Sunday, April 29, 2012

Do-Over

 We tried again to get a photo of both kiddos in their Sunday best and finally we had success! No blow-outs this time.






Friday, April 27, 2012

Snuggle Time

 We've been taking advantage of precious snuggle time with Grandma Pace & Amy lately. This is what the girls usually look like after Sunday dinner -- snuggled up in front of a princess movie with Grandma & Amy. We're going to miss this!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Henry At 3 Months

I can't believe how fast this little man is growing! He just gets sweeter and sweeter every day.

Henry is sleeping from about 8:30 PM until about 6:00 AM every day, at which point he eats and goes back down until around 10:00 AM. Plus he takes three naps, about an hour each during the day. That's like 16 or 17 hours of sleep per day. Holy smokes! Is that even normal? I don't know, but I'll take it.

Henry can't get enough of his hands lately. He sucks on them noisily any chance he gets. The other day he jammed them in his mouth so far he made himself throw up, ha ha. He especially loves to suck on mom or dad's hands (which, for the record, I think is gross). We just have to make sure we've washed our hands really well right before! He's not so much a fan of his binky these days either, which is a blessing because it means we won't have to wean him from it in the future.

Henry smiles like crazy now. All you have to do is catch his eyes and say his name softly. Plus this boy is ticklish as all get-out! Thighs, tummy, ribs, neck...you name it. So cute.

I don't know how much this boy weighs but he looks giant to me! He's got rolls on his arms & legs, which I love. (Never had a baby with rolls before!) He started wearing his 6-9 month clothes at 12 weeks, so yeah. He's throwing off my shopping groove big-time. (Special shout-out to Grandma Spencer for saving the day and buying Henry a new Sunday outfit that fits his body AND the season at the same time. You are a lifesaver!)

Henry's hair is wild. He's got Chris's sweet cowlick (just like emme has). It wants to stand straight up so we just own it and rock the faux-hawk most days. Emme's little hands can't resist touching it.

Henry has the most sensitive skin in the land. If someone holds him who is using laundry detergent he doesn't agree with, he'll come home with one side of his face all red and flared up where it touched their clothing. So we keep everything mild & gentle around here, and wash everything like crazy. Now that the weather's warming up, I'm afraid to put sunscreen on him. I'm going to go with the keep-him-covered-up method for as long as I can, until I find some fancy schmancy super-sensitive sunscreen for him.


 
Yum! Fingers!
Happy boy!
The shutter-click startled him!

Pinching Henry's nose, for some reason...

We love you, Henry & Emme!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Electrical Engi-Mom


Henry loves his swing. It's practically a member of the family, which would make his favorite people list look like this:
1. Mom
2. Swing
3. Emme
4. Dad

Seriously. If the swing smelled like breastmilk it'd probably surpass me for the top spot. The only problem with Henry loving his swing so much is that we go through batteries like CRAZY! So Chris had a grand idea that I should jimmy-rig it and bypass the batteries so we could plug it right into the wall. 

So one night after the kids went to bed I cracked it open, popped out the batteries, wired it to an AC adapter and plugged it into the wall. And it swing like a champ. Booya. Who says moms don't use their degrees?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter



 Emme was sick on Easter, so we had to get a picture of her in her Easter dress from Grandma Spencer the week after. We were planning to get a picture with little bubba too, but he pooped through his outfit. Sigh.






Friday, April 13, 2012

Piano

We bought a piano this month! Emme and I are both in heaven. We play & sing every day while Henry sits in his bouncer & listens. We love it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Stu

In April we celebrated Stu & Nora Jane's birthdays while my parents were in Australia (visiting my aunt & uncle who are mission presidents there, to see how things work & get their feet wet). We put together a yummy dinner & cake & presents & festivities, all by ourselves. I was pretty impressed! Hopefully a sign of how well we'll keep it together when my parents are gone for good.

We started with homemade burgers & fries, and then opened presents. Stu had lots of help from the little girls.

Amy got Stu a Ukraine flag.
Jules made Stu one of the t-shirts we all wore during the basketball state tournament.
Graydon, being delightful as always.
Stu's Spanish soccer jersey.
Brooke made an awesome cake. It was so awesome in fact, that I ate an entire piece before I realized it was chocolate (and therefore a no-no). So what did I do? I ate a second piece, since I already knew I'd doomed myself to a day of colossal spit-up-ness the next day.

Stu loved his cake, even though the only candles we could find in the cupboard were "3" and "0!"
Happy birthday, Stu! We sure love you and we're going to miss you like crazy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Assembly Line

When I change Henry's diaper on the changing pad, Emme drags her stool over so she can stand up and talk to him while I work. Every morning she requests that I change him on the ground so she can see him better. (She must miss him after going a whole 8 hours without her Henry-fix.)

So every morning we lay out a blanket and make our diaper-change assembly line. We change whoever is poopy first, and then get everyone dressed for the day. Emme loves to be able to talk to Henry and touch his head while we hang out. And Henry seems to love the sound of Emme's voice -- he'll crane his neck to follow her sound wherever she goes. These two are going to be such good friends!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Emme had a cold on Easter (thanks to the Discovery Gateway Museum), so she had to stay home from church and we didn't get a picture of her in her Easter dress! So it'll have to wait until next week.


However, the Easter bunny did come to our house, and Emme had a great time going through her basket (and Henry's), and finding all of the hidden eggs.


Our baskets were candy-less this year, except for a tube of mini M&M's (Emme's favorite). We still got lots of fun things, like silly straws, a Toy Story book, a microphone an apron to help mom in the kitchen, Lady & The Tramp on DVD, some craft stamps, a new coloring book & giant crayons (we keep breaking those darn small ones), and some really fun Easter books from aunt Lynne.



Later in the day we had dinner with Grandma & Grandpa Spencer and all the cousins, and the Easter bunny visited Grandma's house & left goodies as well. What lucky kids we had this year!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Genius Baby

Henry is awake a lot more these days and much more interactive. He smiles and smiles at anyone who will make eye contact with him, and he's even found his voice a little. His coos are so cute! They make me melt.


He also loves to play under his hanging toys in the play gym. We have an owl with a tinker toy in it that he just LOVES. He'll lay under it for a good 30-40 minutes at a time. He's even learned how to hit it when he wants to, and he only uses one hand while the other hand hangs out on his belly. The first time I noticed him do this I told Chris I was convinced we'd given birth to a genius! :)

{Disregard the pink wrist rattle. It's unisex, I promise! The other one is a cow and it's very black and white. :) }

Friday, April 6, 2012

My Little Picasso

The Easter Bunny decided to do candy-less baskets at our house this year. So while I was ordering a few things from Oriental Trading to get the job done, I picked up a few craft kits as well to try out. Emme is getting to the stage where she loves to color, use stickers, stamp things, etc. Crafts are right up her alley. (Are we sure this is my child?)

I found a fun magnetic foam Easter egg craft that we had a lot of fun with this year. It came with twelve kits so we did a few with friends on some playdates, and we made a few for grandparents as well. We still had a few left as Easter was nearing so I decided we should finish them up and use them as decor on the fridge (or dishwasher, as it were).


The kits had instructions for each egg design that included a picture of how the foam should go on the egg. Emme liked to throw caution into the wind and come up with her own designs. A few of them turned out very abstract, I love it! Sometimes I wanted to try to correct her and show her how they should go but I had to sensor myself and let her do it on her own. Who says they have to be done a certain way? They turned out very cute and Emme was so proud of herself. My little Picasso!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Discovery Gateway

I've started to figure out Henry's schedule a little bit, and his naps are becoming routine. After his 9am feeding he'll play for about 30 minutes and then go down for a good, long solid nap before his next feeding. The timing is fantastic because I can grocery shop, run errands or take Emme on outings and I know he'll sleep soundly the entire time so we can get lots done!


The other day I took Emme to Discovery Gateway during Henry's naptime and it was so much fun! It was super crowded because all the school kids were on spring break (which I didn't realize), but we had fun anyway. Emme's favorite part was having me build her inside of a tower of giant legos. So fun!

The downside of Discovery Gateway is that every time we go, we catch a cold. I'm not even kidding! I've got a hand sanitizer keychain strapped to the diaper bag, so I used it like crazy on her while we were there and right after we left. Then when we got home we both stripped off every article of clothing we were wearing and threw them in the laundry. Did we still come down with a cold? Yes! Oh well. The price we pay for a few hours of extreme fun.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Brown Toppers


We drove through Arctic Circle a few days ago for some late-night brown toppers (Chris's favorite). I handed a kiddie cone back to Emme and decided to let her have at it, which meant I couldn't look at the mess she was making while she was eating.

When we got home we discovered she'd not only eaten the ENTIRE ice cream cone, but half of the napkin as well. Oops!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Changes

I've alluded to some changes happening in our family in the past few months. Here's the official scoop.

My parents have been called to be mission presidents for three years in Barcelona Spain. We found out on Thanksgiving that they had been called, but we didn't find out where until January. They will be leaving on June 24th, 2012. It was actually a bit of a shock! I thought since Stuart is still in high school we might have another year before they were called away. But we are excited for them and for what lies ahead.


Shortly after they were called, both Amy and Stu (the only siblings left living at home) decided they both wanted to serve missions at the same time, rather than be left at home parentless. They are both under the required age (Stu is only 17!), but special exceptions are made when your parents are being called as mission presidents.


Amy and Stu put in their papers at the same time and received their calls the same day, so we had a big gathering to watch them and find out the big news. We even had to skype Michelle & Jeff in Mexico on their honeymoon so they could watch the festivities.

First Amy opened her call...

video

For those of you who don't know, my mom's family is from Norway. Her parents were born there and immigrated to the United States after World War II. Her parents were later called to be mission presidents in Norway and she served a mission under them at that time. We still have family that lives there, and my parents promise us all at least one trip back to the "homeland" in our lifetime to see it all.

So it was kind of a big deal that Amy got called to Norway! I think we were all a little jealous. Out of the 35+ grandkids on my mom's side, she's only the second to get called to serve there. I can't help but think about the impact that living there and learning the language, food and traditions will have on her ability to uphold that heritage with her posterity. What an amazing experience she is going to have!

Next Stu opened his call...

video

I'll be the first to admit that I thought Stu was going to go either somewhere Spanish speaking near my parents, or stateside (all three of my other brothers have been called stateside). With my parents out of the country, I was really hoping both Amy and Stu would be stateside, just to give me some protective peace of mind by having them close. So it was quite the shock to hear that Stuart had been called to the Ukraine Kiev mission! He still feels like my baby brother. But I know he's going to be a fantastic missionary. He's already learning the alphabet and how to say a few useful phrases, which just shows the kind of enthusiasm he has in everything he does. Ukraine is going to be lucky to have him!

{the festivities}

{the festivities}

{skyping with Michelle & Jeff}

When all is said and done, I can't help but feel like half of my family is about to disappear this summer! I can't help but think about the three years I'm going to have to do things all on my own -- no calling my mom when I'm cooking one of her recipes and I have a question, and no calling my mom when one of my kids are sick and I need advice. And I definitely can't help but think about the three years my kids will be missing their grandparents. By the time my parents come home, Henry will be older than Emme is right now. Will either of my children even remember them? Probably not.

It's also unlikely that my mom will be here the next time I have a baby. I can't bear the thought of delivering a baby without her. It's possible that she could miss as many as five grandbabies' births while she is gone. Five! Not to mention the birthdays, baptisms, christmas's, etc. I feel guilty feeling all of these thoughts because I know they are so selfish! All I am thinking about is myself, and not the missionaries & people of Spain that they will be serving.

The list of pieces of our lives that they will miss while they are gone is large. However, but I know that for each sacrifice there will be a great blessing in return. I have a testimony that the gospel is true and that missionary work is the Lord's work. If Spain is where my parents are needed for the next three years, then they will do great things and be a blessing to the people & missionaries there! I am so blessed to have an amazing mother-in-law and father-in-law who live close and are so loving and caring. And I can tell already that this experience is going to bring the rest of my siblings & spouses closer together.

We will miss you -- Mom & Dad, Amy & Stu -- but we love you so much and we know the Lord has wonderful things in store!