Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter: a little Fun, a lot of Thankfulness

"Easter Bunny. Easter Eggs?" These were the first words out of the mouth of a still sleeping Dominic as I lifted him out of bed last Sunday morning to get him ready for church. His eyes were still closed as I dressed him while he layed like a blob on top of the bed. He kept repeating it, like a mantra. Too funny!

Our Easter turned out to be a 3-day celebration this year! On Friday, we ate bird eggs that we placed in our home-made "nests". Our friend, Amber, and her kiddoes had a slumber party with us Thursday because both of our hubbies were in New York for business... so she brought over everything for this fun little craft/treat. Just LaChoy noodles, butter, marshmellows, candy eggs... and so much fun!



Saturday when the boys woke up, they found a jellybean trail from their rooms to the living room, where Bunny had left them their baskets.




Damon is a jellybean-a-holic, we found. He doesn't even chew them. He probably had his entire trail in his mouth but hadn't chewed or swallowed a single jellybean... for fear that someone else would snatch them up!? I don't know, but we thought the kid was going to choke for sure.


The sugar-fest... and testing out the new train and cars...


After their clothes were on and we were getting ready for "The Hunt", Damon found a stray bean and it took all of 2 seconds for the colored drool that dribbled from his mouth to ruin his new shirt. Sheesh!




They had so much fun looking for the eggs in the back yard.



Dominic doesn't try to open each one before putting them in the basket this year... he gets it, and he had a basket-full in a matter of minutes. Damon actually gets it too, but Daddy has to help him or he'll get distracted and try to open each egg as he finds it... meanwhile Dominic makes out like a bandit!



Damon's method of opening the eggs? Throw them on the ground as hard as you can so it bursts open. Smarty pants.

Here's a bunch of Hunt pictures...










Two lukcy ducks with baskets full of loot...


We headed over to Marley Farms this year for some Easter fun. It was really crowded, but after their ridiculously crazed Easter Egg Hunt (which, thankfully we were too sane to even think about participating in) most of the throng left and we were able to enjoy the cute little farm. I am so, so sad... I forgot my camera!! But it's probably best, because instead of worrying about the pictures, I focused on having a great time... and we did!


We did manage ONE picture... on Rich's camera phone. Because it was a REALLY big deal. To me, at least. Dominic rode a big horse. All by himself... with someone leading it. He held on to the saddle horn and sat up tall in the saddle. As they led him away I was sure he was going to panic and I'd have to run out there and get him down... but no! He sat there with a huge grin on his face as the horse walked around the path and out of our site. He LOVED it! I knew my Daddy was watching and beaming with pride. My little Dom, who is a bit of a ninny... loves horses. Wow!


Here's the little cowpoke on the trusty steed...




While we were at the Farm, the boys each got a bag of feed. The giggled as the goats nibbled it out of their hands, tickling their palms in the act. Damon was nervous at first, but after one or two times, he couldn't get enough of it. He kept saying, "Ag-nnnnn! Ag-nnnnn!" (Again!) So much fun. I wish I had pictures. :( After feeding the goats, we walked into a dirt corral filled with goats, sheep, and llamas. The boys ran around, just giddy, petting each one and getting sooo dirty I had to remind myself they were having the time of their lives.


We also got to go on a train ride. This was, of course, the highlight of our outing (except for Dom's horse ride - that was the highlight... for me, anyway). And also, Dominic was able to meet the Easter Bunny. He was so excited when he spotted him from afar! We ran through the crowd to take a peek. He was a large bunny... over 6 feet tall. And... he had a reeeally big pair of front teeth. Dom decided he was a questionable creature and freaked out after cautiously giving him a high five. I don't blame him... he looked questionable to me too.


All in all, we had an awesome time at "Old MacDonald's" Farm (as Dom named it). But on a more important note... let me tell you about the wonderful lesson I had in church the next morning, in Relief Society (a class the women go to, one of the 3 hours of church). But first, here's the little bunnies before church in their Easter outfits, complete with combovers...







The lesson was, of course, on Easter. The teacher talked about Easter being about the Atonement of Christ, and how the Atonement was made up of TWO main things...



1. Christ's suffering for our sins in Gethsemene and on The Cross.


2. The Resurrection



Whenever I think of the Atonement, I tend to focus a lot on #1. It's not a bad thing to focus on... it makes me terribly grateful, humbled, and makes me want to live a better life. But it was so wonderful, especially at this time in my life, to look at the other part... #2. The Resurrection.



The teacher in our Relief Society class is my good friend. My dad and her dad both had cancer... and we supported each other like no other friends could during the last year because our daddies were literally dying together. Hers passed 6 weeks after mine. In her lesson, Carol held up a picture of her sweet dad. As she recounted his last hours on Earth, (which are strikingly similar to the last hours I spent with my daddy...so I was a mess), through her tears, she bore testimony to the class that she knew she would be with him again because of the Resurrection.


She told of a tradition of a family who, every Easter Sunday, took a trip out to the cemetery to sit on the grass and think about how much the Resurrection meant to those people. And about how much it meant to her, now that she had a man that she loved on the other side. How much more wonderful it was to her now, that we live again after death.


I could not agree more. I look at the entire Plan of Salvation differently, now that my dad... my hero... is on the other side of the veil.






I drove all around the town of Gilbert Sunday after church... wishing for all I was worth that I could be at the little cemetary in Rupert, Idaho...sitting by my daddy's grave, thinking about what the Resurrection means to him. To us.



My eyes fill with tears just writing about it. I am so thankful. I think Easter is now my favorite Holiday. Happy, happy Easter.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Come on in...

... the water's fine!


Here's little Dom at Pre-Swimming lessons. Mamie came too!


...checking out the drains and the pool. He was so excited!


That is... until, the actual lesson began.


It only took 10 minutes to convince him to sit on the edge of the pool the first day...



... and then 5 minutes of negotiating by his coaches after that to him to finally get in.


And then? He LOVED it.


Here's the little swimmer after lessons...



Do you think he liked it?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Culdesac

One of the reasons we bought this home was that it was situated in a culdesac. Oooh, aaahhh! Let me tell you, I have not been let down. We love it. For many reasons...

tricycles...


push toys... beautiful sunsets... a meeting place for all the neighborhood kids...
an entire 360 degrees chock-full of garages...perfect for Dominc's love affair with garage doors. Here he is in front of his personal favorite. This one belongs to our sweet neighbors, Sharon and Kermit... who so kindly endulge him in his obsession (as if I could keep him away, anyway)...



A couple of great man-holes. Another of Dominic's obsessions...


a big, wide-open space for these ones to explore while I sit in my lawn chair and enjoy them (actually, I'm chasing them down in every direction, successfully splitting myself in two when one runs one direction and the other runs the opposite).






the fact that some day Rich will be able to play basketball or street hockey out here with the boys. Until then, he plays "motor", and he's pretty good at it...


Plus, it's right on the other side of the fence from the dog park... and "dog-park-people" are really friendly. Aaaaand they share their sweet puppies with my two dog-deprived little men.



Damon looooves doggies.

Damon gives reeeeally wide, open-mouthed kisses.


Not such a great combination... unless you like puppy tounges in your mouth...



...which he apparently does.


What I hate? Well, unfortunately my kids now have no fear of the street (I actually had Dominic pretty perfectly trained to stay on the sidewalk until we met this here culdesac). But I'm still in love... just have to watch those little runaways like a HAWK when we're out and about in public. (AKA the Chick-fil-a parking lot. Sheeesh! Don't even make me tell you about it, I'll probably cry.)




Damon and his "Beep, beep"...



video


Dominic has just recently learned to jump... love this.




video

Monday, April 4, 2011

This One.

This one. He's 1 year and 4 months. This one is...





...a Mama's boy




an eater. (the kid doesn't stop.)


a life lover.





a little brother.


a passenger.


a cross-dresser.



a fish.




a puppy kisser.


an artist.



an explorer.



a pancake connoisseur.


a lady killer.



a swinger.



a tough guy. (didn't even cry!?) an un-sitter. a bubble blower. a ponderer.


a bather.

a reader.

a hider.


a chum.





a player.



a streaker.


...but most of all, my baby.


Now for the sappy stuff that only mamas and nanas/mamies appreciate...


Damon,


You are almost a year and a half! You've got SUCH a funny personality. You are stubborn and fiesty (more fiesty than even Dominic at this age... Heaven help us all). You can stop traffic with your high-pitched scream, and when in the throws of a tantrum, I have to physically protect you from yourself. You throw yourself into walls, corners, or on the floor. You hit yourself in the face, flail wildly, and throw anything you can get your little hands on. You are so funny. (At least right now... I have a feeling I won't be laughing at this behavior in a year... and a feeling that it will be worse by then. *sigh*)


You have the most adorable little giggle. It's airy and best described as a "chuckle" or a "quiver". I have yet to catch it on video, and I'm panicking a little that I won't get it before you grow out of it. You are such a great little brother. Dominic adores you. You guys are like two peas in a pod. You follow him around and copy everything he does. Which may or may not be a good thing. You even "spaz" like he does... although it's pretty rare... but when you get extremely excited, there it is. I love it.


You've just recently started pouting when I tell you no (if you don't throw yourself on the floor first). You've got the protruding bottom lip... and you tilt your head downward while looking up at me with big sad/angry eyes. It's really hard not to laugh. What a little charmer you are.


You are in love with Choo-choo trains. Besides Mama and Dada, "choo-choo!" was your first word. You've just in the last month started talking more. I'm positive I'm leaving some out... but you can say "no, choo-choo, mama, momm-eeeee, dada, juice, yumm-eeeee, some, uh-oh, and buh-bye". You love the bath and run straight for it as soon as we take you out of your highchair after dinner. You love to be read to and you enjoy reading books in the car like your big brother. You love to play rough with your daddy and brother. You love to play chase. You love shooting your basket ball. You love your blue silky blankie. You love puppies (oh how you love them!). You love to swim in your pool outside, and you love to slide down the slide.


You HATE shoes. You hate clothes. Putting on either of these results in a tantrum. Usually, you get over the clothes after they're on for a minute or two. The shoes? You never forget they're on your feet. You cry and complain the entire time they're on your feet, and are usually successful in getting at least one of them off (even though I bought you new lace-up ones to stop the constant shoe-tossing). The only time you don't notice them is if you're running around outside. This is the only time you deem them worthy to grace your feet.


You love cheese, yogurt, stroganoff, turkey, goldfish, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, cream of wheat, oatmeal, and pancakes. You never stop eating. Ever. You are a little tank. You weighed only 4 pounds less than Dominic 2 months ago. By the looks of your ever-expanding waistline... I'm guessing you've got him beat at this point.


I love you sweet little boy. I love your space between your teeth. I love your big blue eyes. I love your round little belly. I love your reddish-blond little combover. You are such a joy sweetheart.


Love, Momm-eeeeeee