Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Bunnies

Here are Rich and I, and the bunnies last Sunday, (since this Sunday is General Conference). Damon's outfit belonged to my brother... almost 40 years ago. The yellow blanket he's laying on was mine when I was a baby. How awesome is that?

Rich says he looked like a girl. I agree... which is probably why I secretly enjoyed it so much.
Isn't he pretty? ;)
His bloomers go up to his armpits. My mom said they used to do that so they wouldn't grow out of them as quickly. Makes sense... if your babies wear bloomers on a regular basis.

And if it isn't Trouble himself...
... disguised, of course, in his Sunday best.

Fooling you all with his charms. Oooohhh, what a stinker he's been!

Daddy and the boys on the swing. Dom loves the swing and always grabs onto the arm rest or the chain and says, "Hang on!" In his cute little sing-songy voice. I love this stinker.

Even if some days I swear he's going to be the death of his poor Mama.

Happy almost-Easter!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"A Mother's Book of Secrets"

So... I am going a little crazy because my lucky-duck friend has my camera with her in Europe. So no pictures of the cherubs for the last two weeks. I'm going to go on a picture BINGE when I get it back, I think. And be very jealous of it (and of Rachel) because they have seen much more of the world than I have.

Anyway... because I have no camera, I thought I'd share with you my new love. It is a book. My mom sent it to me in the mail after hearing about a particularly rough day I was having, here in the "trenches" with my two "babies".

It's called "A Mother's Book of Secrets". It's from Deseret Book. It's by Linda Eyre and Shawni Eyre Pothier. It's amazing... and just what I needed.

I have highlighted almost every page in the first 1/2 of the book. The 2nd half is wonderful too... but is written for a little bit older children than mine. Anyway... I just wanted to share some of my favorite parts because they were so good, they made me cry. They made me soooo grateful to be a mamma, temper-tantrums (on my part and on Dominic's) and all. So here's my first "Awwww..." moment, the author (Shawni) of this book is quoting Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anna Quindlen, who writes about motherhood:

"The biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make... I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of [my children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on the the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and rthe getting it done a little less."

Then the author of my book states...

"I remember the moment her words became some of my favorites. I was pregnant and had two young children only fourteen months apart. I was overwhelmed. I couldn't keep up. Without fail, our two babies seemed to need opposite things at exactly the same time. I found that as much as I was in love with these kids, I was chock full of the "I can't wait untils." I couldn't wait until Max could just feed himself or until Elle could sit up and entertain herself for a second. It seemed to me that it would be pure heaven when I could sleep through a night uninterrupted until 7:00 in the morning.

I had been skimming through my Newsweek, trying desperately to catch a glimpse into the real world - that world had become foreign to me in many ways ever since I took on the title of Mother. Amongst the articles about politics and world affaris was Ms. Quindlen's article.

As soon as I read the above excerpt, tears came pouring down my cheeks. Yes, I'm sure some pregnancy hormones were involved in my outburst, but most of it was the pure realization that I wasn't living in the moment enough. Sure, the trenches of motherhood I was slogging through at that particular time in my life were deep. I couldn't see out. There was no light whatsoever at the end of the tunnel (at least not on that day). But when I came to that paragraph I was struck with the thought that I needed to find the light in my trench of motherhood. I needed to soak up my babies. Because if Anna Quindlen was wishing she'd cherished the moment a little more, I was sure I'd be right there with her if I didn't get my act together and enjoy the now a little more. Her trenches were gone... nothing but a faded memory. Mine were still deep, and I was going to live it up in there."

Ok... there you have it. Wanna go buy the book now? Crying? Or was it just me? This little excerpt has totally changed my outlook on life and on my sweet babies in the last couple of weeks. Thanks, Mom.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Four Months Old. (Really!?)

This handsome devil has stolen my heart.

So in love am I...

...with this face.

And this one.

This one too.

This one three...

...yup, even these ones!

Handsome, handsome, handsome.

But growing waaaaay too fast. *sigh*

  • Is finally on a schedule.

  • Just barely rolled from his tummy to his back, then 3 days later... his back to his tummy!

  • Has discovered his feet.

  • Has begun to laugh and it makes my heart so happy.

  • "Talks" to us very animatedly.

  • Makes very expressive faces

  • Smiles with his eyes.

  • Has one small dimple on his left cheek when he grins. Just like Daddy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sometimes Life is Hard...

... just ask this kid.

It's not easy being two.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bubbles - n - Chalk, and "Mooooooon!"

It is comical to me that one of the things that terrified Dominic the most a short year ago, has become one of his most beloved pastimes.

"Buh-bows." "Oh wow!"
What better way to spend the evening than with a wonder-filled, and wonder-ful 2 year old who gets crazy-excited each and every time you blow into the wand. While Damon took a snooze inside, Dom and I spread out on the sidewalk and blew bubbles.
For a really. long. time.
As the evening stretched into night, we broke out the sidewalk chalk and waited for Daddy's car to turn down the long street. I love evenings like these. Enjoying the sunset, enjoying Dom, and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Nevermind dinner. ;)
This sweet boy is not my baby for much longer.

I love this boy.
And his messy hair too.

After the sun had gone, and we were packing up our bubbles and chalk, Dominic looked skyward and discovered the moon. So enamored, was he, that he audibly gasped, crooned, "Moooooon! Moooooon! Mooooon!?" grabbed my hand and pulled on it forcefully while saying "Down? Down? Down?!? Mooooooon! Oh wow!" Until we were both lying sprawled on the sidewalk, gazing at the heavens, taking in the moon and all it's glory.
We layed there for a good 10 minutes while Dominic continuously pointed out the moon, various stars, an airplane with lights flashing, and the moon again, and again, and again. All the while, gasping and "Oh wow!" -ing.
I love, love, love him.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What a Blessing!

Yes, our little Damon is truly a blessing to our family. And last Sunday, he was given his blessing in sacrament meeting at church. I don't know if he was tired, or terrified by all of the men gathering around him, or if he simply didn't like to be lying on his back, but as soon as Rich began speaking, Damon started shrieking. He cried throughout the entire blessing! Although it stressed me a bit, I couldn't help but smile to myself because Dominic did the exact same thing. Silly little angels. As soon as the blessing was given, we said "Amen" and Rich sat Damon upright and the crying came to an instantaneous stop. Everyone in the congregation laughed. At least he was entertaining. :)

I was very impressed with Rich's calm while giving the blessing. It was beautiful and I could strongly feel the Spirit, even though Damon's cries filled the chapel. Damon was blessed to be a peacemaker to all of those around him, and to be an example to his brothers and sisters. He was blessed with a bright mind and a healthy body. He was blessed to be a respecter of women, and to take a young lady to the temple some day to be sealed for time and all eternity. He was blessed to serve a mission for the Lord, and to honor the priesthood. Those are the main things that I remember.

I smiled to myself again as we drove home in the pouring rain. Of course it would be raining... everything important in our family happens when it's raining. How fitting. :) Rich needed to stay after church for a while to take care of some business, so Rich's brother, Jim, barbecued for all of us, Jen and Thayne and their family drove out from Surprise again to join us, and Rich got home just in time to eat! We had burgers, hotdogs, baked beans, salad, chips, and then peach cobler, brownies, and ice cream! It was a wonderful day. We are so blessed.

And here's our little angel-boy in his blessing outfit:

The little lamb is from "Mamie" (my mom). She gave Dominic something similar for his blessing, it was a little white bear. So sweet. :)


Daddy and Dame...

Me and Damon

And just for fun... a little walk down memory lane.

Here's our sweet Dominic on his blessing day! I'm really silly and sentimental... so I am wearing the same dress, and the boys wore the same blessing outfit.

We are so thankful for these sweet little boys. They bring us so much joy. They tire us out too, that's for sure. But we love, love, love them. And...

"It is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us."

I love that quote.

And I'll always remember that, and be grateful for the opportunity that I have been granted to raise these beautiful, wonderful little boys. My little angels, straight from Heaven. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A House-Full

You know the feeling you get when all your company leaves? And the house is waaaay too quiet? And there's no one to talk to until your hubby gets home? (Well... that's not entirely true... I have Dom... but sometimes he just screams.) That's how I feel right now. Last week we had a house full of family. I LOVE having guests. That's what makes living so far away from home bearable. (The sunshine helps too.)

Our cousins JonPaul and Cortney and their two sweet little girls came all the way from Sacramento to stay with us and catch up. We absolutely love these guys. They are our kindred spirits, I'm sure of it. Maybe one of these days they'll move on out here and we can be together all the time. That would be great! Here's hoping.

We seem to enjoy a lot of the same things, and live a very similar life... only we live it 15 hours away from each other! Wah. It was so great to see them and have them stay with us for a few, short days.

The time flew by, but Rich and JonPaul were able to steal a few minutes to solve the world's problems.

Rich's brother, Jim and his wife, Leslie and their cute kids drove all the way here from Utah at the same time! Yes, a house-full. There were 12 of us. (Technically, there were 13 if you want to count the baby {boy, I think!} in Cortney's tummy!) It was a blast!

Rich and Jim enjoyed the time they were able to catch up with each other. Awww... brothers.

Twins, no? Haha... Jim looks like the Italian side of the family... and Rich? He looks like his Dad. :)

I was so lucky to be able to get a little one-on-one time with Leslie. Whenever Rich and I go to Utah, she and I see each other, but amongst all the chaos that is our wonderful family... Leslie and I never have spent any time alone together. It's funny, but I feel like I know her much better now... and Rich and I have been married for 8 years!

Our days were spent on walks, at the park, eating out, riding bikes, playing with sidewalk chalk and playdough, hanging out on the deck, and down in the playroom. Our nights were spent staying up waaaaay too late and playing Scattergories until the wee hours of the morning and thinking up nifty inventions that would make life easier... or at least make it smell better! Haha! OK... I'm regressing. Our cousins Jen and Thayne and their kiddoes, who live in Surprise, were also able to come out a couple of times and hang out with all of us. It was so great of them to drive all that way, only a day apart from visits. Thanks guys! We also had a surprise birthday party for Leslie and we all had a wonderful time eating yummy cake and ice cream. Anyway, this group of family was soooo much fun and I'm so blessed to be a part of it. Come back ANYTIME you guys, seriously... I'm lonely out here! ;)

Here's some pictures of their stay...

This is Miss Skylar...
... and Little Miss Stella

... Ryker (Dom's BFF)

... and this is Sweet Jo!

... awwww.

P.S. THANK YOU, all of you, for cleaning my kitchen and thank you JP for cooking breakfast! And thank you kiddoes for the free "therapy" in the basement, as Jim would put it. ;) I needed some! Haha!