Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bits of December

:: I turned 28 the day after we got back from an epic trip to Seattle. It was filled with laundry and unpacking, but Robb found time to make a birthday cheesecake before leaving for work and then surprised me by taking half the day off. 
:: This lovely lady turned two the next week. I can't imagine our family without this sassy, affectionate, little girl. This is what happened when we told her to blow out the candles:
 She needed a little help in the end
 :: I taught Colby's preschool group the next week. We had a "frozen" and "Frosty the Snowman" theme and after a short discussion (6 four year old boys...enough said) on what happens to water when it gets cold they took turns freeing toys from an ice block using warm water and salt.
Colby helping me make banana snowmen for snack
:: Everyone in our ward was talking about a house with the BEST lights in Sahuarita (which is saying something because this area believes in going all out for holidays). So I got the address and we bundled the kids up in the car. The surrounding area was pretty dark, but we turned the corner and there it was.
My favorite part of the light display:
Christmas with a little South-Western flair :)
:: All of the Hays' clan gathered in Montana  this year for Christmas. We were the last to arrive and they waited for us to get a tree
Unfortunately our kids were still recovering from a day of travel and missed naps. There were a few meltdowns.
We watched the new Star Wars movie that afternoon. Robb has seen every news article/blog post/movie trailer for The Force Awakens since it was announced and two grumpy kids weren't going to get in the way of this long awaited viewing. We bought a large container of popcorn and hoped the constant supply of munchies would keep the kids calm. It worked on Colby, He polished off 90% of the bag by himself. Alice wanted to chat, move, sing, pat my face, basically anything but sit quietly and watch the movie. Hays and Hays give the movie two thumbs up and Robb thinks we need to watch it at least one more time in theaters...sans kids. 
The snow was perfect. Dad hauled out a couple inner tubes and we trudged through the field to the empty pond and went sledding. Alice went down a couple of times with me and a few times with Robb before she was done, but Colby could've stayed there all day. He went down by himself, accepted the face-fulls of snow that came with crashes, and had an amazing time.
I love the expression of joy on our sweet boy's face
Dry snow is great for sledding, but not really for building snowmen. We tried for five minutes to make a decent snowball and then settled on stacking one chunk of ice on top of another. Robb tried to jam in a carrot, but it shattered on impact. Eventually we wedged a bit of it in and found a couple rocks for eyes.  
Christmas Eve in our matching pajamas
Some of the chaos of Christmas morning. Santa had quite a job laying out presents for 20 people.
Christmas morning cinnamon rolls
:: Our flight was delayed and after waiting for the plane, waiting for our luggage, waiting for the shuttle bus, and driving two hours back to Sahuarita, it was 1:00am on the morning of the 31st. So we welcomed the new year by going to bed early. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Bits of November

:: We asked Colby and Alice if they wanted a boy or a girl before my ultrasound. Colby said, "Boy. Please, please, please boy?" (he really wanted me to agree) and Alice wanted a girl. Robb and I were fine either way, although I was pretty sure this little one is a girl. And it turns out I'm 3/3 for calling the right gender. She's a squirmy baby (I felt her move for the first time at 8 weeks) and she did not appreciate the ultrasound tech pushing into her space. She kept kicking/punching back at the probe, which made the whole experience REALLY comfortable for me. Everything looks good and I love that I can see a strong resemblance to Colby and Alice in her profile. 
:: Colby turned 4 and I was in charge of teaching preschool that week, so we combined the two that Thursday. The theme: Star Wars (big surprise).
Colby testing out one of the pool noodle light sabers with Robb 
Pin the light saber on Yoda
Stormtrooper cupcakes
There were nine kids under the age of 4 and only one adult (lucky me) for two hours and it was insane. I will never try throwing a party solo again, There needs to be at least one person who can prep things/take pictures and another to run games/play with the kids/handle disputes. Colby had a blast though and watching him run around with his friends was worth all the craziness.
:: I find these two playing together all the time now and it melts my heart.
:: Thanksgiving: We flew into Seattle and recovered with my parents for a day before driving down to my Aunt Trina and Uncle Dane's place in Eugene. Almost all of the Charles Rigby family were there, favorite faces I hadn't seen in years. Alice met her great-grandparents for the first time.
She immediately bonded with Great-Grandma over a book
Dad took the kids out to see/chase the chickens
and caught one so they could take a closer look 
Megan and Dane after running their personal Thanksgiving Marathon
Alice and Isla realized Grandpa could reach the cookies pretty quick, They'd look at him with their big eyes and say, "Cookie, please?" and he'd hurry off to the kitchen :)
Hay rides on Dane's tractor (please note his fabulous ensemble)
Then we came back to Sammamish for a couple days. Mom had surgery the day we arrived on her left arm to remove some benign tumors (it looks like I'll need the same surgery someday on my right arm). She was still recovering after Thanksgiving, so we helped deck the house for Christmas.
Colby was a little more helpful than Alice

Thursday, November 19, 2015


I can’t believe you’re turning four tomorrow. You’re growing up so quickly. I went to wake you up from a nap the other day and realized the toddler bed mattress I thought was ridiculously big when I first placed you in it at four months, is getting a little small.

I’m so grateful for the sweet boy you are. This morning the alarm went off at 5:30 and Daddy woke to find you standing right next to the bed, just waiting for us to wake up. Then you crawled in between us and giggled as we tucked the blankets around you. We lay like that for a few perfect minutes before you decided it was breakfast time. You bring so much joy to my life.

I love your laugh and you love to be tickled, and chased, and eaten, so we’re a perfect match. Today after I caught and munched on you a bit, you started talking to me about the baby. You patted my stomach and tried to open it to see if the baby is ready yet (she’s not). You’re a wonderful, patient older brother to Alice. She likes to push your buttons and hang all over you, but it’s only because she adores you. Every time you go to preschool or to a friend’s house to play, she mopes around and keeps asking when we’ll get her Colby back. This baby girl is so lucky to have you.   She’s going to follow your example just like Alice does and I know you’ll help me watch over her.

We left a list of potential gifts for you on the computer desk and I caught you reading it (luckily you had no idea what it was about, but the words “Legos” and “Star Wars” sure got you excited). You love to learn and my goal this year is to nurture that love.

Thanks for being Daddy’s Star Wars pal, for being willing to turn on/off and fetch whatever I need, for our daily reminders to listen to General Conference and begin scripture study, for your random songs about umbrellas, cereal, preschool, etc. (complete with beat boxing), and your silly sense of humor. We love you, Colby. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bits of October

:: Robb firmly believes he should attend at least one BYU football game per year. In 2014 he went solo, but this year we decided to make it a family trip. 
We got in late after a day of driving and then joined my aunt, Paula and my cousins, Kathleen and Chloe, at the Cornbelly maze. The kids were kind of cranky and Chloe got stung by a wasp 15 minutes into everything, but it was fun to spend time with family.
That evening we walked with our kids to the LaVell Edwards Football stadium. I was nervous. Would our team pull out a victory and would our incredibly grumpy kids survive staying up so long past their bedtime? The answer was yes in both cases. BYU won 38 to 24 and the kids loved watching the game (Colby more so than Alice, but she enjoyed singing the fight song and people watching).
The next day we made a quick stop on campus
We needed to stock up on BYU gear
Then we drove to Kaysville for a little time with the Hays family. Alice met Great-Grandpa Hays for the first time and he was immediately smitten with her. She reminds him a lot of Great-Grandma Hays with her spunky personality and big brown eyes.
Sunday we observed Canadian Thanksgiving with the Nielson family (they waited a whole week to celebrate with us).
And Monday morning we were on our way home
:: Alice and I joined Colby's preschool at the pumpkin patch. I assumed there would be something to carry the pumpkins in, but there wasn't and juggling three pumpkins while occasionally rescuing two kids from vines is tricky. So we might opt out of pumpkin patches for awhile (especially since one leaked rotten pumpkin juice all over the counter two days later...squash really struggle around here). 
:: Halloween: I had this great vision of homemade, family-themed costumes, but after a road trip, throwing a massive baby shower for a friend, and teaching preschool for two weeks, I just didn't have the energy. So on a Saturday while I worked, Robb took the kids to Party City, They joyfully picked out their own costumes and I re-learned the beauty of simplifying life,
 Colby didn't want to lose his awesome hat, so 90% of the time he kept a hand on it.
Alice adores that brother of hers
:: Random things that make me happy:
Us before Church
These two
Colby and Alice helping me test out a slime recipe for preschool (M is for Monsters)
Colby's drawing of Luke Skywalker (he's adding the light saber in the picture)
Alice's chocolate face
and her wonderful sense of style