Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Anthony Turns 1

Yesterday my last baby turned 1.  That's it, my life is over, there is no reason to go on (just kidding.)  Something truly amazing happened that I would like to share.  I spent the day Sunday reliving the events that led up to his birth.  He was born past midnight, so as the evening drew on I thought, "Okay, now I'm taking the castor oil... now I'm putting the kids to bed... now contractions are starting," you get the picture.  Birth is something I am very sentimental about and I do this with all my children.  Not wanting to stay up past midnight, I put him to bed, cleaned the kitchen, and went to bed myself settling on the fact that the next time I saw him (presumably in the morning) he would be one year old.  Well, a little while later I awoke to crying.  I looked at the clock, and imagine my awe when it read 12:42 a.m.- the exact time of his birth.  My baby cried out in the night so we could celebrate his birth moment together.  It was very special and something I will always remember.
This was Ashlee's way of watching him in the backyard while I made dinner- in lieu of a playpen I guess.
I made the cake, Ashlee did the decorating.  It was her inspiration.
Looks pretty in-awe over that candle.
I think that cupcake was the best thing he's had all year!  He knew it was something special and kept smiling at me.
We hadn't gotten him any gifts (I don't feel babies need much at this age) but after making the cake we decided he needed a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and had Forrest pick up a copy on his way home from work.
This is my attempt at rallying the kids for a group shot.  Jacob is just overly-thrilled to be in this one.  

Happy Birthday my sweet Anthony.  You came into the world with a bang and you have been one of our sweetest, easiest children yet (am I allowed to say that?)  We love you more than words can express and you will be our eternal baby.  Thank you for giving us joy and being one last baby for us to enjoy.  We look forward to the fun years ahead.

Lake Arrowbee

Last Saturday we packed up the kids and headed to Lake Arrowbee for the day.  Let me tell you this was some much needed family time.  Lake Arrowbee is a private lake located in the neighborhood where Forrest grew up, and he has many childhood memories there.  The kids love it for its bullfrogs and fishing.
The day was unseasonably chilly, but when you're a kid it's never too cold for swimming.
This was the moment Jacob had been waiting for.
This was Forrest's catch, but Jacob made two of his own, the second considerably bigger than the first.
This girl could not get over the sensation of sand on her feet.  She couldn't figure out how not to get them dirty on the way back to her sandals after washing off in the lake.  I had the same dilemma as a kid.
Forrest struggled a little bit getting the hook out of the fish's mouth, and I couldn't watch.  Looked torturous to me.  Eventually they were all released and swam away unscathed.
We BBQ'd hotdogs and had chips, guacamole, strawberries and cookies.  Anthony spent most of his time on this blanket looking for rocks and the occasional bit of duck poop to put in his mouth.
I love this picture of the storm brewing in the background.  Yes, it would soon dump on us as we were getting ready to leave.
Amidst the barbecuing and toweling off of wet and shivering children, I made time to just sit and soak in the moment.  We all wish for days like this more often.
Dad preparing the fishing rods.
This was Jacob's first catch, and I just happened to be watching as he caught it.  I saw his pole bend towards the water and he wasted no time in whisking it up.  A very proud boy he was.
See, never too cold for swimming.
She was "babysitting" Jacob's pole in this picture as he retrieved more bait.  Such a cutie and so feminine.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Night of the Solar Eclipse

Sunday's solar eclipse was so awesome.  That was the best night I've had in a long time.  I've always had a fascination with the moon, and something as phenomenal as watching it cross over the sun was just magical.  The whole evening felt electrifying.
I set Ashlee to work making a pinhole viewer through which we could view the eclipse.  However, we soon realized that it's shadow was cast all over the side of our house through the trees. 
And this- hundreds of eclipses in the sun spots.  See them?  We were so excited upon discovering this.
This next group of pictures was taken by the kids.  They're not the greatest in terms of quality, but I feel they really capture the moment. 

Feeling the drastic temperature change.  I think it dropped about 10 degrees in 10 minutes as the moon crossed the sun.  I suddenly realized, "10 minutes ago I was sweating, and now I'm not!"  It was surreal.
The kids had a lot of fun playing in the grass in the shadow of the moon.  The front yard had this mystical shade to it, like it was evening time but the sun was high in the sky.  Very energizing.
After the eclipse we packed up dinner and headed over to the temple.  We didn't have much daylight left by the time we got there, but the kids had enough time to play some baseball and run around.  Jacob did 130 somersaults in the grass... wish I had a video.  I made lemon pepper chicken, oven roasted potatoes, farmer's market salad, and homemade honey mustard.  It turned out really yummy.
Driving by the fountain on our way out.  The gates were closed, but we cannot leave the temple without seeing the fountain.  It's the kids' favorite, and mine too.


Meet the newest members of our family- "Jesse" and "Cassi" (short for Jessica and Cassidy.)  Chinchilla sisters.
The kids begged and begged and we obliged.  They are about 8 months old (I think) and were given to us by a friend from church.
They are pretty fast, but once you can catch them they are quite snuggly.
They remind me of a cross between a mouse, a kangaroo, and a squirrel.
They are in a temporary cage for now, but Forrest is going to build them their permanent home.  They like to jump and prefer a cage with many levels.
The kids have taken to them instantly.  Here's Kaitlyn wearing hers in a sling; just like Mommy used to do with her!  Aaahhh I love seeing the fruits of attachment parenting. =)
This one actually fell asleep in her arms.  Guess it felt safe.
They even go shopping.  I have a feeling these girls are going to have to learn how to "endure" lots of love!

My Babies

Life is so much fun with two babies.  Rachel is discovering that Anthony can be a playmate.
At almost one year old he is still relatively immobile, so I can set him on my bedroom floor to play with toys while I get ready or do chores.
Caught this shot of a random hug the other day- so sweet.

He is doing the army crawl to get around, which is so funny to Forrest and I because by this age most of our other kids were walking, or certainly crawling.  Nope, not Anthony.  I was blessed with a baby that will last.
Rachel loves her baby doll (it's actually Kaitlyn's) and has taken to treating her like a real baby these past couple of weeks.
She goes everywhere with her.
The first year has almost come and gone but I am loving life with my two babies.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!  It was simple yet special.  I woke up and made bacon and smoothies, then we all got ready and went to church.  The Primary kids sang a sweet song to their mothers and I had a good lesson with my class.  After church we relaxed and took naps while the kids played outside.  I made chicken vegetable stir-fry in coconut oil with curry seasoning over rice for dinner, and after dinner we had a bonfire out on the back patio.  I looked at each one of my children today and felt grateful that I have six little reasons to celebrate.  They truly are unique individuals and I feel so fortunate to have them in my life and that they chose me to be their mommy. 
Mother's Day 2012
Anthony is just starting to take a bottle, and it is nice for me to get the help with feeding him.  He and Daddy looked so relaxed in the chair this afternoon.

 Thanks for everything kids.  You don't even have to go out of your way to make my day special.

Run With Nature

On Saturday I accompanied Vera on her first 10k run.  The first time I did this run (five years ago) I came in at 1:11:42.  This year I was determined to beat that time into the ground. =)
 Vera invited a friend from her ward who has competed in a number of runs, including Ragnar.  We were all comparable runners.
 Funny story: we waited at what we thought was the starting line for over half an hour, only to discover 8 minutes before the race that we were in the wrong place.  Good thing we stopped gabbing long enough to look down at our watches and put two and two together.
First stretch of the race- 2 solid miles uphill.

 Showing off our muscles post-run in our hard-earned tee shirts.  This was a great run; it was hilly and quite hot, and there were several spots where I thought for sure Vera would have to stop and walk but she never did!  She was quite a trooper and I am very proud of her for doing so well on her first run.  The first two miles of the run were uphill in the heat, up Natoma Street.  We then crossed Folsom Lake, passed the prison, and wound around on the Folsom bike trail.  There were some uphill switchbacks at the end that were quite the killer.
I came in with a time of 1:01:53, nearly ten minutes better than my first 10k time!  Killed it. =)  I was waiting at the finish line for Vera and she surprised me by coming in early, so I missed the photo op.  Good thing Tommy was there to capture her crossing.  This was a great run and I was so happy to be there with Vera for her first time.  Can't wait for the next one. =)