Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gingerbread houses

Here our the cute little gingerbread houses that we did for family home evening. I totally wasn't planning on doing this crazy little activity this year but it just kind of fell into my lap. Last time I did candy houses, I remember it being a total disaster. The icing wouldn't hold anything up and I think I was pregnant at the time and not feeling well which could be the main reason why the experience was leaving a huge negative sign flashing in my head.

So, my girlfriend stopped by the other day with the gingerbread cutouts for two cute houses. (In the past I've always used graham crackers or the kits you buy at the store) She had gotten the houses from an older lady that lives in the next town over. Now this old woman, whom I have never met but want to very badly, has shared some great canning recipes with me that have just been so good. She also has shared some great tips/tricks for all sorts of other things that have really come in handy! From what my friend tells me, she sounds like the perfect grandmother that everyone wishes they had! Well, atleast I do anyway. Both of my grandmothers died when I was a young age so maybe I will just have to adopt her as mine if I get to meet her. So back to my houses - My girlfriend stopped by one afternoon with these houses and told me all about how to put them together, shared an icing recipe that holds them together like glue, and even dropped off a few bags of candy to use. However, the whole time she is telling me how to do these houses I just have those huge warning signs flashing in head saying NO NO NO do not proceed!!!!! Ugh!!! I so did not want another thing to have to do this holiday season. I'm a real scrooge huh? So a few days went by and I kept seeing those darn pieces sitting in my kitchen feeding me all sorts of guilt. I finally decided I'd better get some more candy to decorate them and get the whole thing over with.

As you will see in a few pictures down, I actually have a smile on my face from the whole experience! The icing actually turned out to be the key piece of the puzzle! They went up so smoothly and the kids loved it! I think me and Ryker actually ate more candy than we put on our houses but oh well right? So we made the houses, took the pictures, and the kids smashed the houses with a hammer within 15 min. (so they could eat them) and the mess is all done and over with. Oh, except I keep finding pieces of hard gingerbread with all the candy eaten off it all over the house! Ryker just likes to bite the candy off and then leave the gingerbread. Silly kids!

I think mine and Ryker's house turned out the best! Randy and Rayden's house was tilting quite a bit!

So I was giving my girlfriend a hard time because she still had pumpkins on her front porch a week ago when I went over to help her put up her Christmas decorations. She almost didn't put any up because it is so close to the holiday and then she would just have to take it right back down. I told her she had her Halloween up for two months after the holiday so she could just keep Christmas up for two months. We laughed about it for a minute, but I'm pretty sure she wasn't really laughing inside. Well, I guess I'm not doing much better. If you notice in the picture above I still a pumpkin on top of my fridge! I guess that's what happens when you are short and can barely see the top shelf of the fridge!! Lol!!!

So here is my little princess, Braylee!!!! She is getting to be so cute! I just love this stage when they start to interact with you, but can't move around yet or talk back and scream at you! Although she is getting very close to moving around! She is rolling now! At first she could only roll from tummy to back, and not ever time I put her down, just sometimes. Then, I put her on her back yesterday and within seconds she rolled over to her tummy! It makes me sad to have her growing up so fast.

For some reason she loves looking at this orange car on her exersaucer! Whenever I put her in it, she turns to it and stares. Maybe because it plays music very softly!

Here is Braylee with her little friend Halo! Halo's mommy and I have been friends since High School!! These two little angels are only 9 days apart!!! Aren't they sooooo cute?

In other news, our house has been very busy lately with the holiday right around the corner. Santa's little elf (me) has been very addicted to online shopping! I hope it wears off after the holiday or I'm going to be in big trouble! It's just so convenient when you have a little newborn! I went out on Black Friday to get a few things, but other than that, I have done most my holiday shopping at home, in my pj's, listening to Christmas music, and sipping hot cocoa!!! Now that's my kind of shopping!

Rayden has a new look going these days. I got a note home from school saying that he didn't pass his eye screening test. I took him to get an eye exam and sure enough, the kid is blind! Well, not totally blind. It's mostly his right eye, he can't see close up and I can't for the life of me remember if it's nearsighted or farsighted. His left eye is bad too, but not as bad. So ya, he's sport'n the glasses look! luckily he thinks it's pretty cool. We'll see how long that lasts.

Ryker is still being as crazy as a three year old can be!!! He's in this new phase where he doesn't want to take a nap anymore. It's driving me crazy!!! Obviously he still needs one because he falls asleep on the couch every afternoon around 3 or even later. Then, he doesn't want to go to bed at night because of his late nap. He's also been having a hard time sleeping at night because he's been scared. He said that fingers come out of the wall and poke holes in him. Pretty scary huh? If we don't sleep in his bed with him, he ends up coming into our bed every night. In the past, I have had a pretty firm rule of "No kids in my bed with me at night". This rule has completely gone down the toilet ever since baby three came along. I've been way too tired at night to fight with Ryker so I just let him come in our bed. Now I'm really regretting it! I think that will be my New Year's resolution: To take the extra time in the middle of the night to send little Rykes bikes back to bed! I'll let you know how that one goes!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hall - o - ween!!!!

We are a family of Ninja's!!! So, I'm really cheap and I like to get our costumes at the after Halloween clearance sales for the next year. The only problem with that is, you can't be very picky about what you are. Last year we found ninja costumes for the boys and luckily I was able to fit into a ninja outfit that Randy's brother wore when he was a kid. Crazy huh? Anyway, the only tricky part was finding a ninja costume for the little one. I found some black boy pants for cheap at wally world but I couldn't find a black top. I bought a really cute black onesie that had some writing on it so I was just going to put it on inside out. Then, I remembered I had a black turtleneck onesie that my boys wore. I also had a brilliant idea that it would be pretty easy to sew a little top to look more like a ninja top. I headed to the fabric store!
Now let's just get one thing straight - I am not a sewer!!!! I sew a straight line, and I know a few basic sewing tips, but that is IT! Whenever I try to sew something, I always make sure my mom is right by my side to do all the tricky things like: sewing the sleeves on, heming, buttons, zippers, etc. Well, this time, momma lived three hours away and I only had about 3 hrs. total to get the thing put together. I also didn't have a pattern, and was a little nervous about taking on Align Centerthis adventure, but I decided to attempt it anyway.
The sleeves were a little tricky! Have you ever tried to make doll clothes or baby clothes? They have the tiniest arm holes!!! Luckily a friend stopped by right as I was about to sew those little puppies on and she gave me a little tip to make it easier. Phew!!!! My bobbin did come unthreaded (as usual) just as I was sewing the last seam, and a huge wind gust managed to blow my back door open, ripping my cord out of the wall and causing my sewing machine to bang on the floor. Fortunately, all in all, I only had to unpick one small seam, and made it through the adventure without any major problems! I think next time I will try to attempt the project a few days before it needs to be done.
Anyway, the kids are so excited to go trick or treating tonight!!! I can't wait to raid their candy bags and eat all my Halloween favorites!!! Oh it's great having kids to raid their loot!!!

Happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Braylee's Blessing....and other random pictures

This sweet thing was blessed on Sunday, October 9th, by her daddy. Of course she cried through the whole thing (which was cut very short due to the screaming), and then calmed right down afterwards and slept peacefully all through sacrament meeting! Gotta love it! It won't be hard to remember that's for sure.

Our cute little family! I think Rayden will be taller than me in another year or two. That's a scary thought!
Here is most of Randy's family that came! It was so fun to have so many family there to support us. Thanks all!

We had a great time at the state fair this year! Ryker loved seeing all the tractors and animals.

These are some of the biggest pumpkins I've ever seen!

I love Ryker's face in this picture, he could barely reach.

Camping at Otter Creek. It was so good to finally get off the couch and out of the house. Even if it meant a crazy night sleeping in the van with two crying kids!

Braylee's first camping trip at 1 month old. It was over labor day weekend with the Riddle family. She was pretty good most the time, until bed time. She had the worst night ever. She was so gassy and her nose was so stuffy she could barely breath. I'm thinking she might have a little allergies because as soon as we got home she was fine. Anyway, it was definitely a camping trip to remember.
The boys spent the whole day camping on the lake at otter creek. They had a great time. Now that Randy is done with all the homework, he can finally enjoy our camping trips instead of studying in the corner.

I love her chubby little cheeks!
She loves sleeping in her swing! It really saves me so much for those times when I just can't hold her and she wants to rock.

Braylee is learning to hold her head up so well!!!

Ryker loves his sister......most of the time! He loves to gather up all of her blankets and toys and make a huge bed to play in. He is getting better at the big brother thing. He

Rayden started 1st grade. He loves it! He is such a great student.
I think this is one of her first smiles at about 7 weeks old.

Ryker also loves to climb in her crib and play with all the blankets!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Life as a mother of 3

I have a few moments of quiet so I thought I would jot down a few things of how we are adjusting to three kids!!! So far it hasn't been too different, but I do notice that I have less time than I did before to myself! The first two weeks little Braylee joined our family weren't too bad because Rand took time off work and basically took the two boys all day to the fair or to grandma's or outside. Life was pretty easy, just sitting on the couch holding baby while the neighbors and friends helped take care of us! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all those who have helped! It was so nice to just relax.

Then, week three hit! Randy went back to work and I had to take care of all three!!!! Not only did he go back to work, but he added 10 hrs. to his work week because he started his internship!!! Mornings were definitely hard that week! Luckily Braylee is a good little sleeper because I was able to get a lot done: laundry, cooking, a little light housework. The boys weren't too bad. They got a long most the time and actually had some play dates with a few neighbors!

Ryker had a hard time adjusting to sister. The first few weeks he kept throwing huge tantrums if he didn't get his way. He even started throwing toys at the wall and screaming at me! He also regressed a little with potty training. He had a few accidents and we had a hard time getting him to go sit on the potty. Now that a month has gone by (yikes! time flies!!), he has adjusted a little better. The tantrums are getting fewer each day, he is going potty again by himself, and he is wanting to share his trucks and tractors with sister! One thing he says a lot to me when I'm holding Braylee is "I want to cute her". I think he means I want to kiss her. He gives her lots of kisses!

This week it was pretty nice because Rayden went back to school! Most the day is quiet and Ryker loves having the Legos all to himself. I'm thinking that I'm going to be liking this school year! Braylee is too little to be mobile and Ryker is easy to entertain!

The main thing that is difficult right now is finding time to get things done! I spend a good portion of the day sitting on the couch feeding or rocking Braylee, and the other portion in the kitchen, cooking and doing dishes. Unfortunately, my dishwasher wasn't working this week so I felt like I was spending hours at the sink washing dishes!!!! Luckily Randy helped me fix it so now i don't have to do that anymore!!! But it just seems like I can't ever keep up on the housework. There is constantly piles of toys, clothes, shoes, dishes, papers, and now.....dirty diapers! So just beware....if you plan on stopping by at all, my house looks like a war zone!!!!

Oh, and if I didn't have enough to do before, it's officially canning season. Not only do I have the regular dishes hanging around, now I have boxes of bottles, bags of rings, big pots and pans all over, bottles of vinegar and spices! During normal circumstances, canning season is so crazy! Throw a newborn in the picture and it's just plain hectic! But, there is nothing better than having a basement full of canned food from the garden that we get to enjoy all year round!

Actually, my mother-in-law has been a huge help so far with the canning. Most of the mess has been at her house and she has helped make it possible to can with a newborn. Yesterday was the first day I canned at my house all by myself and it wasn't too crazy. Yes, it took me twice as long to get the job done, but I got it done!

So, having a third edition to our family hasn't been too difficult so far. I love holding my little Braylee and cuddling with her! Sometimes I just want time to freeze so I can enjoy my kids while they are so little. When I think that a month has already gone by, it makes me so sad. But it also makes me excited to watch how Braylee progress and grows out of each outfit. I'm excited to see how her personality will develop and how she will grow and interact with her brothers! I just can't help but think how lucky I am to have three beautiful and talented children! I truly am Blessed!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Little Miss


Born on July 29 at 11:28 pm
6 lb. 12 oz. 18 1/2 in.

Once happy Dad!!!!

Her brothers were so excited to see her! As soon as they found out they had a sister Rayden said "I knew it!!!". Ryker said "YES!!!!"

After a long, long night of being sick and a long, long day of laying in a hospital bed, little Braylee Ann finally came! I couldn't more happy to finally have my little princess here to cuddle and love!

So here is the story of how this little bundle of joy came to our family. My story wouldn't be complete without starting off by telling about my girls night a few nights prior to her arrival.
It was late Tuesday night and me and my besties were doing pedi's, eating treats, and watching some great chic flicks! I was having a few contractions here and there, but nothing too alarming. A lot of my friends are very into doing the natural child birth and all the homeopathic herbs and such when it comes to health things. However, I am so not the type of person to even consider a natural birth (I'm such a wimp when it comes to pain, I would never last 2 seconds through a real contraction). Anyhow, since I was having contractions, they were suggesting all sorts of things they could have me try to get this labor going. Of the things mentioned, they suggested I eat fresh pineapple. Supposedly if you eat fresh pineapple and your body is ready for labor, it will get things going! It was a little late to be running out to the grocery store, so I stored that info in the back of my head and decided I'd try it out in a few days.
The next evening, I was leaving to go stay at my mom's house for a few weeks, to wait to have the baby. Since she lives an hour closer to the hospital I was going to deliver at, I wanted to be as close as possible. I got there late at night and just relaxed on the couch while they all unpacked from their recent trip to Bear Lake.
The next day, Thursday, I decided I better get together with my friend Nina, who is also pregnant, due a week before me. I realized that I hadn't taken any prego pictures with her and that it was a must before our babies were born! So.....I stopped at the grocery store before heading over to her house and picked up a fresh pineapple. A very pricy one I might add!! I don't think I've ever paid so much for a pineapple or piece of fruit in my life! Anyway, we got together and ate a bunch of pineapple and headed to the mall to walk around a bit! I kept getting hot flashes, and was feeling a little yucky and exhausted, but I figured when you're almost 38 weeks pregnant, that's just how you feel.
I headed back to my mom's afterwards and just relaxed on the couch for a few hours before starting dinner. After dinner, I starting having a few contractions (my usual nightly routine for a few weeks before I have my babies, so I didn't think anything of it). My mom needed to run a few errands so I decided to join her. As my contractions kept coming, about 4-6 min. apart, my mom thought it was so fun to write it all down and keep track. I was a little annoyed because I didn't feel well, and I didn't want to get my hopes up. I knew they would just stop once I went to bed later that night, because that is how it always goes with me. So we stopped at the grocery store to get some doughnuts and I was so excited because they had one left of my favorite kind - jelly filled! Unfortunately, I didn't get to eat it because I started to feel really sick. We got home and within about 10 minutes I was in the bathroom throwing up! My mom kept saying that she used to throw up when she was in labor. I still didn't want to get my hopes up that this baby was coming, and I felt so sick that I just went to bed.
The whole night, I kept waking up with contractions and I kept throwing up! Just before I left town to go to my mom's, i was talking to some ladies who were saying that the flu was going around. The whole night I was paranoid that I had the flu, and that I had shared water bottles with my kids all day, and been around my prego friend Nina. I was so worried that they were all going to get what I had too! Then I was worried that I wouldn't be able to drive to my Dr. appointment the next morning in American Fork.
When I finally had had enough of laying in bed and feeling sick, I got up and tried to eat a little bit. I had a nibble of bread and some juice. My contractions had slowed down a little but they were still there. My mom got up and told me she would run into work early and meet me in a few hours at my sister's house and drive me to my appointment. I felt a little bit better about that, but I was still so weak and sick. I threw up a few more times before heading out the door to the dr.
The whole way to the dr. office I was so nauseated and my contractions started to pick up again. I kept thinking, oh this is good! Maybe my doctor will just send me over to the hospital I will have this baby! Which is exactly what happened! (Sort of)
Of course I called Randy and told him to be ready and that he should probably wrap things up at work. I wanted to wait until they admitted me to the hospital before I told him to leave town and to come up. They monitored me a the hospital, and the contractions were coming very regularly and getting harder. I had dilated from a 3 to a 4 in the hour or so that I was there so they decided I was in fact in labor. Hurray!!!!! I was so excited to finally have this baby, but a little shocked because I still had so many things I was planning on doing and getting for the baby while staying at my mom's.
Well, this is when things start to get interesting. As soon as the nurse got me into a room and hooked up my IV, things started to slow down. Randy got there about the same time as the doctor around 2:45 pm. He checked me and told me he would let thing progress on their own for a little bit and he would be back around 5 pm to break my water. So, we sat around talking baby names and wondering if it was going to be a boy or girl, and making bets on how long I would last before I got an epidural. You know, the usual things you do when waiting for a baby to come! Of course I was STARVING since I threw up all night long and hadn't had a single thing to eat in almost 24 hours! They kept bringing me jello but it just wasn't doing the trick. I was also so exhausted from lack of sleep that I just couldn't function. I would try to fall asleep, but then a contraction would come and wake me up.
5 o'clock came and went, and so did my labor! It had almost completely stopped! I had maybe one contraction every 15-20 min. It was strong, but just not near frequent enough. Also, the doctor was stuck at another hospital delivering babies. It must have been a busy day in Heaven because there were tons of babies born that day!!!! As it was, I got the last room available when I checked in around 1:00 pm.
Around 8:00 or so, my nurse came in and said she was going to call the doctor to see what they should do about my slow labor. He gave the okay to start me on pitocin. Since this is how I have had my previous two babies, I knew I was going to be wanting the epidural ASAP.
Once settled in with my pit drip and my epidural, I was finally wanting to get some sleep. However, I was too nervous and nauseated to sleep. Unfortunately I threw up some more and still had to wait longer for the Dr. to show up.
At 9:30 the dr. finally was able to make it over to break my water!! I knew once that happened, it would all go pretty quick. After about an hour after, I was still only dilated to about a 5. They increased my pit drip and an hour later I was ready to push!
It only took about 2 pushes and she was out!!! Before she came out, they said it better be a girl because there was so much dark hair! Since all my kids have had quite a bit of hair I didn't think much of that statement, but I pretty much knew it would be a girl. It took Randy a minute to announce the gender (he was a little perplexed since her little girl parts were pretty swollen). I think he was also a little distracted from being splashed with amniotic fluid! Her head was so low and far down that most of the fluid was behind her. As soon as she came out there was a volcano of fluid that came gushing out all over, spraying Randy and my mom! Anyway, she was finally out and I got to hold her while Randy cut the cord!
It took us a while to decide on the name. I won't go into detail on all the different names we came up with it. I finally decided after calling her the wrong name a million times. Even after I decided I had to seriously think about what her name was every time I went to say it because we had discussed so many different names. Now, a week later, she is definitely my little Braylee!
So there you have it, a little longer than I had planned on originally, but I just couldn't leave anything out. Actually, I did leave out the part about my epidural causing the whole left side of my body to go numb. I was a little worried about that, but they turned it off for a little bit and it went away. I guess the doc gave me a little too much right off the bat. In the end, my left side ended up not being numb enough and I felt a lot of pain as on that side as I was pushing her out! I'm definitely glad that it is all over and now I'm on the recovery end of the deal. My little Braylee is such a sweet little thing, I just want to cuddle her all day long. I forgot how much newborns sleep! My Ryker never slept and was so fussy all the time. It has been 7 years since I had a quiet, calm baby! Who knows, maybe this little girl will convince me to have more children. I'm not going to think about that right now, I'm just going to enjoy my sweet angel!

Monday, July 25, 2011

May the Force be with you....

Happy 7th birthday Rayden!!! He wanted a Star Wars party this year. Since I'm 8 months preggo and didn't have the energy to do a big party with games and pinata, we had a swimming party at the hotel pool. The only decorating I had to worry about was decorating the cake! He requested a Yoda cake. This was my attempt at a Yoda cupcake cake. Cupcake cakes are my new favorite thing! I think it turned out pretty cool and he absolutely loved it!

The cousins and friends had a great time swimming! We practically had the pool to ourselves and they loved it. When we first got to the pool there were a few other groups swimming. After about 30 min. most of them had all cleared out and we had the place to ourselves!

Ryker and Daddy! We cut Ryker's hair the other day and he looks even more like his Daddy!

Geronimo!!!! Rayden sure is getting to be quite the little fish! He is swimming so good. I keep thinking I'm a horrible mom because I'm too cheap for swimming lessons. Every time we go with daddy on work conferences we always try to work with him on his swimming at the hotel pool. It's been paying off because he has been swimming pretty good!

Rayden was glad he got to spend his special day with a lot of his cousins on the Riddle side. They spend the whole week playing and swimming together!

I thought I better get at least one shot in my maternity swim suit before I have this little baby. I've sure spent enough time in it this summer to get my money's worth and I'm sure there will be a few more swimming trips before I deliver. As much as I hope this baby is going to come early, I seriously doubt it will. My body likes to tease me the last month of pregnancy. At 36 weeks I was dilated to a 2 and having quite a few contractions. I seriously thought I would go into labor! Now, at 37 weeks I am not quite to a 3 and 80% thinned out. Still having some contractions here and there but nothing to indicate that this baby is coming. 3 more long weeks to go!

After swimming we headed into the conference room and had cake and ice cream! Easiest birthday part ever!!! The kids had a blast and I didn't have to do much entertaining!

Make a wish! I think it's funny that in all our pictures over the last few years of kids blowing out candles they all have their hands over their mouths (so they don't blow out the candles while singing). Next birthday I'll have to remember to take a picture before they all cover their mouths.

Present Time!

The boys enjoying some Yoda cupcakes.

Last weekend we spent a whole day at Seven Peaks with our Hunt cousins from Spanish Fork. The boys had a blast and let's just say by the end of the day I was completely exhausted from going around the lazy river and walking back and forth across the park, up stairs and around towels. I have only been one time before when Ryker was about 1 yr. old and I spent the whole time in the kiddie pool. This time, I was 8 months preggo and couldn't ride any water slides. Maybe next year. Anyway, we got fried by the sun and woke up the next morning only to head to Willard Bay and spend another day in the sun!

Here are all the boys on the tube. I didn't think Ryker would like it but Randy insisted on taking him. He lasted all of half a second when the boat started moving and he started screaming and crying. He doesn't like to get splashed in the face. So we had to stop and get him off. Rayden and Randy sure had fun though.

Ryker may not like the tube so much, but he sure loved riding in the boat!!!! He just laughed and smiled the whole time the boat was moving. It was such a windy and busy day that the water was sooooo choppy. When the boat stopped it would just rock back and forth so much! I kept thinking that if the events the day before at Seven Peaks didn't put me into labor that for sure this boat ride would! But alas, it didn't :(.

Mom BTW at the Captains chair!

This is about as far as Ryker would go into the water. For someone who loves to take baths all day long, he sure is timid when it comes to going swimming at the pool or lake.

Randy was in Heaven picking cherries from my parents tree. The boys just love helping daddy do just about anything. I wish they would help mommy as much as they help daddy! Too bad housework isn't as much fun as climbing ladders and trees!

If you look closely you can see the cherry juice all over his mouth! I think he ate more than he picked!