Cousin-ly Love

Sam and I were laughing so hard while watching this video that we were crying. Keaton's face at the end kills me.

Today marks the last day of posting every day for a month. I have been behind on blogging since we moved to Texas. It feels great to be all caught up. Hallelujah!


Ice Blocking

For FHE last week, we went ice blocking. We went in the retention basin behind our house. The hill is not very steep at all and the grass kept stopping us. Sam was the only one who got a good ride down the hill. But it was still fun. Alex enjoyed running around and I think I saw Edison looking at us like he thought we were crazy. That's what makes a good Family Home Evening, right?






A Part of Something

Every time I see any type of performance, I always leave with a feeling like my heart is full. I remember how those people feel. I remember what it is like to be a part of something spectacular. No one would sound very good all alone. The performance was made because each instrument/voice/actor worked together. It usually takes a lot of time and talent to put on a great performance.

I remember sitting in symphonies and listening to our performances. The sound gave me the chills. I knew I was not very good at the violin, but the combination of all of the instruments being played by talented people brought an amazing result. I was proud to be a part of that.
I went to a BYU music camp after my 9th grade year. It still get the chills when I listen to the recording of our concert. Those same feelings come back of great accomplishment. I was part of something that had an amazing result.

It has been a while since I have performed in anything. But I realized I still get that feeling of being a part of something special; something bigger than me alone. Every time I go to church, read my scriptures, pray, talk to someone about the church, or go to the temple, I am overwhelmed by the feeling of being a part of something special. The church has millions of members. I am such a miniscule part of it. But I don't feel insignificant. I am contributing to this beautiful thing. It gives me the chills to be a part of it. A part of something spectacular. The Gospel is perfect. An amazing gift to everyone that has changed my life and makes me try to be better every day. I may be small, but I am a part of something with the church, a part of something really special.


Edison's Edition (8 Months)

Weight: 19 pounds, 8 ounces
Length: 29 inches

I cannot get enough of this kid. I am obsessed with him. He stopped sleeping through the night for a few weeks, and as frustrating as it was, I had missed seeing him. After I nurse him, I always take a few minutes to cuddle him. He is only cuddly when he is about to fall asleep. When we go into his room, he is always sitting up in his crib waiting for us. He would also sit up when he was supposed to be going to sleep. So we started swaddling him again. He hadn't been swaddled since he was only a few weeks old. We had to take the bassinet attachment out of his Pack N Play because I thought he was going to topple out.

 Shredding any paper he can find.

Crawling for the camera.

Hanging out in big brother's bed.

Out for a night of rollerblading. He loves being outside.

He gets himself into interesting places.

Hanging out and watching football with Daddy.

He likes emptying all of the baskets.

Fascinated by something (anything) at church.

Confining him on the porch: an empty pool.

So high up on the couch!

Door stoppers are very entertaining toys.

Stuck under the table.

Shade on a sunny day.

Handsome boy waiting for lunch after church.

Reading while on the toilet.

He does not like wearing shoes.

He loves this punch balloon. He loves all balls but this punch balloon has a strap and so it is easier to hold on to.

"Must have toy in mouth!"

Rawr! A bear!

The flash is too bright!

We gave him a bottle (of breastmilk) and he hated it. He just chewed instead of sucking. I ended up having to nurse him and the milk went down the drain.

Here are a few more things Edison does for which I do not have a matching picture:
...used to cry when I left the room but has recently turned into a very happy child.
...babbles and squeals non stop. It is an easy way to make sure he hasn't choked to death. If he is being good, he is babbling.
...doesn't care who holds him. He loves all attention.
...is happy as long as something is in his mouth.
...is very flexible on when he eats.
...doesn't want the pacifier right after he eats.
...can put in his own pacifier, if he can find it.
...spits up just so he'll have something to play with. He will spit up and then look at it on the ground like, "How did that get there?" Then immediately digs in.
...loves keys.
...pulled himself into standing position (11/14).
...pulls himself up on anything he can, including our legs, and loves climbing over Alex (they both do it to each other and they both love it).
...has four teeth now! They are coming in as pairs (second pair came in 11/10).
...started crawling (10/28).


His Very Own Coupe

Outside our Ithaca apartment, there were a ton of toys that no current residents owned. They had become community property. Alex would run out our door and sit in a Cozy Coupe and we couldn't get him to move. Sometimes it was hard to get him to the real car because he would be sitting in the little car. The Cozy Coupes would get dragged around the complex and I would track them down and bring them right back outside our door. I loved seeing Alex in them. The sad thing was that older kids would stand on top of them so all of the axles were broken and the wheels were cracked.

We were driving home from one of Sam's softball games a few weeks ago and noticed that someone had an exceptionally large pile of garbage on the curb. We saw that they had a Cozy Coupe sitting out there, too! Sam threw the car in reverse and we loaded it up. They also had a stack of chairs that will be perfect for our deck, and a small dump truck which Alex loves. Besides being a little faded with stickers peeling, this coupe is in perfect condition!

Alex loves it. He brings it inside and loads it up with his toys in the back compartment. I love watching him hop in and close the door. Or jump out and close the door. He is so careful to not drive over Edison. If he wants to take his cup in the car, Sam tells him, "No drinking and driving!" It is his very own coupe. I love seeing him so happy.



 A few months ago, I started seeing pictures of people doing something really strange. They called it planking. It was bizarre in and of itself, but I was mostly interested in how fast it had spread and how well-known it was. It seemed that it was extremely popular before I had even heard of it. I am used to feeling out of the loop in family-related things because we live so far away, but this was a widespread phenomenon and I had completely missed the boat. I started asking people if they had heard of it, how long ago they heard of it, and what they thought about it.


One night during a combined activity for mutual, the youth started playing some strange game where they held hands and tried poking each other. I asked them what it was called and they said it was called the Finger Game. I called two of my younger brothers that night and they both said they knew what it was, but called the game by different names. David (16-years-old) played it, and Jared (18-years-old, no longer in high school) was familiar with it but didn't play. They actually started recommending different games to me, including the Ninja Game.


Then I learned that planking was kind of "out of style." In the time since I had learned about planking, it had already been replaced by Owling, Leisure Diving, and Stocking. But those were already old news, too. If you weren't Horsemaning, you weren't cool. Horsemaning was short-lived. Batmanning replaced it, and that's when I decided I am way too lazy to be cool.

Edison and Sam horsemaning.

This stuff is fascinating to me. Is it actually fun to these people or do they just play it because everyone else is playing it? After spending hours (no joke) thinking about these games, I've realized that I am just old. I don't get it. And now begins the Great Divide between me and the "cool" kids. Pray for my children.

Thankfully, Edison doesn't really seem to be into planking either.



Giving Thanks

Our lives are so full of blessings. Narrowing it down to just three things is so hard. I feel like my prayers last a really long time because I have a million things for which I am grateful. We each narrowed it down to three things.

Sam is thankful for:
1. A job that pays the bills.
2. A wife who is willing to stay home and rear the kids.
3. A car that can get me to work every day.

Emily is thankful for:
1. A healthy body. Bodies are amazing and I love that my body can adapt to the strain I place upon it.
2. Sunshine. I love being able to take the boys outside every day.
3. Family. It is hard to live so far away from family but I am grateful we are able to see family members and talk anytime we want.

Alex is thankful for:
1. Water and dirt. As long as the water is for playing in and not drinking, and the dirt is for eating and playing in.
2. Candy. And a Dad who is willing to bribe with suckers.
3. Things that move. Cars, trucks, airplanes, all animals, etc.

Edison is thankful for:
1. A mouth. Where would all of the wonderful things in the world (such as pens) go if mouths didn't exist?
2. Carpet. Much comfier to crawl on carpet than the tile.
3. Crinkly things. They are a fantastic toy and taste delicious.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Fall Softball

Some guys in our ward organized a softball team through the city. Sam subbed on it a few times last season but this season he signed up. He played second base and was really good at it! Some of the games don't start until 9:30pm on week nights, so we just went to a few games that started earlier.


It has been good for him to get to know some guys in the ward better. Their team is terrible, but they all have fun together.



Library Party

While at Toddler Time one week, we heard them announce that the library's anniversary party was coming up. I was very excited and took the boys there that weekend. Sam met us later when he got home from softball practice. It was a bigger deal than I was expecting but it was not very well attended. There was a juggler, a bounce house, free lunch, and a puppet show.

Alex was very confused at first. I don't think he knew what was going on. I am not sure why he  looks like he just woke up, because it was noon. Edison found himself in the garbage can reflection and was happy.


Alex was not as interested in the lunch as he was by the dessert. He was very intrigued by the juggling, unicycle riding, and magic tricks. This guy was good with the kids.


Edison was willing to go to great lengths to get to our food. I gave him small amounts, but he was acting like we starve him!


I went into the bounce house with Alex. They kicked all of the big kids out and let him go in alone. He was not loving it at all. We were in there for less than a minute.




Since this is a common question we are asked, I figured I would just blog about it. Sam is doing really well at SLB and loves his job! He works in the corporate headquarters for the United States and Canada. He works with high level headcount, attrition, and recruiting issues. He is a Personnel Representative. He supports almost 9,000 employees. He has a boss who places a lot of demand on him, which is good because he can show her his skills. Whenever he tells someone in the company what he does, they are always so impressed/jealous that he has so many responsibilities.

He rarely has to work at home. He has stayed late a few nights, but not many. I have only heard him on the phone with his boss once. This is such a difference from security system installation and graduate school that I can hardly believe he is all mine (I do share him with two little people though) when he gets home.

Sam worked for a few security companies during grad school. At one point, he was working for three at the same time. One never paid us though which is totally lame. When he got a job career, I was so excited that he would no longer have ridiculous hours. I thought we were done with security systems. But somehow Sam keeps getting tricked back into doing more work. Icon Security needed a service technician to go on a couple of trips to send signals. That's easy money, so Sam said he would go. He went to West Texas, and then a few weeks later, he went to the Midwest.


While he was gone, we just went about our normal business at home. We definitely missed him though.


On my birthday, Sam left to Midland, Texas, for a site visit with SLB. He has to do a certain number of site visits during the first few years. They want him to learn about different positions so he can get a sense of the company as a whole. A lot of people in the office came from an oilfield service workers. Because he didn't, it is really important for him to get a sense of what happens on rigs. It helps him understand the business so he can better support the people in the field.



I love seeing what Sam thinks it picture-worthy. I need to give him the camera more often. He makes me laugh.


Alex the Toddler

Alex is growing so fast. He skipped over size 4 shoes entirely. Everything he does is adorable. It is hard for me to discipline him because I am too busy trying to hide my laughing. He is such a joy in my life. I love when I pick him up for bed/nap time and he rests his head on my shoulder. I love his kisses. I love hearing him say prayers. He is always reminding us to pray. Sometimes we pray twice for breakfast and twice for lunch. Is it possible to tell a child that we can't pray again?

Alex and Edison make each other crack up. I love watching them play together. Edison is really good about letting Alex climb all over him, which is good because it is one of Alex's favorite things to do.

If Edison is sad, Alex will say, "Nuh-Nuh [Nugget - Edison's nickname] happy!"
His favorite letter is W. Or as he says, "Dubba-dee." His favorite color is yellow.
When Alex is in trouble and I count to five, he starts counting with me.

Anything small is "Baby [name of thing]." Then the big one is "Momma [name of thing]."

If Edison does something Alex doesn't  think he should be doing then Alex will say to Edison, "No more monkeys!" This is how we tell Alex to stop jumping on the bed, so Alex has redirected  it to telling Edison to stop doing something.

He has a sweet tooth and is always asking for cookies. We almost never have cookies.

Alex threw a poopy diaper in the Diaper Champ and then closed the lid while saying, "Oh sick."

If a TV show goes to commercials, he says, "Uh oh. 'Mote (remote)." He has been spoiled by DVR.

Sam and I had a good laugh about these pictures. I am not sure why he makes this face. Crazy kid.


Alex really likes bundling up with blankets. Every time we get in the car, he asks for a blanket. I will give him my nursing cover and he drapes it over his legs so content. Sometimes he wants to play in his bed in the middle of the day. He still takes a nap every day (at least two hours long). He actually gets excited about nap time. If I tell him it is almost nap time, he will gather up toys and go into his room and wait for me to lift him into bed. He still has not attempted to climb out of his crib, although he tries climbing into it.


This kid loves playing outside. If the weather is really nice, we let him eat outside, too. He loves it. If I come inside before he is ready, he will stand outside the door pointing to the ground and saying, "Outside!"


Alex is always reading letters to us. When he sees a stop sign during our walks, he stops, points to the sign, and says, "S. T. O. P." Then continues on his walk like his mission there is complete and onto the next thing.
He still loves fire hydrants. He kisses them every time we pass one on our walks. Sometimes we will go on a walk right before Sam gets home from work. We will meet him by our mailbox, and then Alex will climb in the front seat and drive home with Daddy while Edison and I walk home. Alex is delighted by being in the front seat.



Alex loves his cars, trucks, trains, and animals. We have a lot of those toys though so it works. He wants to watch Cars all day, every day. He pushes me out of the room so he can play with his cars in peace.


I have done a few crafts with Alex by tracing his hands recently. One day, I noticed he had pen all over his fingers and then I saw him doing this. He is such a smart kid. Right handed?


We went out to dinner a few weeks ago. Alex had his own little seat while we were waiting for a table. He loved being in there. Everyone who walked by was commenting on it. I admit it was really cute.


Alex is my sidekick. I can't make a decision without him. I have realized that everything is easier if we are on the same side. Every time we are going to do something, I ask him if he wants to go. He helps motivate me to go to the gym. I ask, "Alex, do you want to go to the gym?" He says, "Yim! Horsey!" (They have a plastic horse that he runs in and plays with immediately.) If he sees someone is sad he will say, "[Their name] sad."


Alex is very opinionated these days. It is really difficult to get him to sit in his high chair. He wants to sit at the table with us. Most of the time, he is pretty good so we let him.


He has started calling me "Mom." I miss Mommy, but he still says Mommy if he is sad and needs comfort. He is turning into a kid. A real, live kid, who calls his mother Mom.


Alex's speech makes me laugh. He is putting so many words together but some words don't sound at all like what he is trying to say. For example, "police car" sounds like, "Do daw daw." Every time. I just know that if he says that, then he saw a police car. "Potty" sounds exactly like "Party."


If something leaves, he thinks it is taking a nap. If I bus drives by and goes out of sight, he says, "Bus nap, too." If we ask him where something is, he will say, "Umm, the room."


This is a small example of Alex's talking:

Alex wanted to play with Edison's toy:

Alex telling us he's poopy. And walking funny.

Last, but not least, some brotherly love:

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