Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Picture Tuesday, 39 weeks

No new teeth this week and Kenna and Taryn have been just as busy and sweet as usual.  They are starting to get into everything.  Today for the first time Taryn figured out how to open one of the cupboards on our entertainment center and she and Kenna started pulling out movies.  I was warming up their lunch and came back into the room to see them surrounded by DVDs and just chatting away to each other as they scattered them around.  It was kind of sweet to see them actually playing together and also a little scary to think about how early they're starting to team up on me.  They could get in to a lot of trouble if they decided to do something mischievous together while my back is turned.  They're 9 months old today.  Where has the time gone?!
Kenna and Taryn, 39 weeks old! A friend from our group gave us some of these teensy elastics this week and we tried our first little piggy tails.  I can hardly handle how cute Miss K is with pigtails!
 And little sweet T is such a cute little peanut.  Here hair is starting to get just long enough to where it sticks up funny around headbands but not long enough for a clippie yet.  Almost there!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Repat Part 2: Utah and Denver

That first week in Utah was kind of crazy.  We were so excited to see our family but we were also kind of exhausted and had a LOT of appointments and shopping to do before Glenn left so that he could take a bunch of boxes home with him.  Here we are on our flight from Boston to SLC.
We got into the SLC airport at 9pm and it took 2 hours for us to get our rental car so by the time we got loaded in the kiddos were just done. Aubry was working that first night but Cody stayed up and waited for us to arrive and helped us get loaded into the house and settled down in our rooms.  They had finished their basement in the past year so it was really fun to see how nice everything looked!  Cody did most of the work and it is really lovely.  I love all of the quality little details in every room from the doors to the light fixtures and molding.  It was a perfect place for us to stay and I'm so grateful they let us crash there for so long right after it was finished!  Everyone crashed pretty hard that first night which was nice.  The next day we went to church with Aubry in the afternoon.  It was so nice to be in a normal meeting house and to have our kids to go primary in normal classrooms.  Plus Aubry is in the primary presidency so she was able to kind of keep an eye on my little guys.
That first week went really fast.  We were able to squeeze in a little bit of fun amid all the running around.  Adam, Cami, and Baby Abby were in town that week and we didn't get to see them nearly enough since we were so busy but we were able to get together a few times.  Nana bought all the kids some foam airplanes and they had fun decorating them and then playing with them in the back yard together. 


Aubry and Cody not only have a lovely home and a huge finished basement, but they also have this gorgeous yard with a vegetable garden, play house, and tons of room to run and play.


Auntie Cami was able to squeeze in some baby snugs.
Adam with his sweet baby girl.  She's changed so much in the last year.  She's talking now in this cute little high-pitched voice and it's just so darling!


We did manage to get out to one movie together that week.  Our whole crazy bunch went to Inside Out together.  It was a great movie and the kids loved it.  Tate and Finn are pretending to be "anger" in this picture.  
The day after the movie we had planned to take the boys and girls up to the Taryn's cardiology appointment in SLC and then go to temple square and do some Salt Lake shopping and errands.  Unfortunately Finny started throwing up that morning so that threw a wrench in those plans.  He acted like he was pretty much back to normal the rest of the day but the next morning right before we were packing up to go to the babies' 6 month appointment and then drive out to Denver to visit friends, he threw up again.  So we called Devony Wilson, our dear friend who was going to host us in Denver and she said we were still welcome to come.  So in a completely selfish act, we packed our four kiddos, including little Finny who now couldn't stop throwing up, in the car because we wanted to see our friends in Denver.  Poor kid threw up all the way there and couldn't keep down even sips of gatorade or water.  It was really rough.  
About an hour after we got everyone to bed, we were awakened by Tate who had thrown up all over the floor where he was sleeping.  We woke up Devony, borrowed her carpet cleaner, scrubbed and threw things in the laundry, and then settled in for a night of one or two boys throwing up.  Good times.  
The next morning Glenn took both boys to urgent care.  Both had strep.  Interesting that it took so long for them to catch it and that this round manifested as more of a stomach bug but I'm so glad it was something we could get antibiotics for so we could get them feeling better more quickly.
After Glenn and the boys got back he volunteered to watch the kiddos while Devony and I got out to run some errands.  It was still a little weird to be able to go to these stores that I had shopped at so frequently less than a year before and to have SO many options at my fingertips.  Not quite as traumatizing as it was when I first got back to the states, but shopping for a year and being very aware of how much space and weight I have to deal with makes for a strange adjustment.
By the time I got home Glenn was worried about the girls because they had both been crying non-stop so he took them to urgent care.  They both had strep as well and Kenna had an ear infection as well.  Tate was already feeling better after just one dose of antibiotics but Finn was still not able to keep anything down.  We had plans to go to the museum with the Cluffs the next morning but there was no way Finny was going to be better in time so we decided that I should go with the girls, if they were doing better, and Tate and let Finn try to get caught up.  Glenn and Aaron went out to a movie that night and Devony and I stayed up late talking.  It was so nice to spend time with their family, even under such chaotic circumstances.  They are such dear friends and it was just nice to be with people who love us and are excited to see us even though we may be carrying the plague.  They really went above and beyond the call of duty that weekend.  
That night Tate slept just fine but poor Finn was up really frequently throwing up still.  The poor kiddo just couldn't get on top of it and by the morning he was so tired that he couldn't even sit up to throw up in a bowl.  He was lying on his side and would throw up on the towel he was lying on because he didn't have the energy to move.  It was so sad and a little scary after two days of not keeping anything down.  
Tate and I went to the science museum in the morning with the baby girls and Tate seemed to be back to his old self.  It was really nice to go back to the science museum, a place we used to frequent, and a place that we had been several times with the Cluffs.  It was always a good meeting place since it was about half way in between our homes.  I loved seeing the Cluffs meet our little girls.  And seeing Tate explore the museum.  They had two temporary exhibits that day, one on monsters and mythical creatures, and one on poisons and venoms.  They could not have been more perfect for Tate right now.  He was so enthralled.  It was our first visit to the museum where Tate was reading well enough to read the signs next to each exhibit and gather his own information.  I loved seeing him explore the museum and figure things out for himself.  He's such a fact collector and before he could read I was always feeding him the information but now it's pretty fun to watch him gather on his own.
I'd forgotten that Stephen has been so aptly nicknamed the baby whisperer.  Taryn and Kenna kind of took turns crying and having a hard time settling down but Stephen actually enjoyed scooping them up and walking away with a crying baby and then he'd walk back a few minutes later with a sleeping or completely calm baby.  I have no idea how he does it.  He's the baby whisperer.
Here's our group, minus Lizzy and Kenna, in front of the dragon exhibit.
At the end of the exhibit they had a green screen where you could have your pictures taken with a unicorn or a dragon.  Of course, we had to try both.  Always a good time with the Cluffs.

It was so nice to see the Cluffs and just WAY too little time to be able to really catch up.  Glenn and I have talked a lot about it since we've been home and we really think we need more time in Denver next year.  One weekend, especially if it's disease-ridden, is just not enough.  It was kind of surreal being in Denver after the year we've had.  In some ways it feels like nothing has changed.  Like we fit right back in where we left off.  It felt like home.  Familiar and comfortable.  And in some ways I feel like I've aged 10 years in the last year and being back in this place that we loved and felt so at home, seemed like a dream.  Or maybe a nightmare based on all of the vomit that was involved in that weekend.  
While we were at the museum, Glenn took Finn back to instacare since he still wasn't keeping anything down.  They gave him more zofran and had him wait there while he had a popsicle and then waited to see if he could keep it down.  After that he didn't throw up again but he still took a few days to get his appetite and strength back.  Poor little guy.  This sickness really wiped him out.  
When we got back from the museum I took Tate to Barnes and Noble to get his free book.  We printed out a chart from their summer reading program in Saudi and filled it out so he could earn his free book.  Tate picked a Lego super heroes book and truly couldn't put it down.  On the way out to the car, sitting in the car, this is him trying to take off his shoes while still reading his book.  
We had planned a little get together at our favorite park in our area with some of our CO friends.  We considered cancelling since we might still be carrying the plague, but we decided at the last minute to just do it.  Partially because we are selfish and wanted so much to see our friends, and we justified it by saying that all of our kids had been on antibiotics for over 24 hours so we're not contagious anymore so it's fine.  I sure hope we didn't get anyone sick!  It was so nice to see everyone from our ward.  I loved that ward.  So many kind people who were so welcoming, loving, and kind.  It made my heart so happy to be around them again and to show them my little baby girls too!
My only regret is not taking a thousand pictures with my friends that night.  It went too fast and I just didn't even get my phone out.  Here is one of Barb Harper, who was Finn's nursery teacher. He ADORED her, rightly so.  She's incredible.  Poor Finn was still not at the top of his game that night.  




After the party we got the kiddos to bed and the Baxter girls came over to visit.  Man, I miss those girls.  They are so much fun.  We hung out for a couple of hours and then they had to leave.  It was so nice to catch up with them and fall right back into step.

The next morning we went to church with the Wilsons in our old ward.  We met the family who bought our house for the first time.  They are as kind and wonderful as we had heard.  The kids went to church with kids they used to know, Glenn and I spent Sunday School chatting with friends.  It was great.  Then we hurried home to pack up and hit the road.
Devony had some extra bandanas from youth conference and my boys were ecstatic.  They didn't take them off the whole way home.
Oh I love this family so much.
On our way out of town we got in contact with the Garlock family who were heading back to Denver after being in Utah.  We decided to try to meet up somewhere in the middle and try to catch up for a second over dinner.  I'm SO glad it worked out.  
We LOVE the Garlock family and it was crazy to see how much their kids have grown.  For some reason the last year feels like someone pushed the pause button on my life and therefore it's weird to see that everyone else has been moving forward and growing so big!
The drive back to Utah was, thankfully, uneventful.  We had just one day left with Glenn before he had to fly out to Saudi again and go back to work.  We decided this was our last chance to show the kids BYU together so that's where we spent the next morning.  
We showed them the student center, we walked around the HFAC and showed them were I took classes and stages I got to perform on.  Then we walked to the ESC to show the boys some cool science experiments and talk about where Daddy learned to be a geologist.  It was a great morning together as family.  The boys had a great time.  We got them little BYU souvenirs, Glenn and I ran in to some of our favorite professors and were able to catch up briefly.  It was perfect. 

It was a drizzly morning so we even happened upon some snails along the way which the boys thought was pretty cool.
And on our way back to Aubry's house for naps we stopped at the Marriott center on the off chance that it was opened to show Finn where Tyler Haws used to play.  Finn was pretty impressed even though it was under some construction.

That night Aubry had to work and Cody was out of town so Glenn and I got to watch all the kids and get them all to bed!  We had fun taking care of the sweet Hansen kids.  They are such darling, kind little kids and I'm so glad they let us crash in their space for so long so my kids can get to know them and have memories of playing with their cousins.  
The next morning Glenn had to leave us.  We spent hours the night before packing boxes and weighing everything to make sure we got everything in that we needed to and didn't have to adjust anything at the airport.  Then he had to call for a shuttle since I couldn't leave all the kiddos and there wouldn't be room in the car for all of us to bring him and still fit in all of the boxes.  He's such a great daddy.  We were really sad to see him go and all of us went through a little withdrawal in our own way over the next three weeks being without him.  This repat thing is pretty tricky but I think we learned a lot on this first trip and hopefully we can tweak things and make it a little easier process next year.  We'll see!


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Picture Tuesday, week 38

I can't seem to quite get back on top of the blog lately.  We've had so many big and little family adventures and it's all I can do to get the Picture Tuesdays posted.  Hopefully we'll get caught up eventually.  But not today.
Kenna and Taryn have had a busy week.  Because they're so busy lately!  They're always on the move.  Opening drawers, pulling books off of shelves, eating carpet fluff and crumbs from under the table.  It's forced me to be more diligent about cleaning up and keeping an eye on them to be sure.  Luckily they're still humoring me by being willing to sit in their bouncy chairs for about as long as it takes me to prep dinner or do some dishes and that helps a lot.
Taryn's first little tooth just popped through two days ago!  It's not visible yet but it's just starting to peek through.  I think Kenna is working on her first tooth too.  It's so cute and kind of bittersweet at the same time.  Seeing little teeth when they smile makes them look so big and while the girls are not there yet, they will be VERY soon now that teeth are starting to peek through.
Here are my little ladies, 38 weeks old!  The little ladies were NOT cooperating the only time I could find to sit down and take pictures of them.  They both kept crawling toward me trying to get their hands on the camera...so these are the pictures we ended up with this week.  They'll have to do.  What little sillies!


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Picture Tuesday, week 37

This week the little girlies have been out longer than they were in.  That's always a strange little milestone for me because the first half of their existence felt SO much longer and it's strange to think that they've been little babies being held and loved by their family for that long!  

This week it seems that Taryn has developed a death wish.  A few days ago I went to a youth fireside and she crawled behind the toilet while Glenn was bathing the boys and grabbed one of those little white caps that cover the toilet screws.  She got it lodged in her mouth with her jaw wedged opened as far as it would go.  Glenn turned her over and hit her back and it somehow dislodged a little and he was able to get it out but her poor little gums were bleeding from it being in there so tight. Poor Glenn.  I can't imagine how panicked I would have been if I had been here.  Then just yesterday I was doing breakfast dishes and turned to see her standing at the water cooler right underneath the hot water spout and reaching up to push the hot water button.  One more second and she would have had boiling hot water spraying down on her little face!  Seriously Taryn, slow down just a second!  

Kenna has been so cheery this week while Taryn has taken a little step back from beaming at just anyone.  Her brothers usually get smiles but anyone else she kind of gives blank stares as if to say, "you have not earned any reward from me.  Who are you?  And why should I care?"  It's fascinating to see how different the girls are already.  Taryn is very physical and Kenna is more emotional.  Kenna will just light up with a little bit of interaction and snuggles.  Taryn likes to play pat-a-cake, wrestle, and be swung around a bit.  They both do not love to be put down if you've been playing with them.  And they do not appreciate when you leave the room or walk past without picking them up.  I love seeing their little personalities come out even with just the few things that they're currently able to do.  

They're both crawling now.  Kenna's is almost like the worm.  She uses her legs and toes a lot and while she can get up on her knees she hasn't quite started to use them in a real crawl yet.  She can still get anywhere she wants to go though.  And Taryn's little crawl is mostly one legged.  She kind of swings her right leg up to the side to move her forward and then scoots the left one forward.  It's pretty funny but the girl can move.  This week I've seen Kenna and Taryn crawl right over the top of their sister to get to a toy or something that they wanted on the other side.  The sister being crawled on does not enjoy it very much but the sister doing the climbing doesn't seem to notice that at all.  I sure love my little baby girls.  

Here they are at 37 weeks old!  

 Kenna showing off her impressive tongue.
 And trying to figure out what that big black thing is that Mom keeps holding in front of her face.
 Sweet T.
 Here's her blank stare.  Still adorable.
 Hanging out with Tate during his piano practice.