Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Picture Tuesday, 43 weeks old

T and K are growing so fast.  It's funny how when I'm holding them and taking care of them all day they don't seem too different to me.  But once in a while I look across the room and see someone else holding them and they seem HUGE!  Like nearly one-year-olds, which they are!  They don't look like teensy babies any more.  Pretty soon they'll be walking little toddlers.  Where did the time go?!

This week they've started to team up on us a little bit more often.  It's pretty funny.  I'll be in the bathroom and one of them will push the door closed while the other heads to the closet hidden behind the door to start taking things off shelves.  They are getting much faster at crawling and can take off around the whole house in just a couple of minutes.  More than once this week they've snuck off while I was doing something and I've had to hunt them down and really look to find where they'd gotten to because it was no where near where I left them.  Sometimes I find them under a table or a bench or in a closet.  It's crazy but really fun too.

Here are Taryn and Kenna at 43 weeks old.
 I think Kenna may be cutting some teeth today.  She's been a little fevery and clingy, poor little babe.  Hence the half closed tired eyes.
Taryn was a stinker for pictures today.  This was the best smile she'd give me.
 Then I picked her up and flipped the camera so she could see her face in my phone and we got these smiles.

Little turkey.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Picture Tuesday week 42

Taryn and Kenna are finally feeling better.  They were not doing their best for an entire week.  They both had a couple days of low fevers and then several days of just being fussy and feeling extra tired and needing to be snugged.  Which we didn't mind all too much.
Taryn's second little bottom tooth is starting to peek through today and she's been a little cranky about it, poor sweet baby. We had our first family pictures as a family of 6 last weekend.  I think it went pretty smoothly considering that we have so many small busy kiddos.  I felt like Glenn or I or both of us were trying to get someone to look at the camera or smile a normal smile for 2 hours.  Hopefully Allison was able to get just one picture with all of us looking normal!
Taryn's hair has changed so much seemingly overnight.  This week she's got just enough fluff that it's starting to look a little funny with a headband because it makes her hair stand up funny over the headband so we're trying to put little clippies in it instead.  But now Kenna has discovered how irresistible it is to pull Taryn's hair clips out and chew on them.  Taryn doesn't like that very much.  Her hair isn't quite ready for elastics but it's fun to see how different she looks with just a little more hair on top and her little soft hairs covering her ears now too.
The girls are settling into a pretty decent routine.  They usually wake up around 6 or 6:30, take a nap around 8 and are up again at 9 or 10 depending on if we have anywhere to be.  Then they're starting to get fussy again around noon which is right when Glenn and Tate are heading back to work and school after lunch and when Finn goes down for his nap too.  They sleep until 2 or 3 and then go back to bed at about 7:30 every night.  They are being pretty sweet playing on the floor with toys or their brothers while we get cleaning or practicing or homework or cooking done.  We're going to be putting Christmas stuff up soon so we'll see how that goes with two babies on the floor!  The boys were always so good.  They'd get sneaky once in a while but usually they'd listen when we told them, "no" even when they were little babes.
Here are our sweet little girls at 42 weeks old.
Pictures were a bit of a joke today.  I was trying to talk Tate through his piano practicing during our little photo session so my attention was already divided.  The girls would smile at me so big until I put the camera up to my face and then their faces went blank like they were under a spell.
Hypnotized by the camera and unable resist the urge to crawl toward it and try to get fingerprints all over the lens.  It was hilarious.  Silly little girls.
 I love Taryn's little worried eyebrows in this picture.  She's always had such expressive eyebrows.  Even before she grew in some eye brows.

 Here we come, Mom.  We're gonna get a closer look at that camera of yours.  Hmmmmm.
 Playing with the boys' knight sword.

I love my sweet little baby girls.  What little dolls.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Repat Part 3: Flying Solo...sort of

The first week that Glenn was gone we spent an evening with Cody and Aubry's family at the Thanksgiving Point Dinosaur museum.  The boys were pretending to be fighting dinosaurs outside the museum.  It was entertaining, as always.

I love this look on Taryn's face.  And the fact that she and Kenna are often in this position while in their stroller.  With their legs straight up in the air.  It's so funny.
Tate and Mya checking out some fishies.
Cody with Finn and Hayzer.
Finn and Hayze had a blast playing with Uncle Cody in this cave and trying not to get caught by the bear!

The kiddos and I had one really great morning at the outlet malls all by ourselves.  It was magical.  I crossed a bunch of things off my list, the weather was gorgeous, the boys were patient and obedient, no one had an accident or blow out.  They were having some sort of an event there that day and they had little games and sponsor booths set up so the boys won some little free prizes.  They even walked on a little runway to music and were so thrilled with their free chapstick.  I got back in the car at the end of our morning of shopping and felt so much confidence and peace.  It's really hard living in Saudi and truly not being able to run errands on my own or with my kids because transportation is such a nightmare and it's really not safe to be out in the community with my kids on my own.  So it felt incredible to be reminded that I am a capable woman, that my children are good, obedient kids, and that if we lived in normal circumstances I WOULD be able to do all of things I needed to do on my own even with twin babies.  The normalcy of that little outing and several others throughout the rest of our repat felt like such a sigh of relief.  A confirmation that my ability to be out and about with my kids hasn't changed, it's just my current living environment that is inhibitive.  
Later that week we took the kiddos to the Hogle Zoo.  So many things in this repat worked out so perfectly.  The fact that there was a dinosaur exhibit at the zoo during our visit was one of those things that felt serendipitous for my boys.  And being able to visit on a chilly, drizzly day with our cousins was so fun!   

It was so cute seeing our kids carrying their maps around all day and making sure we didn't miss any of the dinosaurs or their favorite animals.
I love this lion drinking fountain.  I have a picture of me drinking from it when I was a little girl too.
Finn wasn't so sure if he liked it.
These were the spitting dinosaurs.  Tate and Finn weren't too keen on getting close to these guys.  Unfortunately Uncle Cody was all too aware of that fact and held a screaming Tate in front of this guy just a few seconds after this picture.

Run boys! Run!
Tate's favorite dinosaur was definitely the T-rex.  I think Finn's favorite at the zoo was the bird show we saw.  His face was so cute as he watched the big birds fly right over his head.
My friend Heather Reeves from Denver came into town for a quick weekend to see us while we were on repat.  Her parents live in Farmington and they invited us to dinner one night.  They have a beautiful home and it was really fun to spend some time together and meet her parents.  
And the boys had a great time wrestling with her new husband, Mr. Brad.
Then a few days later she met up with us at temple square, literally on her way to the airport.  Glenn and I wanted to take our kiddos there before he left but the plague had struck and we had to bail.  So I'm glad that Heather was willing to meet up with us there and show my kiddos the temple grounds.  
These silly brothers couldn't be reverent the WHOLE time, now could they?
I wish so much that my boys could see this place dressed up for Christmas.  I miss Christmas lights so so much and temple square takes the cake.
I showed them the assembly hall where I played in a competition when I was a little girl.  I have some really magical memories of that building.

Miss Heather and the boys.
And a couple of pictures with me and my littles.

After we walked around the temple grounds we went across the street and had a delicious lunch at blue lemon.  My goodness it was SO good!  And the kids were really well-behaved.  Thank heavens.  When we were walking to the car I asked the boys how they felt at the temple.  Tate's response was, "happy."  Finn said..."hungry?"
Mya and Sadie were so sweet with their baby cousins.
They were always offering to help feed them bottles and help with baths.  Mya loved to help wash the babies in the tub and spread on their lotion once they got out.  One night I started the bath downstairs and I heard her little feet running down the stairs.  She ran into the room and said, "Why didn't you tell me you were going to bathe the babies?  I would love to help!"  Once when Finn needed to go potty really quickly while Mya and I were feeding the girls on the couch, she said, "You can go Auntie Kim.   I can feed them both by myself."  And she really could.  And look how happy it made her.
Here's my sweet girls smiling while Mya plays peek-a-boo.
Sweet cousin Sadie.
Auntie Mallo came to spend a week with us before she accompanied us on our European adventure and we packed our week with tons of fun and tons of last minute errand running and shopping as well.  The Hansens showed us the new Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point.  It was probably the coolest children's museum I've ever seen.  Every room had a different theme and was filled with hands on experiments and places to play.  This room was about the way your mind works and playing tricks on your mind and eyes.  It was really cool.  Finn just wanted to shoot baskets.  Of course.

This is a sloth hang in the jungle room.  You have to keep your body off the mat and it times you to see how long you can hang like a sloth.

Auntie Mallo gave it her best shot.
But no one could top Mya's sloth grip and intense focus!

This is a cobra squeeze.  You're supposed to squeeze that big green column and it measures how tight you can squeeze.  Finn loves any chance to show his muscles!
All around the jungle room was this huge climbing structure and in one corner was a crashed airplane.  Finn wanted to play in that thing SO bad!  We waited in a long line to get our turn in the climbing structure and then once we got to the top we waited to have a turn in the airplane.  Finn would have played in there all night if there hadn't been a line of people waiting behind him.  Tate was happy to be the co-pilot shouting directions at Finn of where to fly and who to shoot at.
Auntie Mallo was such a trooper and so much help as always with all our little sweeties.
Nana and Grampa stayed back in the little babes area to take care of Taryn and Kenna while we scrambled all over the place with the rest of our little monkeys.
One night Aubry's group had a party at the Scera pool and we decided to make it a family affair!  These boys did far too little swimming this repat.  That's something we should remedy next year.  They are such little fishies.
Nana and Grampa with the babes.

Auntie Kenzie was happy to take Finny up to the slide over and over again.  Once he went down he didn't want to stop.
Auntie Aubry snuggling her little shivering Sadie girl

After the pool closed we set off on our second mission of the night: to find the donut truck!  Mallory follows them on instagram and we were so excited to try this little Utah delicacy.  It did NOT disappoint!  Here are the boys, making their silly faces and so excited to try donuts from the donut truck.  Don't they look like they need a bowl full of sugar in their lives?

Lemon merengue, Boston cream pie, and cinnamon sugar.  All equally delicious!

When Glenn and I took the kiddos to BYU we ran into one of my favorite professors, Amy Jensen.  It was SO great to see her and we both really wanted to find time to catch up.  She and my high school theatre teacher, Julia Ashworth, who now teaches at BYU as well, had time one day at lunch so I brought my kiddos and we ate lunch together at the cougareat.  It was SO wonderful to catch up with them.  To hear what is new in the department and the field and to introduce them to my little family.  I was so proud of my kids.  It was not an ideal outing for them but they behaved so well and I really loved being able to see them again.  They both had such a profound impact on my life and it makes my soul smile to be around them.
The next day Mallo and I decided to take the kids on a hike.  We miss our Utah mountains and wanted to go for a hike while we were in town and I was really excited about the idea of taking the boys on a hike and encouraging them to do something physically hard.  Tate and Finn had been looking at the Y on the mountain all week and were excited about the idea of hiking up to it.  
I had never been before and seriously underestimated how difficult it would be.  It was SO steep.  It wasn't terribly far but with our tired little boys and two babies strapped to our chests it made for a very difficult hike.  Dad met us up there and hiked with us.  It was nice to have an extra set of hands and another encouraging adult as well.  Another fatal mistake I made was deciding that since it was such a "short" hike we'd probably be fine without water.  That was dumb.  I just didn't want to carry it.  But by about half way up Finn had had it!  Some kind hikers on their way down gave Finn and Tate a drink and we were so grateful.  That gave the boys just the boost they needed to keep going.  We finally made it. 

And while it was hard and really I regret not bringing water, I'm so glad we did it.  The boys talked all day long about how proud they were of themselves and how glad they were that we went on a hike.  They pointed to the Y on the mountain and talked about how they had climbed up to it.  It was awesome.
We had been telling the kids all week that we would take them to a splash pad and we kept having to postpone so that morning after the hike we ran down to riverwoods and let them play.  It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day and the kids had a blast.  Next year we need to do more of that as well.  Just getting out someplace fun for the kids to get wet.  They were all in heaven.

Even the little babies who stayed dry and cool in their car seats in the shade.
On one of our last evenings we visited my cousin Kevin and Stephanie Thomas and their family.  We used to see their family all the time growing up and Mal and I were dying to spend some time with them again.  They invited us over to dinner and we spent a blissful few hours in their home, catching up, watching Kevin wrestle and throw my boys around, and watching their sweet kids love on my baby girls.  It was just wonderful to be around their family.  They have five kids, two sets of multiples, and seem to be doing it all right.  I'm sure they have their problems, like everyone does, but I admire them so much.  
We couldn't let a trip to Utah pass without a breakfast at Kneaders.  So one morning Mallory and I packed up the kids and headed to Kneaders for French toast.  The food was delicious until Finn laid down on the bench telling us, in a completely nonchalant voice, that he was going to throw up.  And then we look over and Kenna has completely blown through her diaper, and outfit, and it's all over the carseat.  It was the grossest, biggest poop yet. 
I started to clean her up and seriously couldn't believe the amount of poop that was in and also out of her diaper. Huge mounds of slippery poop just dropping everywhere.  
I wiped down the changing pad and car seat as best I could and then, with just two wipes left, I turned around to see this:
I mean, come on!  I ended up changing her on a paper towel and wiping her down with piles of wet paper towels.  It was so gross.  We had intended to run some errands while we were out but instead we had to go back to Aubry's, bathe the babies, and take their car seats apart to be washed as well.  That morning left Mal and I a little shell-shocked.  We both joked that we had PTSD after those pooplosions and we were seriously worried about being able to deal with something like that while flying across the world in a few days with four kids in tow.  Oh dear me.
That last Sunday we went to church and then played in Cody and Aub's beautiful back yard.

We played with airplanes, tried to make babies smile,

And big boys smile too,

Mallory and I made the kids run obstacle courses around the yard.  Everyone finished the night with grass stains and nice and sweaty.  The perfect summer evening.
Late night Grampa snuggles.  
A couple of days before we packed up we went to a pond in Alpine to do a little fishing.
Tate caught the first fish with Grampa and was SO pleased and proud.  He carried it around for the rest of the evening telling us what his name was and letting us know when he started to get dry and stiff.
Pretty soon Finny caught one too and had his little fish pal too.  It was darling.  Finn's fish was named Fin.  Obviously.

It was so nice of Dad and Cody to take my boys out fishing.  They had a great time and made some sweet memories fishing with family.
The next night was spent packing and weighing bags.  We ended up with two large suitcases, three stuffed duffle bags, a diaper bag, camera bag, two boys backpacks, two strollers, four car seats.  It was nuts.  Mal and I were pretty anxious about what was coming next!  I was sad to leave the convenience of the states and the closeness of family, but I was excited to start our European cruise and REALLY excited to see Glenn again.
 We had to get one more crazy cousins picture for the road!
It was so great to stay with these cousins.  They were so good to my kids and it was so nice to have them around to play with at all hours of the day!  We'd wake up in the morning and walk to the stairs and there would be Sadie, sitting at the top, just waiting for us to wake up so we could play.  Hayze and Finn absolutely loved each other as long as Finn wasn't letting Hayzer's teasing get to him.  And Mya and Tate were great buddies too.  Often I'd walk into the room and catch bits and pieces of the worlds they were creating to play make believe.  Worlds mixed with princess palace pets, my little ponies, marvel super heroes and star wars.  I love them so much at this age.  Where they aren't bothered by the fact that they're in different grades or that they are boys or girls.  They just love each other and playing together is so much fun.  It was an especially difficult time for Cody and Aubry to host us as she went in the next day to have her little baby.  But they were wonderful hosts and didn't complain about our crazy little bunch.  
It was a busy, hectic, stressful, and fulfilling first repat.  We learned a lot of things that we'd do differently, and a lot of things that worked just right.  Hopefully one of these years we'll get it figured out.