Happy Halloween!


...from our littlest spook.
Yeah, I totally did.

We have plans to dress up and party hardy today.  Our plans include a parade, a carnival at the park, and two trunk {trick} or treats.  If we're still in good spirits, we may hit up a few houses in the neighborhood before retiring to our own home to answer the door.  It's going to be a good night!  Especially after I collect a few chocolate items for my "mom tax".

Snapshots of Life Lately


:: Sunday afternoon nap with Dad
:: Kitty!  Kitty!  {Must be said in the highest range of your voice possible}  This cat hung out at our house for days.  Jed loved his new pal.
:: Levi: I love how he rests his head on my chest.  I can't get over how cute his tiny feet are.  And his little face melts my heart.  Levi refuses to suck on a pacifier.  Instead, he shoves his fist in his mouth. 
:: Play dough!  The best rainy day activity ever, especially when the neighbor girls come to play.
:: Squatting to get the right angle for a photo--just like mommy.
:: I looove kissing Levi's fat cheeks.  He smiles and asks for more!
:: We took a day trip to visit my mom in Boise.  We toured the open-house for the Boise LDS Temple.  It was BEAUTIFUL!  The color palette and upholstery blew me away.  And the feeling inside was so peaceful.  Families really are forever.  Then we grabbed some lunch and let Jed play at the indoor park.  The fry in the pencil spot was all Jed.  Silly kid.  We had a great day hanging out with my mom.

Of Pumpkins and Potatoes


We love it when Bron is home.  We enjoyed some classic fall time fun this weekend!  Our little family hit up the pumpkin patch on Saturday afternoon.  Jed had fun running through the little straw maze; it was just his height!  Then we picked out our pumpkins.  I am in love with Fall, so Bron let me choose.  I chose three of the biggest and most beautiful pumpkins I could find to flank our doorstep on All Hallows Eve.  Two weigh over 30lbs.  I can't wait for Halloween!

It's also spud harvest.  Truck load after truck load of potatoes were lining up outside our neighbor's cellar to be stored for the winter so we took a little family walk over there to watch the show.  I took a peek into the cellar.  It was incredible to see that many potatoes piled so high!  I love that kind of stuff.  Then our neighbor Mr. Higley pointed out some piles of dirt off to the side and told me to look closely.  There, among the dirt piles, were giant potatoes!  They looked like rocks.  These potatoes were the rejects: perfectly good potatoes but funny shaped and therefore unfit for market.  Many of them were over 8 inches long and begging to be baked.  I had Jed help me glean some.  Poor kid had a tough time telling the difference between a dirt clod and a potato!  Some folks invited us to just take some spuds straight off the conveyer, but I declined; these reject spuds would be just as tasty.  We went home, scrubbed the potatoes, rubbed them with oil and salt, and stuck them in the oven.  Then we had the Raiger family over for a delicious funny shaped baked potato dinner.

It was a really great Saturday.  

Tummy Time


Sooo strong!
....and then he lost his balance and rolled over.  Quite by accident, of course.  
But can't I claim that he first rolled over on October 16th anyway?

I can't help crooning over my own son's pictures.  He is just so stinkin' cute!  His smiles take up his whole face and I just can't get enough.  His smiles make me smile; they make me feel like I'm doing something right as his momma.  Those happy faces come often and easily these days.  Levi has morphed from a newborn infant into a full blown baby in just a few short weeks.  He is longer and rounder and sturdier and much more alert.  He's taken interest in toys and books.  I am loving all these "big" changes and am actually a little grateful to have those newborn days behind us because honestly, I'd forgotten how tough they really are.

I feel like I am emerging from a thick fog.  I feel like I am finally getting some grip with my new mommy-of-two shoes.  I'm wearing them in and they're feeling comfy now: I actually cook meals and both of my boys are getting bathed regularly.  Go me!  I've got this mommy of two thing--most of the time.  And guess what?  I am LOVING it. 

I took Levi to the doctor today for his two month well checkup and first round of shots.  (Poor baby.)  It felt strange at check-in to say "Levi" instead of "Jedediah".  That thought reminded me of the first few times I took Jed to the doctor for his well checkups.  It felt so strange to hear that name called by the nurse and stand up.  It felt even more strange to be the person responsible for such a tiny human being; it almost felt illegal!  Society trusts me to keep this thing alive and thriving?  Whoa.  I probably looked as clueless as I felt.  Today however, I didn't have very many questions for the pediatrician.  Levi seems happy and perfectly healthy; a sweet blessing.  And the doctor told me I was doing a great job.  That's always nice to hear.

So here's to motherhood, round two!  It's a good life.

Family Pictures in 10 minutes


Levi is now ten weeks old and I realized that we didn't have a single picture of all four of us together as a family.  So when Bron arrived home from work at a decent hour, I informed him of what we would be doing that night.  But first, he said he had to go for a run.  We went as a family.  Bron pushed Levi in the stroller and I rode my bike with Jed in the seat on the back.  We were slow.  We hurried to get ready when we arrived back home--Bron showered, makeup on me, the boys dressed, Levi fed--but we missed all the good light!  No matter.  I was still going to get my pictures; they are that important to me.  So we posed in front of a neighbor's pretty tree and asked a friend to snap a few shots.  Voila!  Family pictures.  There are so many things wrong with these, but they will do for now and make me happy even if Jed didn't feel like cooperating much.  My plan is to spend some actual time getting some great shots next year when the baby is no longer a little plop.  So until then... these are our family pictures.

 Candid shot

 We laughed because this isn't our dog!  And she posed just like she belonged there.

My boys.  I love them so very much.

Here's to Happiness This Week


 Things that put a smile on my face this week:

 Watching Levi sleep peacefully in my arms.  I never want to put him down!

Beautiful warm and sunny Autumn days
Playing at the park with my boys
Admiring Levi's new roly poly thighs and little feet in the tub.  I could eat those tiny toes.  They're so cute!
 Watching Jed carefully fold his arms, bow his head, and close his eyes for prayer
 Apples + Caramel

 Turning around to see Jed dragging a cat UPSIDE-DOWN into the house.  He took it straight to his room.  I couldn't quit laughing!  (Because... we don't own a cat.)

Squinty smiles and happy coos from Levi
Seeing the reactions on Jed's face as we read stories together
SLEEP!!!  (Levi isn't consistent yet, but he can sleep all. night. long.)
Organizing and de-cluttering the laundry room.  It is CLEAN!  And it feels so good.
Running for miles!  I go with two kids in a stroller at 10am four days a week.  Anyone want to join me?

 Watching Levi's reaction to his mobile.  He could watch his bugs all day.  I just wish I could insert his sound effects.

Other Happiness posts found HERE

The Pumpkin Festival


Among great weekend highlights like Kaleb's football game and general conference, we also hit up The Pumpkin Festival and Carnival.  It was a crisp and breezy perfect October day for celebrating Fall!  I bought a fistful of tickets and my boys and I enjoyed ourselves very much.

First order of business: a train ride!  Jed begged to go, but when I placed him in the seat he wasn't quite sure what to think.  Five minutes later he arrived back with a grin on his face.  Next, we tackled carnival games like bobbing for apples and a cupcake walk.  Jed actually won the goldfish toss!  Winner or not though, all the kids collected bagfuls of candy and prizes.  But the best part by far was the tractor pulled hay ride to the pumpkin patch.  Each child got to pick a "free" pumpkin.  Jed was so overwhelmed by the number of pumpkins, he simply could not choose!  He kept picking up the little orange globes and lining them up in a row.  Then he started to feel anxious as the tractors kept passing us by!  He didn't understand that they would be making yet another loop and be back in a few minutes.  So we hopped on the next hay ride--Jed with a relaxed satisfactory smile on his face and a perfect orange pumpkin.  By then it was time for a nap.  Jed had a public meltdown, one more train ride, another meltdown, and then a silent sleepy ride home.

It was an afternoon of fall time fun for everyone!  I'm already looking forward to doing it again next year.

Hi Levi! {Two Months}


This baby of mine is quite a momma's boy at the moment and I am very proud of it.  He prefers me over anyone else.  Of course, I am his sole source of comfort and provider of every meal.  As soon as I enter the room the tone of his cries suddenly change into something more urgent and hopeful.  I love picking up his tiny body, kissing his soft round cheeks, and snuggling him.  My favorite cuddling moments happen when he falls asleep on my chest.  Sometimes I lay down in the early hours of the morning and sleep too--with a warm precious little weight on my chest and sweet baby smell.  Levi really is a sweet baby boy. He is happiest in the mornings.  That's when he is most likely to show off his adorable eye-scrunching grin and heart-melting coos; in the morning or on the changing table.  He is completely content throughout the day and can entertain himself for fifteen minutes or so on the floor.  I am so glad because this gives me a chance to get something done... or play one on one with Levi's big brother.  Someday I imagine I'll be rough housing with both boys at the same time.  Won't that be a riot?  But for now, Levi is a sweet innocent little plop that I get to dress and bathe and feed and cuddle as my real life doll.  I am loving having a baby all over again and I am completely in love with him.

On another note, and I'm afraid to say this out loud for fear of jinxing it, but Levi has been sleeping through the night!  Yes, literally through the night.  Levi is often a lot of work to put down, but once he is down and out in his own crib, he doesn't wake to eat until around 4:00AM.  And then he sleeps for another three hours.  Wow!  How did I get so lucky?  Sleep feels so good!

P.S.  I can now squeeeze into some of my old skinny clothes!  Nursing and running are beginning to look good on me.  Hip, Hip, Hooray!!!

The Most Pathetic Caramel Apples Ever


Happy Weekend!  Lately our weekends have begun on Thursday.  It really doesn't matter what the reason; all that matters is that we're ready for something a little less ordinary.  We've been getting together with our neighbors a lot for walks/runs with the kids, play dates, barbeques, etc.  On Thursday afternoon when the electricity went out for several hours (that's what happens when you live out in the country), I invited our neighbor friends Amy and Dani and their children over to make caramel apples on my gas stove (that still works when the electricity is out).  We waited and waited and waited for the caramel to reach the specified temperature.  And then?  The caramel simply ran off the apples like syrup.  Our caramel was a fail, but it didn't stop us from having a good time anyway.  We decorated the apples and ate them despite their odd looks.  They were U-G-L-Y but they still tasted great!  And then our husbands came home and we finished the evening with pizza... because who can cook dinner when the electricity is out?  (Oh, I can!)


Other weekend highlights:

::  We invited more friends over on Friday night for dinner and a movie.  Bron's special tomato sauce over chicken parmigiana is to die for!

::  Bron babysat Jed so I could go shopping all by myself on Saturday.  It was a break I desperately needed.  I took my mini companion with me and we hit the stores!  We came back with Fall decorations for the house and new clothes for the both of us, including a little Halloween outfit for Levi to answer the door in.  It glows in the dark!

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