Friday, June 29, 2012

The Joys of a 2-year old

I was just thinking about how wonderful my son is as I was putting him to bed tonight, so I thought I'd take a moment to mention some of the reasons I love him and why he makes me smile each day.

Last week, Owen woke up in the morning, crying (which is unusual for him), and said, "Hurts. Ear." I figured he might have an ear infection, but I thought I would see how he was for the day. He was kind of up and down, and seemed to have a slight fever on and off, but nothing major. I decided to wait to see how he was the next day. He woke up crying again, but didn't really mention his ear. As a stupid mother, I just kept riding it out. I read up on ear infections (since he hadn't had one before, to my knowledge) and found that often they go away on their own. Also, I wasn't positive he had an ear infection. I thought he could be getting his 2-year molars, or maybe just becoming a cranky, toddler. By Friday, I was about to go out of my mind. He had been such a nightmare all week. I decided to take him in before the weekend. I love that the first question the nurse asked me was, "So how long has he been having these meltdowns?" Yeah...that just proves what he was like all week since she had only seen him for all of 2 minutes. And sure enough, after a quick examination, I was told he had an ear infection. Bad Mom. :( This explains the emotional roller coasters, barely eating anything at all during the day, and random fevers. I got him antibiotics and within a day and a half, he was SO much happier. It was such a drastic difference. I had almost forgotten that Owen is such a sweet, wonderful, fun little boy to be around. Thank goodness he is and that was all just because he was feeling miserable. Again...bad Mom.

Here was my sick little guy:

Anyway, Miles has been gone this week, and since Owen has been feeling better, we've spent a lot of time doing fun activities and getting out of the house (since last week all he wanted to do was lay down and watch TV). So far we've gone to the park, Seven Peaks, Thanksgiving Point Farm, and visited with friends. We also have plans to go to Liberty Park in SLC and the splash pad in Spanish Fork. I guess while the cat is away, the mice will play! And the poor cat, oops I mean Miles...he's working 80 hours this week. :(

Back to my original reason for writing. Owen is SO FUN! He makes me laugh all the time. He is always playing silly games. When he knows that I'm coming to get him and put his shoes on, he immediately runs away and will giggle as he kicks and squirms in my arms. Once he's on my lap, he's still. But he just loves playing hard to get. He also likes to hide behind our new laundry "room" curtains and play peek-a-boo. He can now reach the top drawer where his pacifiers are kept, and likes to sneak one out and then slyly come out of his room to show me he has it. When I say, "What do you have?!" He giggles and runs away. He likes to pretend to sleep and will do fake snores. He also likes to cover me up and have me pretend to sleep while he turns out the light, says, "Night, night! Sleep tight!" and shuts the door.

This was he and Daddy pretending to sleep. He got a little distracted with Daddy's snores:

He also will see something really small, like a little bug in a book, or a small piece of food on his tray and say, "Tiny, tiny!" in this high voice while he scrunches up his nose and eyes. I can't even explain all the cute, silly things he does. And I'm sure they wouldn't be as adorable to anyone but his mother, but I just love his little personality. He is a total goofball and he knows it.

And yet at the same time, he is such a sweet little boy. He always says, "Here, Mommy!" when handing me something, or "Thank you, Mommy!" when I give him something. (Side note: Normally, Owen often will call Miles, "Mommy" or "Mama-Dada." However, since he's been gone, I constantly hear "Help you, Dada!") Sometimes, he even runs up to me to give me hugs out of nowhere and says, "Hold you, Mommy!" Although I do think this is sometimes out of manipulation since he'll start making this funny noise he does and pointing for me to carry him to the "treat cupboard." Little stinker! But I sure love his hugs and snuggles.

We also got some extra hugs and snuggles in with my bed rest. This was the view for much of the time when he was being entertained by TV since I couldn't get up to play with him.

Lately, he's also been frustrating, but it's just a phase as he is learning about independence. He is so contradictory - one second it's, "I try!" and if he struggles too long, it turns to, "Help you!" Usually if I am patient with him and let him climb into the car and car seat by himself, let him climb into his high chair, let him put his own clothes on, etc... he is a much happier little boy than if I rush him and just do it myself. Sometimes the extra few seconds it takes to wait are worth the avoided tantrum. (Unless we really are in a hurry and there's no other choice.)

This was an "I try" of getting dressed. He was actually very successful. I was quite proud of him.

And here's an "I try" to get the fruit leather out...quickly followed by him grabbing my arm and licking it.

And then there's the moments of "I try do it!" that are wonderful. Like when I asked if he wanted to say his prayer and he didn't respond so I started. Then he said, "I try do it!" So he said something like this... (anywhere there are ... it means mumbles I didn't quite understand). "Heavenly Father, thankful this, and chair...itsy spider (we'd just sung about the itsy bitsy spider), and fan...Amen!" It was so dang cute. I loved hearing what his little mind thinks of and I love that he included Daddy in his prayer while he's away from us.

I am just really loving this age. It definitely has it's ups and downs, but it is seriously so much fun. He is so creative and I love seeing his mind expand all the time. One simple example of this was when he took some golf balls and put them in medicine cups and said, "Ice cream!" and started licking the golf ball. SO CUTE. I love how children's minds work.

I love being a mom. I love experiencing each stage with Owen, and I am looking forward to starting again with a little girl. I know they will each have their own personalities and special attributes. I love that Owen is SUCH a boy. I did not teach him to love tractors and planes and riding lawn mowers. I didn't teach him that it's fun to climb and jump and body slam people. I didn't teach him to love bugs and dirt. He is 100% boy and I love it.

And since I'm doing this post, I may as well include a few more things from the past couple of months. Here he is climbing into his bed. Lucky for me, he doesn't attempt to climb out!

Bath time is always enjoyable...

He has also started showing interest in trying out his potty since his Grammy and Grandpa V. brought it from CA. So far he hasn't actually gone in the potty, but just likes to sit on it.

He loves going with me to Costco and trying out the samples. I often can get him to eat more there than I can at home. I guess those small samples are just the right size.

And the boxes we end up with from there are always great for playing:

He loves to watch the garbage truck come and will run to the window when he hears it. When it leaves, he jumps up and down, waves and says, "Bye bye garbage truck! See you next morning!"

He's still very much into stacking and lining things up:

He loves to "help" Mommy cook too:

He has started doing these "scary hands/claws" when he roars. I think it's adorable!

He also cracks me up when we go for a long car ride and I bring his blanket with us (in hopes that he might sleep for part of it). He has started putting it over his head. Sometimes he'll leave it there for quite a while. I do think he's usually pretty tired when he does this, but it always makes me laugh.

And here are some excessive sleeping pictures that I love to take.

I sure do love this sweet boy. I feel so lucky and blessed to have him!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

30th Birthday

Miles's 30th birthday fell on Father's Day this year. I'm not sure he was too happy about combining two celebrations into one, but he was a good sport. Sadly, since I had been on bed rest and wasn't sure when I would be off, and last week my family was in town, all my ambitious ideas for a grand celebration were stifled and crushed to smithereens. I tried to quickly put together the best party I could, and I hope it was ok for Miles. I think it was, because let's be honest...he's not much of a partier.

We started the day off with buttermilk pancakes, strawberries and homemade whipped cream and syrup. I would have made SPAM as well, but sadly...we were out. It was a yummy breakfast and Owen especially enjoyed it as he got his first experience learning to lick the beaters. :)

I contacted Miles's siblings who were in the area (Megan and Mitchell) as well as his good friend from high school (Jeremy) and his wife, Amanda, to all come over. Miles specifically requested chili dogs for his birthday dinner. Who am I to argue with that? I mean, it certainly made my life a lot easier. So we had chili dogs, watermelon, chips, carrots and dip, and IBC root beer. Jeremy asked what he could bring and I told him to bring Miles's favorite drink (IBC root beer). Poor guy said they had to go to I think four different stores to find any in stock, and got the last two cases. Crazy! But it was much appreciated.

After dinner, we opened presents. Miles actually opened one in the morning. It was the matching SPAM shirts he and Owen are wearing. Cute, huh? And what's even more perfect is that Owen recently tried SPAM and seems to love it as much as his Dada.

Miles was a good Dad and let Owen help him out with opening all his presents. (Owen actually helped me wrap them earlier...and had attempted to open them before the party as well.)

Miles is really hard to buy for. He either wants something that is ridiculously expensive, or has already bought whatever was affordable for himself anyway. I tried not to get too many clothes, but I did get him a couple nice button-up shirts and a tie, the game Munchkin with an expansion deck, and a BodyMedia arm band (it's like a body bug that tracks your movement, eating, sleeping, etc. This was a gift he requested.)

Following presents, we had dessert - a dark chocolate chip bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache. It was pretty dang delicious if I do say so myself.

Miles was a stinker and acted like he was going to blow out the candles, but then pinched them out with his fingers.

Afterward, we just hung out for a bit and chatted with our guests. It was pretty low-key, but fun overall. And of course, Miles and Mitch had to make Megan squirm when they took a sibling picture.

And here was our attempt at a family photo.

I meant to be on top of getting this last present done for the morning of his birthday, but didn't get to it. I figured now is as good a time as any for Miles to get his last present from me since he's been a working fiend and could use the extra love.

30 reasons why I love Miles:

1) You love me, even when I'm at my worst.
2) You're a great, fun, dad and Owen adores you.
3) You work SO hard to be a good provider.
4) You are a worthy priesthood holder.
5) You are very patient.
6) You grow an awesome beard.
7) You are so smart and know all kinds of random facts and trivia, among all the important things to know as well.
8) You make me laugh.
9) You're just the right amount of "bad" for me. ;)
10) You're a good cook.
11) Your love of brownie centers compliments my love of the edge.
12) You give me the best back scratches...almost every night.
13) You practice good hygiene (even if you look like a mountain man).
14) You have a great memory.
15) You are handsome.
16) You are a tease and sarcastic, and don't take offense to my sarcasm.
17) You have a sweet tooth (and love for dark chocolate) that rivals my own.
18) You love to read and have shared that love and many good books with me.
19) You share your food with me, even when you don't want to.
20) You accept me despite our major differences in politics, guns, and regard of the outdoors.
21) You buy me flowers.
22) You let me hold the remote control and watch ridiculous shows with me.
23) You appreciate quality food and my cooking (which are not mutually exclusive), yet don't expect me to make dinner every night.
24) You never demean me or make me feel like I am less than you or anyone else.
25) You introduce me to new things I might not have appreciated otherwise (SPAM, video games, target shooting, etc).
26) You give the best hugs, kisses, and cuddles.
27) You always make me feel beautiful.
28) You encourage me in my endeavors to be better than I am.
29) You stand by my side, support, and defend me.
30) You make me incredibly happy.

Those are just 30 reasons why I love you. I'm sure I can come up with 100 reasons. I guess you'll just have to wait for your 100th birthday for that list. ;)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Strawberry Days

I had always heard a lot of good things about the Strawberry Days Festival in Pleasant Grove. I found out when it was this year and made sure Miles knew that in no uncertain terms, we would be attending. We finally decided to go on Saturday morning. Little did we know when we arrived that there was a parade going on. It had only started about 20 min before we got there. So we parked ourselves on the sidewalk (in the sun) to watch. I'm glad we had the stroller for Owen so he didn't get burned like Miles and I did.

Miles was a trooper since I know he's not a fan of parades. I even got a smile out of him. :)

One thing I thought was kind of funny was after we'd been there for about 30 min, this woman showed up with her friends and stood near us. She asked how long the parade had been going on and what she had missed. I guess I'm not a parade aficionado because I was at a loss for what to say. missed some horses? And pageant winners? Maybe a float or two? And some cars and trucks?

Miles asked me to take a picture of this truck with baby contest winners. It's hard to see, but the little girl in the back in the red has a bow that's bigger than her head and she can't even hold her head up. Miles thought it was ridiculous (and it kind of was) and told me our daughter will not be wearing such monstrosities. :)

There were a lot of different horses. They were Owen's favorite part...well, besides all the candy that was being thrown out. And by the way, I would not want to have the job the young boys had to follow the horses with wheelbarrows scooping up poop. Yeah. Awesome.

We watched for over an hour and then there was a lull. We thought it was over, so we wandered into the carnival area. I guess it wasn't over, because rides didn't open up for a little while and a lot more parade participants went through. Ah well...we were done standing in the sun.

Our first stop was the main reason we came:

And they were quite delicious!

After that we bought some tickets to take Owen on some rides. Unfortunately, I bought too many. We first took him on the carousel, which (after a few, "Down, down, down!"'s) he was content and seemed to enjoy it. So we headed over to the cool Jeep ride.

Owen looked so cute sitting in the small Jeep, "driving" it around. He seemed totally fine, but as soon as he came down from the first round and saw us, he started to cry. They pulled his car over to let him out and let the girl in the back of the car go into a different one so she could finish her ride. I was bummed he didn't enjoy it as much as I thought he would have. 

Of course, not too much later, he was asking to go on this dragon ride. Yeah right. Pretty sure there would have been a lot of crying involved in that too.

So we decided to stick with the carousel where either Miles or I could be with him the whole time. After about 4 rounds of that, he seemed to be done. So we gave the rest of our tickets to the mom of the little girl who was in the Jeep when he started to cry.
Overall it was a fun outing and I'm glad we went. I know for next time to go small and buy less tickets than I think I'll need. Then if Owen doesn't have any fears, I can buy more. It really is fun to do these kinds of activities with kids though. It changes the way you look at everything. Strawberry Days = a win!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I am a bit behind on posting about this...oops!

When I left for Minnesota in April, I told Miles that I would love it if he would try to get some things done around the house that I've been dying for him to do (ie; paint our doors, start remodeling the bathrooms, etc.) I was going to be gone for 11 days, so I figured it would be a good time for him to get work done while Owen and I were out of the house. Miles kept hemming and hawing and finally said, "Just don't expect much - that way you won't be disappointed." In the back of my mind I was hopeful, but trying not to give it too much room to grow so I wouldn't feel that disappointment.

We talked while I was gone and I asked if he had started on the bathrooms. He said he hadn't. I decided I should just accept the fact that nothing was going to get done. After some prodding though, he said he would at least go to Home Depot and Lowe's to price out tile, and also call around for bids to see if he could get anything reasonable.

After that conversation, I got an email from our downstairs neighbor on an unrelated topic. At the end she said, "I saw them cutting the tile. It's going to look so great when it's done!" Obviously this made me very suspicious. However, I still didn't want to put a ton of stock into it and thought I should talk to Miles. When we talked that night, he was acting as though nothing had changed. He mentioned he got some bids which were considerably better than the ones we had gotten last year. While I thought he might be trying to trick me, I was having a hard time knowing since he was very convincing in what he was saying. So I figured, maybe all he's done is buy some tile and is cutting it. I basically decided to not worry about it and see when I got home.

Miles picked Owen and I up at the airport and said, "Sorry, I didn't get as much done as I was hoping. So don't expect the house to be completely clean." When we drove up, there was a guy standing outside cutting tile. When we got out of the car, the guy addressed Miles and said, "Oh you're back already." I looked at Miles and gave him a sly smile. He said, "What?" Oh please. Cat's out of the bag. So we walked upstairs. He said he was bummed because they were supposed to be done two days prior and he originally just wanted me to walk into the house, go to the bathroom and be totally surprised. But it's was still a great surprise!

The downsides were these:
1) They weren't done. Apparently one of the guys just didn't show up to the job for two days, totally throwing off their schedule. And that same guy was not the best worker, so he slowed things down.

2) I got home on a Friday. They said they would be able to finish with a half-day of work on Saturday. Nope. Took them all of Saturday and most of the day on Monday.

3) Our house was a total disaster. Well...Miles attempted to do some cleaning with his brother, Mitch (thankfully), but because of the demo they had done, dust was EVERYWHERE. Seriously...I don't know how on earth it traveled throughout our entire house, but it was insane how much dust was caked on every surface. I think I'm still finding places that have leftover dust. Not to mention, while the guys were working, they were tracking in all kind of junk (dirt, awful sticky things the trees outside dropped, etc.) throughout the house.

4) Because of said dust, it meant MULTIPLE loads of laundry. As in...I did 24 loads of laundry over the course of two weeks. Thank goodness we don't pay for water here! And I think I had to clean our floors about 5 times before they actually felt "clean."

5) And due to the above mentioned items, I was kind of grumpy. I was super happy and appreciative that we got "new" bathrooms, but probably wasn't showing as much excitement about it for Miles as I should have.

Alright...enough of the bad. On to the GOOD!

Miles said he was super nervous about picking out tile and making decisions without me. When we had discussed him looking for tile, I told him anything neutral would be fine and to make it presentable for resale. I think he did a GREAT job.

Also, I really wish we had "before" pictures. Sadly we don't. But imagine plain, small squares of white tile that were old and could not be cleaned properly due to years of misuse (prior to us arriving). Also, in the guest bathroom, there was green carpet up to the toilet, and linoleum in front of the tub. Sick.

Here are the finished bathrooms (guest bathroom first, then master bathroom):

I think he did a great job picking everything out. I like the neutral colors and I like the added detailing as well. I also like that he just did tile for baseboards so we didn't have to deal with getting more baseboards, painting and installing them. And let me just say, it is so nice to shower in brand new tiled showers. It feels so clean and wonderful. Oh, and in case you were wondering, we've always had two shower heads in the master shower. It came that way when we bought the place.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day

Father's Day happened to also be Miles's birthday. (More on that later.) So we just had one big party all day. However, for his Father's Day gift, Owen gave him a really cute card with a dump truck on the front that says: "Here's the scoop Daddy, you're the best!" Inside it has a tractor with a dangling crane. Owen colored (scribbled) inside and I signed it for him. He (Owen that is) was pretty obsessed with the card. I think it was a good choice. And from me, I gave him a jar filled with plain Dove dark chocolate and dark chocolate and sea salt. (Yum!) On top were little "tokens" I made and laminated (gotta think ahead to reuse them for future years!) good for different things. Mostly they were for extra days to sleep in and extra video game time, with one for a play date with Owen, and another for hugs and slobbery kisses from Owen. I think he liked it. He took the jar to work, which was probably wise. Otherwise, Owen and I would have likely devoured all his chocolates.

And as I've decided to start this new tradition, we took some pictures of Owen with his Daddy on Father's Day.

And, since Owen was looking so dapper in his new suit, I thought I'd get some shots of him.

Owen sure is lucky to have such a wonderful Daddy!