Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Preston-isms

I have some new posts to do, but in the interum, I thought you would find the following funny:

Will has been getting ready to plant a garden in our backyard and has been asking Preston to help him. They've talked about dirt, bugs, and worms and also about all the different things you can grow in a garden. When Will asked Preston what he wanted to plant in the garden, he said "Hot dogs, um, cucumbers, and um and BIG train and a freight car too."

Ha. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Preston/Taylor Comparison



I was just watching our birth video from when Taylor was born, and seeing how both Will and I thought he looked exactly like Preston when he came out. I was trying to find a couple of photos to compare them at the same age (as Taylor is now). I couldn't find one where they were doing the exact same sort of pose or face, but this one is close enough.



They definitely look related don't they? Taylor's hair in the natural light is a lot darker red than Preston's ever was. I think he might keep his redhair, whereas Preston is now a strawberry blonde.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

9 Months!



Our little Taylor Alexander will soon reach the milestone of being outside my tummy longer than inside. Woohoo Taylor-man!

Here's some cool stuff that our little guy is doing:

- He can't crawl, but he scoots. Very well actually. He can now get to whereever he wants to go simply by scooting his little self on his little bum around the house. We're thinking he might just skip crawling all together because he enjoys scooting so much.

- He no longer just eats rice cereal (shout horray!). He's eaten the following Gerber baby foods: chicken, squash, bananas, carrots, green beans, peas, and apples/strawberries. He won't eat an entire jar, or even a half. But hey at least he's starting to be a little more open minded. He will, however, eye whatever is on your plate and try to swipe it. Oh, and he now will tiny little teeny broken up pieces of Cheerios.

- He has a tooth! Yes he does. It surprised us as well. We were sitting in church 2 weeks ago and I was just randomly feeling around in his mouth and noticed a sharp little tooth in the bottom front. Since then, he's been trying awful hard to get a 2nd one in and the poor guy has really suffered. Last weekend he teethed pretty bad and was the crankiest and most uncomfortable I'd ever seen him. He had a fever of 102 for 2 days straight (thank goodness for Tylenol's fever reducing abilities), and swollen gums. He also wouldn't take naps and wouldn't be put down. So we took turns toting him around and he was happy. He just needed some love. Still no 2nd tooth either.


(Taylor during his teething weekend)

- He has become VERY vocal. I'm not sure if it's becuase he just likes the sound of his own voice, or he has realized that in order to compete with Preston he needs to stick up for himself. Either way, he can be extremely loud.

- Wears mostly 9 month sizes, but also occassionally wears (smaller) 12 month sizes, and still fits into some of his 6 month sizes. He is a bit smaller than Preston ever was, but compared to other peoples kids he's still huge. He doesn't have his 9 month wellness visit until next Monday, but he's right around either 20 or 21 lbs.

- Still a total mama's boy. He'll be hanging out with his daddy for a while, and if I even come into the room or he hears my voice, he'll squawk for me.

- He's still nursing about 4 times during the day, and a couple times during the night as he still doesn't sleep through the night. We've become too sleep deprived and lazy ourselves to try sleep training the stubborn guy anymore. I plan to nurse him until 12 months when he'll be able to start drinking cow's milk. I nursed Preston until 15 months and when I finally weened him, he was so over me. So I'm going to just go to 12 months with Taylor. That's the goal anyway.

- Has the most gorgeous red hair, especially out in the natural sunlight.

- Has become good friends with Preston. It's fun to finally see them interact more together. When Taylor wakes up in the morning, Preston will go into his room and talk to him through the crib bars in a baby voice "Taylor you want a toy?" (in this high pitched baby voice). It's really cute. Taylor watches Preston do everything and I think that is where Taylor has learned to become so vocal. Preston talks nonstop. They sometimes have yelling matches, which I don't really like but have to admit are kind of funny.

- Still has an eczema patch on his chin and on his elbow. They've both been there since he was about 3 months old. They come and go depending on how well we medicate, or how much he scratches.

- LOVES Baby Einstein. We will put this on for him on Sunday mornings so we can get ready for church, or if we are in an immediate need for him to be entertained while we tend to something else. He is simply mesmorized by it. He'll just sit and stare and won't take his eyes off of it -for the entire half hour. Preston was never this way with that show - he could care less. But Taylor really digs it.

- Preston seems to like to put things in Taylor's mouth lately so we sort of have to watch that.





Here is a little video of our little scooter.

video


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thoughts after Womens Conference

Today was our Stake Women's Conference, which, if you don't know what that is - it's an all day conference for the women in our church. We get to go to various uplifting classes, and have lunch together too. They do this once a year.

About 2 years ago, I went to Time Out For Women with my Mom. It was a 2 day conference in downtown Seattle where they had various motivational speakers give talks, as well as some musicians gave some fabulous performances. I remember coming away from the event with my mom and asking her how she liked it, and she had mentioned to me that it made her feel very "discouraged". I was really surprised to hear her say that, since the whole point of the conference was to make her feel completely the opposite. When she elaborated, she explained that "It just made her feel like she wasn't good enough, or wasn't trying hard enough."




(My mom and I after Time Out for Women 2 yrs ago)




I, on the other hand, walked away from the conference feeling really good and spiritually uplifted. I felt like I was given a lot of great insight and suggestions for my life.

So now flash foward 2 years to our Womens Conference today. I went to a class on how to make your home a temple and how to raise your children in light and truth. Then I went to a class on how to improve your marriage, which was great. Then we had lunch (yum). In the afternoon, I went to a class on how to instill good work habits in your children, and then I ended up going to the marriage class again with my mom because she hadn't been to it.

While I did walk away with so many great insights for my life and with new ideas on how to be a better wife and mother, I have to say that I did experience a little bit of how my mom felt after Time Out for Women: Inadequacy.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not beating myself up. I'm not suffering from depression or anything like that. I often feel that I am very blessed in my life. But I guess it wasn't until I saw what these other women were doing in their homes where I actually felt a little bit of Wow, I'm not doing enough.

Some of these instructors had pages of schedules for their families, sometimes one for each child including the 3 year old. Their days and activites were mapped out for the entire week. Another teacher had lists of chores and each child was assigned something different, including the parents. They had family nights discussing gospel topics, prayer, or would have family clean-house parties. They mentioned how they would have random gospel discussions with their kids while driving in the car. They mentioned how they are excellent in their evening prayers, and struggle with the morning ones but still do them.

Okay, wow. I feel like my days are so all over the place, and that my kids temperments are so unpreditable that creating a weekly schedule for everyone would be great, but it would not last very long. Trust me, I've tried it. A list of chores for everyone - what a great idea since I feel like I'm the only one who ever cleans the house. I've tried that - even hung a little chore chart for Preston in his room. It lasted 2 days and neither he or I were consistent with it. Evening and morning prayers? We are barely even conquering the evening ones with our little ones. Random gospel topics in the car? I wish I would look for the opportunities better...

Seeing all the examples and suggestions today from these parents who were older and more experienced than me (some not by much), made me realize that we are embarking into territory within our family that requires a more "House of Order". Raising babies is easy. But raising children...teenagers? You have to be a better parent and set up a house of order, a house of faith, prayer, etc.

I'm realizing that Preston is getting older and understanding more. He listens when I don't even think he is listening. We've been catching him saying "Oh my gosh" lately, and we don't like it. I do a very good job of saying "Oh my goodness", but when Will asked Preston where he learned to say "Oh my gosh", he said "Mama say it!". He must have heard me say it when I didn't even realize I had said it. Or perhaps I said it while talking to Will and didn't realize Preston was listening. And then I realized the other day, that I watch the show The Biggest Loser every week. It was the first time I actually consciously noticed every single time they would say "OMG" on the show, whether it was the euphamism or the real deal. And it was a LOT. No wonder my child was saying it. It just never really hit me before how much he takes in and is watching what we do.

I think that it's good that the Women's Conference made me feel a little bad today. I mean, how can we improve if we think we are already perfect? BUT, on the flipside, I do realize that being the parents of very small children is demanding, hard, and exhausting. I cannot think that we are doing too badly when sometimes there are just things that are out of our control. I'm not going to get down on myself for not having Preston's morning perfectly planned out with crafts and activities, when I was up with Taylor 4 times during the night and I'm exhausted and am just trying to pick up the house that morning.

It is too easy to compare ourselves to others and think that we are not good enough. And I hate to say it, but especially within our church it is too easy to get caught up in what the "perfect family" should be like. I married a very good man who is continually reminding me that it doesn't matter what other people think just as long as I know that I'm trying my hardest to do the right things.

Will has been job searching since Taylor was born, and there are times when I do just get sick of it. He is an incredible person who is beyond smart. I personally think that any employer would be lucky to have him working for them. He's educated and smart and savvy. He's also fun, and witty. But sometimes I think that our lives will be so much better once he finds that "perfect job" so that we can finally feel like we are on our feet completely again. It's easy for me to get caught up in the "trial" of it all. I have to continually remind myself that we are INCREDIBLY blessed. We prepared for times like this both in food storage and money. We have a home, and cars that work. We still go out on dates, and take vacations, and have fun as a family. I still do my music. We have also been the recipients of so many generous people who have helped us. Our boys have been very lucky to get so much time with Will. Preston has a very special bond with Will and it's because he has gotten to spend so much time with him.

So after thinking about this and many other things today, and about the lessons I took home from Women's Conference today, the biggest thing that I came to realize after it all, was that we just need to ask ourselves if we are TRYING. Are we trying our best? And if so, it doesn't matter what others think of you. You can't compare yourself to anyone else. I know that there are things that I could be trying harder at and so I'm going to work on those. But I'm also not going to get down on myself in the areas where I really do try hard and still may fall short.

And lastly, on that note, that is why we are here on this Earth in the first place - to try, try, and try again. To get up after we fall, and to keep going. It's not about being perfect right now. And even when we think someone else's life is perfect, it's really not. Our lives are a continual process of discovering things about ourselves and our families that we need to work on with the hope that in the end when we leave this life, we will have practiced enough improvement, faith, and perseverence that Heaven will be our reward. And Forever with our families. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Beach Birthday!

When the sun doth shineth, the Thomas crew doth beacheth!




Last Friday we headed to the beach to celebrate my Mom's 45th birthday.



Okay just kidding, if she was only 45 that means she would of had me when she was 13 years old. She actually turned thirty-twenty-nine. Yeah think long about that one.



The Camano Island State Park is a really beautiful place. I have lots of memories here. And so will my kiddos.




Now, don't let this next picture pass you by without zooming in on my boys' facial expressions...




Happy 59th birthday Mom!

P.S. 2 new posts below:
"First Tooth" - Taylor got his first tooth
"My Husband the Adventurist" - Will's many adventures told.

First Tooth


It would appear that just yesterday Taylor decided to grow up all of a sudden.


All in the same day, he got his first tooth, and mastered the skill of clapping.


Though these are tell-tell signs that he will soon be doing many other things less baby-ish (he is 8 months old right now), and I of course want to keep my baby a baby forever :), I was actually over the moon to see these new things yesterday.


Two nights ago we couldn't get Taylor to sleep without him waking up moments after laying him in his crib. After way too many attempts to mention, I finally brought him into bed with us around 11pm. I gave him some tylenol and eventually an hour later he was out. This kind of behavior is very unusual for him - so it seemed to me like something just wasn't right. Maybe he wasn't feeling well. And now having discovered the tiny little tooth poking through his bottom gums, it all makes sense to me now. Preston was a pretty mild teether and never seemed to suffer too much, so I'm hoping Taylor will be the same. So far so good.


As for the clapping, yesterday morning I was eating my breakfast and Taylor was sitting on the floor next to me and just started clapping. I got all excited and said "Ohhhh look! Look he's clapping at me!! It's sooooooo cute! Did you see this?" and Will just said "Uh, yeah, we've been working on it all morning didn't you know?". Duh.


Here is a cute little video from yesterday:



video



P.S. New post from yesterday "My Husband the Adventurist". See below...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Husband the Adventurist

This is my husband...





He likes the outdoors.




He would blog about his many adventures, but he's too busy, uh, adventuring to do that.



And in fact, I would blog about his many adventures, but I find myself getting way behind on them - as they are quite frequent.


It is true, that Will has attempted to blog about his outings, and has several blog drafts started, but the dates on the drafts are about 2 years old.

What can I say? He's better at some things more than blogging. :) But we still love him.




And since he's not so much a blogger, I am here to tell you that he does adventures. Lots of them. I can't tell you the elevation he climbed, or how many wild animals he saw, or how many sprained ankles he's gotten (a lot)...



But I can tell you that he is a happy man when he gets the wifey-green-light to head out into the wilderness. He has fun. And he comes home very refreshed and excited to see us again. Wait, not that he wasn't excited to see us before :)


In the last 6 months, Will has run at least one big race per month as part of his training for the Western States 100 Mile race at the end of June.

Yesterday, he had to do 8 hours of volunteer work at a race. He said he just stood there in 6 inches of mud manning an aide station while runners came through. No running. Just manning. That would be like someone sitting me at a 9 foot Steinway piano and telling "Just babysit the piano. Don't play. Now people will be coming by to play it a little bit and you just help them. But don't play."



If you are wondering how the heck Will got into his little hobby...

When I first met him (in 2003), he was into running road marathons and had run about 5 of them. He'd also ran Hood-to-Coast twice (a 200+ relay race in Portland). Then he decided in October of 2007 that he'd try a trail 50K race. I remember he was so tired and barely came in before the cut-off time for the race (which was 9 hours). He had never been more sore in his life.

But he seemed to like the trails much better, as they were easier on his knees and joints and just all around more scenic. He started doing more races here and there. And now, 4 years later and 2 kids later, he is what I would call a dedicated hobbyist runner. He's run more than I can count. His weekend jaunt is 20 miles just for a training run. He owns more shoes than me. This June he's been accepted into one of the biggest and oldest 100 trail running race - The Western States 100 - which is held in the Sierras near Lake Tahoe.

It's a big deal.




He's amazing, that is for sure.





And that's my blog about my husband the adventurist.


Post Edit by Will: Thanks babe! Yes, I'm a slacker when it comes to blogging. My weaknesses are your strengths, that's why we are so good together. Maybe some day I'll jump back on the blogging bandwagon, but in the meantime, if people want to know what I have been up to, I'm usually disciplined enough to post a few pics of my adventures on facebook:




Until the next adventure (or blog)!