Friday, July 30, 2010

Ollie at Five Months

Oh this boy brings us all such joy! He's getting bigger by the day and Larry is always showing off the new fat-rolls on Ollie's thighs with great pride.

His whole body melts when he smiles and his tongue usually sticks out.
Pardon all the blurry pictures, our house was pretty dark when I attempted these photos, but I had to post them because he is so cute and I don't want to forget what he was like at this stage.
In typical second child fashion, we drag him all over the place instead of planning our lives around his schedule, but he doesn't seem to mind (most of the time)

He's always watching Creed and it's nearly impossible to nurse him when Creed is in the room because he just wants to watch Creed.
He is so different from Creed, and yet, some of the same quirks have emerged. Of all the toys we have, this little monkey blanket is his favorite. Creed actually had the same one and chose it above all the other toys until we lost it when he was a wee babe. Funny that Scott and Janelle would give us one for Ollie without knowing the back story. He is constantly pulling it over his face and then panicking, but as soon and we pull it off, he pulls it right back on, which is exactly what creed did.
And just like Creed at this age, he hates sitting. If you try to sit him on your lap he will cry and arch his back and keep his body stiff so you can't make him sit down (maybe it's a reflux thing?) My back and arms are always sore at the end of the day from holding him so he's standing so pictures like this one of him sitting peacefully are rare
He's still nowhere near sleeping through the night so we're all feeling exhausted these days
I'm already having a hard time accepting how soon he will be running around chasing Creed. He's just so sweet and perfect right now. I'm spending lots of time rubbing his fuzzy head and playing this little piggy with his chubby toes, trying to enjoy as much of this stage as possible.

We Loved With a Love That Was More Than Love

Did I mention that earlier this month not-Laurence and I had our nine-year anniversary? (growing up, my favorite book was Little Women so when I started seriously dating Larry in college, my roommates said, "You found your Laurie!" and I had to explain that Larry is NOT short for Lawrence, it's really just Larry, but he's actually better than Laurie so I'm happy that he's himself and not Laurence. Nine years later, they still refer to him as Not-Laurence.)

Years ago, I might have imagined our ninth anniversary might be celebrated in some grand adventure. In truth we're so caught up with life and wrapped up raising these two little boys that simple gestures seem quite grand, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Larry surprised me by arranging for Tai and Kersten to watch the boys just down the street while we slipped out to dinner at a neighborhood restaurant (Ollie is still not ready to be without us for long nor am I ready to be away from him). Meanwhile, I filled several small secret message capsules with love notes and spent the evening sneaking them to him (and actually succeeded. I even got two in his pockets without him noticing, but my heart was racing every time I tried).
I laugh a little at us as I think back about it, but I love that we still find occasion to sneak around and surprise each other with little things. I think Not-Laurence is growing even more charming with age.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Christmas in July?

ok, I know you are going to think I am crazy, but I love Christmas so much, that sometimes I can't resist starting to shop now. I love stockings filled with interesting things, instead of whatever Santa could pick up at the gas station that was open late on Christmas Eve so starting around now, whenever I spot something small, inexpensive, and fun, I can't resist picking it up and stashing it away. Some of these items make it to Christmas, but some many make an appearance on a rainy day or a road trip or maybe even as a reward when someone does something especially nice.

Do any of you do this? I seriously can't stop myself. Here are a few of the things that I've picked up recently to add to my stash:

Fresh packages of markers and crayons (Markers were $1.00 and Crayons were 25 cents when we stopped at Wal-Mart last week. They would make great party favors too)

A ball that flips inside-out to change color when you toss it and a little bird whistle, both yellow of course. Found at Tutoring Toy.
Costume accessories on clearance (You know how Creed loves to wear dress-up headbands like reindeer antlers and bunny ears) and one of those little paper things that you add water to to grow crystals, which I couldn't resist because they had a peacock. Both from World Market.
Mater Teeth lollipop found at Michael's. I think this will be Creed's favorite thing.
Magic Grow Capsules and Grab-a-bubble both found in the dollar section at Michael's. These are likely to be used one day when Creed is bored or maybe when he has the sniffles and has to stay home.
Balsa wood gliders because I remember Santa putting them in my dad and brother's stockings, and I was a bit jealous. Think of the adventures that you could have with these.
Michael's also had a section of wooden instruments that come in little wooden crates from $3 to $5 and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality.
Then we always have to check-out the books and movies at TJ Maxx/Homegoods because they always have a few good things for a bargain. We love these Scholastic Storybook treasures DVDs. They are perfect for when Creed begs to watch a movie, but I do not want him to spend a lot of time in front of the TV.
And of course glowsticks. Michael's has them in tubes of 15 for $1. Glowsticks can make just about any night magical.
And let's just say you needed something for your fabulous wife who loves book club, you could find cute little notebooks and post-its to mark her favorite quotes at Michael's.
Or for your wife who loves to host parties and picnics, you might NEED these cute treat containers from the party section at Wal-Mart
Or, your wife might pick them up for herself and you might have to come up with your own ideas ;) (Don't worry, Larry is really good at helping Santa fill my stocking. He doesn't need any help)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oh, They Grow Up Too Fast!

Thursday morning, someone was just laying on his back, as sweet and innocent as can be, when . . .
Suddenly he looked like this! That's right, he rolled over. And it wasn't a fluke, he now rolls over basically every time you set him down (from his back to his stomach anyway, the other directions is still a no go, which is causing Ollie a lot of frustration).Pardon the blurry photos, Creed and I were busy clapping and cheering!

Bribery? I Prefer to call it Earning . . .

We all want to raise kids that are better than we are, right? I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I have some major flaws and bad habits, and I don't want Creed to have them too. Number One on my mind lately is how messy I can be. This is nothing new, I was infamous for my disastrous room growing up, but it's apparent to me lately because we live in such a small space and the clutter drives me crazy.

Creed has followed my example and is not so great about picking up after himself so a few weeks ago we decided to work on it. This also started because he's had a serious case of "I WANT THAT!" when shopping lately. Truthfully, he usually wants things that I wouldn't mind buying for him, but I don't want him to get into the habit of thinking he can get whatever he wants when we're shopping. I started talking to him about how if he REALLY wants something, he can earn it, but it's not so easy to come up with ways for a three-year-old to earn things.

We finally decided that if he cleaned his room for seven days, he could earn the set of cleaning toys that he really wanted (how ironic that he desperately wanted toys to pretend to clean, but he didn't want to actually clean).

So for seven days, he picked up his toys

He made his bed (ish, he's three after all)
and he got a smiley face on his chart (which we started on the third day after he kept asking where his chart was, thus the ugly, improvised chart)
And he FINALLY earned his cleaning toys.
How do you do chores at your house? How do you teach your children to earn things? I feel like quite a novice in this area. It's not time to start an allowance, is it?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Cutest Photo Shoot You Ever Did See

I just typed a long post about these pictures, just to have blogger delete it. Don't you hate it when that happens? Oh well, here we go again because these pictures are worth it.

My sister Candice has been in town and she called me one evening last week to ask if I would be willing to drive down the next morning to do a photo shoot of Creed and his cousin Logan because she needed some sample photos for an external flash class that she's teaching in France. She wasn't sure if I would be willing to drive all the way down to my parents' and back just for a photo shoot. Ummm YES, YES I would! She is brilliant, and I will never skip a photo shoot opportunity with her.

She had all the props for a circus photo shoot ready, and I brought along clothes for both of the boys. I LOVE how these pictures turned out!
These two pals are so funny together. The totally belong on the Little Rascals.

This picture of both of them smiling is my favorite.

And this picture of the two of them makes me laugh out loud each and every time that I see it.
I stayed home with Oliver while Larry went to help with the shoot. He texted me saying the pictures were going to be amazing, but there was one bribe that I was not going to be happy about, but it would be worth it. I'm sure that you can guess what it was by looking at these photos. The gun was accidentally left at grandmas afterwards.
Creed's faces were hilarious.
Thanks you so much Candice!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Salt Lake City Spotlight - The Sweet Tooth Fairy

The Sweet Tooth Fairy Bake Shop has finally opened its doors in Salt Lake! It's been one of my favorite places to stop when I visit my parents in Provo and now we have one in our own neighborhood (and I may have already been there multiple times). They are the best tasting and best priced cupcakes around. Just look at this case full of delicious goodness! (and I really love the Startups Suckers too)
But the item that's not to be missed are the cakebites! Trust me they are amazing! Everyone that I have made taste them is now addicted. And now they have a case full of different flavors and you can mix them and come home with multiple flavors.
It's such a cute place to stop for a treat.
These guys give it two thumbs up.

Friday, July 09, 2010

June Favorites

Music Video Of The Month: OK GO - This Too Shall Pass - Larry has been humming this all month and he actually asked me to post this with this month's favorites. There are two music videos for this songs, but this one is our favorite because it makes us laugh.

Song Of The Month: Lucy Schwartz -When We Were Young

Grown-Up Book Of The Month: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Yes, I stayed up until three a.m. two nights in a row reading it because I loved savoring it in the quiet.

Picture Book of the Month: Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman. You'll fall in love with Andrew Zuckerman's photographs

Kids' Movie of the Month: My Neighbor Totoro - I loved this movie when I was younger and I watched it over and over in Japanese, even though at the time, my Japaense was not great and I did not understand a lot of it. Years later, my host family gave me my very own copy when I was heading home from a summer as an exchange student in Japan. I couldn't resist picking up an English copy when I saw it at Target a few weeks ago (thank you for finally releasing it Disney!) and it swiftly became one of Creed's favorites. He pretends to be Mei and asks Larry to pretend to be Totoro.

Recipe of the month: Ham & Cheese Sliders - Have have made this recipe twice, once for a picnic with friends and once for Ollie's blessing and both times it was a hit. DELICIOUS! Lots of people have been asking me for the recipe and I figure the easiest way to share is to post a link here.

Website of the month: The Crafty Crow - the best resource for craft projects to do with kids. Because we all need ideas to keep the kiddos entertained on afternoons too hot to spend at the park.


Two weeks ago Creed started preschool. It's just two days a week for two and a half hours, but I was still pretty nervous about it. I thought it would be good for him to have something all his own and it would give me a chance to run some errands and spend time with just Oliver. It is actually astounding how much he has learned in just a few days.

Here are a few photos from his very first day of school ever!
It was Australia week so he came home wearing this little Crocodile Dundee style hat that they made.
And his first ever self portrait!!!!!!! I know it's not a masterpiece, but it melted my heart! This is the first time he's ever drawn a picture that was actually supposed to be something. In the past he would scribble on a paper and I would ask him to tell me about it and he would say something like, "It's not anything; I was just coloring, Mom!"
Pretty good first effort, right? Since then he's been telling us that he's an artist.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Working Toys

We don't have a lot of room around here for toys so we only kept our favorite things and the rest went to storage, which means that to buy new ones, there must be a really good reason that we NEED them (ok, we don't NEED new toys at all, I'm just trying to justify buying a few fun, new things). Thus, the toys that I've purchased lately have not only been fun to play with, but have served dual purposes. Like this rocket night light. I bought it just before we moved so Creed wouldn't be spooked sleeping in his new room. This was just after our fire scare so I'm particularly fond of this night light, which doesn't get hot. It's like magic. It sits on a rubber base that's plugged in and somehow charges it and it has an LED bulb which should never need to be replaced. (I've seen a lot of other night lights like this lately and Pottery Barn Kids has new ones that are a little bit smaller and change color, but I can't find a link)
And these pop-beads by B. Pop Arty to help Creed with his small motor skills (did you have pop-beads when you were little? I loved them so much I couldn't resist buying a set for Creed to create his own snakes, aliens, dress-up jewelry and whatever else he thinks up)
And this fish, which I used to bribe Creed to take baths. When it touches water it glows and changes color.
Cool toys, but the best part is that they get Creed to look forward to once dreaded tasks like baths and going to bed. Definitely worth it in my book.