Saturday, September 20, 2008

Our Sweet Boys

This is Spencer suiting Mikey up for a ride on their "Rocket Ship".  Several months ago, when Mikey broke his leg, Spence was such a good big bro and created fun games for Mikey since wasn't as mobile.  Notice the Mickey Mouse booster chair, the rocking horse behind (where Spencer would take his seat after buckling Mikey in with his Sunday pants belt), Mikey's shield, and Mikey is wearing a clip-on tie. These are all essential elements to a successful flight on the Ship (and it was a success!).

Need I say more?!

We love our Spencer and Mikey!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Em! (Sept 6)

It was my birthday too this weekend, and I got the BEST present a child could ever give a mom (at least that's my perspective after struggling with Mikey for many months)...Mikey has been going Pee-Pee on the Potty!!!  Seriously, it's a dream come true for Jaron and me.  On labor day (Mon), I went to the store to buy diapers, and decided then and there that that would be the last pack of diapers I would ever buy for Mikey.  I mean, heck, the kid can ride a bike without training wheels--what's the big deal with a Potty??  I talked it over with Mikey, and we bought stickers, candy and prizes and got to work (he's all about the stickers and candy and prizes).  So he's had some accidents, but for the most part he's been going in the potty and loving all the praise and treats he's getting (and of course big brother gets some too for being a good cheerleader).  

And let me add here on a serious note that I really do believe in miracles, big or small, and this comes in direct answer to prayer.  Jaron and I had been praying two weeks ago for 2 specific things relative to our kids--for Mikey's success on the potty and for guidance with Spencer's fits and emotions.  Both have been MUCH better this past week, with Mikey actually agreeing to go on the potty and Spencer being MUCH more pleasant (and me being inspired to love and spend meaningful time with him).  I'm grateful for answered prayer (which, it's ALL answered, by the way).

Happy Birthday Jaron!!! (Sept 7)

I just want to declare to the world how wonderful, amazing, and awesome my sweetheart is!  Through our 7 1/2 short years of marriage we've had thin and thick times, experienced breathtaking sights and a handful of frustrations, and I am grateful for every moment of it.  Jaron is my best friend, he inspires me constantly with his example and empowers me through his love and confidence in me.  He is also the most amazing dad to our kids.  His patience exceeds mine, and his love for romping, teaching and playing with the kids leaves no doubt in their mind that their Dad adores them, even if he's not around as much as he'd like to be.  I love this man so much, and it seems so fitting to have his birthday right after mine--It's the best present I could ever ask for!! 

(Photo taken last spring in Costa Rica)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fun on Labor Day

We've had a fun Labor Day, enjoying some time with Jaron (who took a 2-hour nap after being on call all night and then spent the afternoon with us).  We took our bikes to a nearby trail and rode for a while.  The biggest news of the day is that Mikey learned to ride WITHOUT TRAINING WHEELS!  These kiddos really can do it, if given the encouragement and patient teaching (thanks to their Daddy).  Jaron's given Mikey a few lessons before today, but today he really got it, and toward the end of our ride together he had gained enough confidence that he told Jaron, "No Daddy, I can do it by myself now!"  (The pictures aren't the best, but let me assure you that Mikey looked like a stud pumping away on his Huffy special all by himself!)

Iowa is fun

We've had a lot of fun here in Iowa City.  I don't think I've mentioned some of the fun things we did this summer, so I will now (our camera was broken so I didn't get pics of all of them).  Every 4th Friday our mall (which is a 10 min walk from our house) has a "Family Night" when the Children's Museum, Carousel, and kids' meals at the food court are free, along with free popcorn and a clown that makes balloon animals.  They also have a couple hours of discounted skating at the ice skating rink, so we've now experienced this Family night twice.  Last month I took the boys ice skating, thinking it would be really fun (which it was, in a "wow, that was fun after-the-fact" kind of way).  For starters, I assumed they would provide double-bladed skates for the little guys, I mean, who would expect a 3-year-old to skate on one blade?  Wrong-O.  They only had single blade skates, but I decided to try it anyway.  Before I could finish putting on my skates my boys darted out into the rink and were prostrate on the ice and wailing.  But I picked them up, secured one of them to the wall, and tried helping the other skate.  We rotated like this off and on for a while, which was pretty exhausting for mommy, especially for a mommy with a protruding belly.  I have to say that it was fun to see them, over the couple hours we were there, gain more confidence and better balance.  Before the night was over Spencer learned to skate by himself, doing a kind of shuffle motion with his skates, his arms out like an airplane and his bottom thrust back for balance.  Mikey never left my side, but we took lots of breaks in the hockey "time-out" box (I needed my recovery time).  I'd try convincing him it was fun to watch the other skaters, but he much preferred skating with Momma.

Some of the other fun things we've done are going to a free concert in the park (which they have weekly in the summer), lots of bike rides and jogs on trails, lots of playing on playgrounds, getting sand to add to our backyard sandbox (aka "Treasure-Digging"), and camping at a state park.  The camp-out was last weekend with our ward.  It was really fun to get to know our ward family better and for our boys to have one last campout of the season.  Jaron brought the boys' bikes and his skateboard, and after the campout was over he and Spencer rode the scenic loop around the park, with Mikey and I driving the support vehicle.  The park was really hilly, but the picture below doesn't do justice to the steepness of hills Jaron and Spence flew down (with Jaron's little skateboard wobbling like crazy!).  At the bottom of the hills I'd open the trunk of the wagon and they'd get a ride to the top of the next hill.  Almost as nice as skiing!

"Come Here Witto Buckin' Bull!"

That's what Mikey was saying over and over as he reached for and fed the Jersey calf at the petting farm.  His Joyschool class (a co-op preschool I'm teaching with 5 other moms) went there for a field trip and getting-to-know-you activity.  The kids had a blast, though I could tell they were overwhelming the owner as she showed them around the farm.  Could her anxiety have anything to do with my sweet Mikey chasing her little lambs all around? ("Oh, no little boy, please don't scare them like that!")  He was just being friendly, I mean, who doesn't like a game of tag?  So although we didn't spend too long at the Petting Farm, we ended the outing nicely at the nearby dairy with some free ice cream cones (part of the field trip package).