Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Tree Hunting NW Style

We went and chopped down our very own REAL Christmas tree last week!



We got Preston out of school an hour early and headed up to Snoqualmie Pass. 




Here is our brave mountaineer who climbed hilly hillsides of deep snow to trudge through and find us the perfect tree...#grizzlyadams



This little guy saw snow for the very first time!




Will hooked the sleds up to a rope on the back of the Sorento and pulled the boys...



Preston was LOVING it, and kept shouting "GO FASTER!!"



Taylor only lasted a little bit...




Brrrrr!


Preston invited Taylor to come sit on his lap...hahaha.



Riley and his many adorable faces....and the talent he has to do different things with his lips. Hilarious!



So close to shaving....


And voila!  A huge tree in our living room!




Fun memories for sure!



Snapshots of Christmas

These are from about a week and a half ago, and are completely random - mostly shots of our home and decorations that I wanted to remember.  Nothing formal, just us messing around as our casual selves and decorating for Christmas....















This picture! Ahhh haha I don't even remember what was going on, all I see is a baby being effected by the camera flash and Will all beardy and probably pre-shower. :)


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Our Taylor Bug

Where does the Christmas time go? It's already December 13th and I haven't even hardly begun Christmas shopping yet.

Our lives seem to be changing daily, and we never quite know what we're going to be doing from week to week.

Two weeks ago it was hurry and finish Will's real estate license and talk to our lender so we can hurry and put a down payment on that beautiful house that I mentioned 2 blog entries ago.

But then someone else put an offer on it first, so bu-bye.  House gone.

Now we've discovered we can't get a loan as easily as we though (because we are self employed), and so really the whole house buying thing is on hold.

Before that it was hurry and finish the house so we can put it on the market, but now we couldn't even quality to buy our current home (because, again, we're self employed).

Does it make sense to you that basically someone who works for McDonalds at $16/hour could probably qualify for a home loan on a really nice house simply because they have a W2 and the banks look at their gross income.  But the doctors, lawyers, and small business owners in this country can't get a home loan because we don't have W2's and use a lot of deductions on our taxes and our tax documents are the ONLY source that banks look at for home loans? And yet we have a lot of equity in our home, can pay cash for half of a new house, and make decent money?

No.  It makes no sense to us either.

BUT moving on....as you can see from the title of this post, it is not about how to not get a home loan.

This post is about Taylor.

Our Taylor Bug Bug.


Whew.  Where do I start with this one.

The house has been pretty quiet the past 2 days because Taylor has been having a "special" sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's house all by himself.

I won't tell you that a "special sleepover" is code for "Mommy and Daddy need a break from him so he is spending the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa to go to behavioral therapy Grandma-style."


Taylor came into this world by storm.  Broke my water at 2 a.m., went through a 20 hour labor that ended up in a Csection.  Heavenly Father was watching out for me (and him) because had I continued to labor (instead of having the Csection), my uterus probably would have ruptured because it was so thinned out.

But he got here safe and sound.  And then 10 days later we were both back in the hospital for another week because I got pregnancy-induced pre-eclampsia and pancreatitis.

So I guess I always knew Taylor was going to give me a run for my money.  Add a little spice to my life.  Shake things up a bit.  


You get the picture. 




Taylor has always been kind of feisty, and wanting to do things his way.  

I have a video of him around 11 months old scooting down the stairs on his bum, and when he almost went too far to topple, I reached my hand out to brace him from going forward and he grunts the loudest UUUUUHHHHHH and his face turns all bright red.

Even at 11 months old, me reaching my hand out to help him was messing up his agenda - haha.


Taylor was my baby for 3 and 1/2 years before our recent Riley came into the picture.  Taylor got a lot of snuggles from me. I would always find myself combing the edge of his hairline around his temples and forehead with my fingers, or rubbing his back, or rocking him to sleep on my lap most nights.

He is also a lightweight and so he is pretty easy to carry around - which I did a lot too.




Taylor and Preston have usually gotten a long pretty well, Preston is an AMAZING big brother to him.  Always sets a great example, and strives to do what is right. He is very obedient and always wants to please us.


Taylor...on the other hand, haha.  Well, let's just say he has no problem with suffering consequences if it's not in line with something he would like to do.

He is very tenacious (cough cough STUBBORN).


And well, he also has no desire lately to obey us.  He likes to pick on Preston.  He argues.  He has tantrums.  

And get this, the kid has negotiation skills. AS A 4 YEAR OLD.  Seriously! I'll ask him to pick up his toys, and he'll reply "I'll only pick up my toys if you ____" (and then he names his price).

I mean look at this face. It really REALLY shows his personality LOL.


And this one...


Annnnnnnd this one:


He doesn't like to be interrupted, or if you talk over him.  For example, he could be talking, talking, and talking my ear off for 5 minutes with hardly a breath in between but if Will walks into the room and I look up to say something to him, Taylor will come unglued that I'm not listening to him.  And he will sometimes start COMPLETELY over on what he is trying to tell me. Tantrums ensue...even meltdowns.

Patience, my young padawan.

And yet he can also be the sweetest...


I mean obviously he's got some patience with Riley...



He is always wanting to hold Riley and play with him. okay so sometimes he does tip Riley over on purpose, or cover him with a blanket, or totally lay on top of it ALL of which completely make me pretty upset and I swear he is banned from Riley for the day.  But it's all out of playfulness and love, I know....




But I tell ya.

Parenting a strong-willed child is not easy.  

And I pray, seriously, EVERY single night and day about how to be a better mom for him, and how Will can be a better dad.  Because there are days when loving him isn't enough, being the most patient we can muster isn't enough patience, when 1-2-3 doesn't work anymore, or taking away toys, or when you feel like any and all consequence methods have ZERO effect on him and he is still going to do what he wants.

There are days when I've had to take a break and walk away from him.  There are times when I think I'm turning into my own mother for the things I think "If I have to ask you ONE more time!", or "Don't make me come after you!".


Taylor - after dumping an entire bottle of baby powder all over his bedroom


The other day Will looked at me and asked "Where did he come from?  Preston is so mellow. Riley is so sweet. And then there is Taylor."  This was after a morning of Taylor meltdowns, disobedience, and yelling and screaming.  And I reluctantly answered "Um, he gets it from me."  

I was a sweet child.  But I was also very feisty and strong-willed.  I had a hard time admitting when I was hurt, I had a hard time talking about my feelings.

And as much as Will doesn't want to admit, Taylor is a LOT like him as well.  (where do you think he gets his stubborness from? hee hee).  But Taylor also has so many of Will's good traits too.  He doesn't like praise or to be singled out. He gets very embarrassed when publicly praised.  Taylor isn't into material possessions.  And he is very good at saving his money.  He will pass up a hundred opportunities to spend his allowance because he knows he is saving for a certain thing - even if it is months worth of waiting.



So, yeah, we're struggling a bit with raising this one.  He does get kicked out of primary at church on a regular basis for misbehaving.  He doesn't exactly play well with others.  He is not afraid to hit or kick.  He teases his big brother (yep you heard me right). He is the pickiest eater, and a little bit OCD.  We can already have a bad day by 9 a.m. on some days.  You can ask him 1,001 times to do something and he won't do it until you reach your boiling point and have to get mad at him. 

I am not the perfect parent.  But I'm trying. I'm trying to understand him, and figure out what he needs. 

Someone told me it's because he is the middle child and now has a baby brother to compete for attention with.

In my heart, I always feel that Heavenly Father is telling me that he just needs more love and attention, and this is something I'm still working on.  It feels like the kind of attention he wants is ALL DAY LONG, and I just don't have that available to give every day.  I do try.  Certain days I'll make sure I clear the afternoon to take him to the park, or to make cookies.  I'll make sure to listen to every word he has to say, and reward him for being good. I try to make a point to tell him when I am happy with him or proud of him, and thank him for the moments when he is a good boy.

And when he acts out purposefully, I know it's because he wants a reaction. He wants attention.

I'm also told that all of these qualities in a child equal a really great adult one day.  My mom tells me that my older brother was this way, and she really struggled with him as a kid too.  But he grew into an amazing adult, a leader both in business and in church, a very kind person and generous too. And extremely smart.

So even though I feel most days like this is my life...


And even though the look on his face says so much about his spunky personality...


I also know that God would not have given us a child that we couldn't handle, or that didn't need us to raise him.  We have been trusted with him, and I know that even though I sometimes through all of his tantrums and disobedience I ask myself if I even matter to him, or if he hears me, or cares what I say....


I'll ask him "Taylor, who is your favorite person?"

And when I fully expect to hear Grandma, or Grandpa, or our neighbor down the street...he will bashfully point to me and run away.

And then I melt and love him all over again and my patience bucket is full and ready for another day.