefits and it's disadvantages. I am sure that when I am enormous and uncomfortable and chomping at the bit to hold my baby then I will really be jealous of all these other women having their babies first. But for now I don't mind too much.
Anyway, the neatest part of us all being pregnant is that we are also All having BOYS! It's just nuts to me. What are the odds? I love it! I think it is going to be so much fun having all this little guys running around together. I already feel sorry for the nursery workers and their future primary teachers :) But I think it will be the neatest play group. And I believe that one of the good advantages of me being the last to have the baby is that if Conner is anything like his big brother he will probably be bigger than all these older babies within months of him being born :)
This is a pic of 5 of the 6 of us before the first one had her baby. It was the best we could get. But I def plan on getting a great picture of all the little boys together once they are all here!

From left to right: Megan Konold, Jessica Blayden, Janae Hoffman, Suzy Nelson and Me, the caboose
We were only missing Jeri Lamp (who would have been positioned right in front of Janae)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Very Silly Girl!

There are many things about each of my children that I hope never change about them. I could make a list a mile long for each one of all their qualities that I just love and want them to hold onto forever. Oddly enough some of them are the very things about them that can drive me crazy (ex: Kenna's independence and strong (stubborn) will. Kellen's intense emotions and his passion for making noise and demanding to be heard!)
But one of the things I love about Makenna that I hope Never goes away is how silly the girl is. She really is such a ham and a total goof. She loves to be silly, loves people thinking she is silly and loves to make people laugh. She also just comes up with the funniest things to do and to say. She really makes me laugh more times in a day than I can count. I just love her light heartedness so much.
Here are just some examples for you....

Perhaps this one is more cute and sweet than silly. Makenna is already In Love with baby Conner. She will come over to me and give my belly hugs and kisses throughout the entire day, randomly and often, and always asks me if baby Conner is happy that she kissed him and tells him that she loves him. It is really sweet!
I don't know how I have been so blessed, but my daughter LOVES to clean the toilet. The minute she seems me getting out the bathroom cleaning supplies she is right there waiting to help out. She also loves to help me dust. I am so blessed. Can this last forever?? :)
Kenna invented this on her own. She sits in the baby swing in the middle and uses the two other swings to rock herself back and forth, also kicking off the ground with her legs. She gets quite high and it looks like so much fun. I would be right there if I could fit in that darn swing!
She's just cute!

I never ask her to make silly poses. She just does them on her own all of the time. If anythings I sometimes have to beg and bribe her to just stand normal and smile in a picture. But she loves to be crazy and even more loves to look at pictures of herself being crazy.
Makenna has a new best friend. Or should I say best friends. Meet my daughter, the snail queen!
Every day she hurries outside as soon as it warms up enough and quickly begins to hunt through the yard for as many snails as she can find. She bring them all up into her play set where they spend the day "playing" together. She lets them slither and slime all over her and loves it to death. If you tell her snails are gross she gets very offended. She thinks they are sweet and cute. She has to protect them from Kellen who will quickly smash or stomp on any snail he can get close to. He will sit up there with her pointing at the snails and saying "Eeeewww!!!" and the two of them will argue all day over snails being "Eeewww" or not. Just strange.

"Car, Car!"

My children LOVE the trolley. Really, passionately Love it! The trolley stop is right down the street from our house, so we usually see it at least once a day. And almost any time we get in the car Kellen begins to inquire as to the whereabouts of the trolley, or "car car" as he calls it. He is at a more passionate trolley age than Makenna is at the moment. But about a year ago she was in love with it, so we took a quick trolley ride one day so that she could experience it at it's best. I felt that now Kellen was old enough to have his trolley experience.
I don't know if the excitement was just too overwhelming, but when we first got on he just sat there, almost star struck, expressionless, unable to really move. He wasn't scared or anything, he was just almost in awe...trying his best to absorb it all in his 19 month old mind. After a minute or so he really started getting excited. And on the way back he was much more rambunctious and smiling and squealing the whole way home.
See what I mean?

It was cheap, easy fun. We made it into a fun outing, shopping at target, eating Quiznos for lunch and all 3 sharing a small cold stone treat. I just love to see kids be able to enjoy and be amazed by such simple pleasures. It makes me want to be a kid again and appreciate having children so that they can remind me of these things.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Kellen Boy at 18 months!

This week Kellen had his 18 month check-up and we were all very curious to see how much he had grown and where his stats were going to be. Since he was 3 months old he has always been right at the 98% or off the charts for both weight and length. But in the last 6 months his growth has Really slowed down (which his mother is VERY appreciative for, seeing as carrying him around is already quite a chore!!)
At 18 months Kellen checked in at:
Height: 34 1/4 inches (92%)
Weight: 28lbs 7 oz (85%)
Our son is finally ON the charts. And as I said, I am very grateful that his gaining weight has plateaued a bit. I really don't think I could keep hauling him around if he was too much heavier. I am already trying to train him to walk when we are out and about a lot more, seeing as in 3 more months carrying him And baby Conner wouldn't really work too well. And he is actually a very good boy walking around and does a great job holding my hand (much different from his sissy in that regard) so I have faith that at least that part of the baby transition will go well.
Kellen really has grown up so much in these last 6 months. Not only does he now Look like a little boy and a toddler and not nearly as much like a baby, but he is also acting so much older. Here is some of what is going on with Kellen and what he has learned to do in the last 6 months:
-He is a Great talker. He has always (Always) been a chatty boy, and now he is always rambling on about something. He says more words than I can keep track of these days.
-He is starting to string words together into simple sentences. He regularly say 2 and 3 word sentences and just the other day said "Where da ball go?" which was his first 4 word sentence!!
-No is his Favorite thing to say. He will say "No" to just about any question you ask him, whether he really means No or not. Most of the time the way he says it though is quite cute and doesn't sound like that typical, bratty sounding 2 year old "NO!"
-Though he loves to say No, Kellen does have great manners for an 18 month old. He will say "please", "thank you" and "sorry"
-Time outs have officially started with Kellen. We have only needed to use them a few times, but he actually understands what a time out is and stays in the corner very well when put there. I wouldn't have started it so soon, but he seemed to get the whole concept so why the heck not.
-Kellen LOVES to play outside and these days his favorite activities are blowing bubbles or swinging.
-He and Makenna usually fight most of the morning and then get along great from about lunch time on. At night they are usually very active and loud together and love to rough house with each other, especially after getting out of the bath for some reason.
-Kellen has become totally attached to a little toy Mickey cell phone (which he calls his rara) and a small hard back Dr. Seuss book that he carries with him Everywhere.
-We have been binky free for a few months now and though the weaning went well his sleeping schedule has never been the same. He now wakes up at 6:30 every morning and rarely naps for longer than 1 1/2 hours when he used to take 2 1/2 hour naps. We are still hoping he will adjust back to his old schedule before his little brother gets here.
-Though Kellen is nursery age and enjoys playing in the nursery, he has no desire to be in there without Daddy or Mommy. It will take a little while until he is ready to be left alone in there for 2 hours.
-Kellen still won't watch a lick of t.v. He does seem to enjoy Elmo toys and books and what not, he has no desire to see him, or anything for that matter on t.v. I know this is probably a good thing, but it would be nice to be able to get a 20 minute break every once in awhile :)
-It is almost impossible to keep shoes on this kid for more than 10 minutes at a time.
-Kellen loves to dance and sing. He often times sings to himself and will be singing while we drive in the car or when he is supposed to be sleeping. And he and Makenna have frequent dance parties together. They love to shake their bum!
-He loves to find bugs outside and say "Eeeewwww!" and point them out to his sissy and me.
-Any time he makes a mess or does something he shouldn't do he will come and find me and tell me "uh-oh" and show me what he did. At least he is honest about it.

Kellen really is a lot of fun these days. He can be a very emotional child at times, and is definitely much more needy of his Mama's love and attention than his sissy ever was. This is both flattering and exhausting at the same time. But recently he seems to be doing a bit better with both of those things. Kellen has the sweetest heart. He really is such a good natured boy. You can tell that he really does not have a mean bone in his body. He is much more a lover than a fighter and is just such a little cuddle bug. He has really made having a son and having a little boy in the house such a great thing. I love the boy attitude he brings to things and seeing him grow into being such a little man.
We love you so much Kellen!