Saturday, October 15, 2011

11 months...

Baby girl turned 11 months a few days ago. Lest I forget, I need to document some things:

-Cora makes me laugh every day. She's silly and random and already likes to play games. The other day I noticed that she had taken a few pieces of paper out of the garbage, left them on the floor, and crawled away. When I went to go pick them up a few minutes later, she was back and putting them back into the garbage can. She's in to everything and is busy and always makes a mess -- but at least she likes to clean up!
- She's not walking yet but is so close. She stands on her own for long peroids and walks along furniture.

- She still uses her feet to grab things, especially when she's laying on her back.

- She still eats baby food okay, but prefers real food. She loves our morning green smoothies and all fruits. She also loves noodles and yogurt. She's not too fond of veggies or bread or milk (which I know I'm not technically supposed to give her yet, but I cheat a little).

-Cora loves LOVES her brothers. She smothers them with hugs and kisses.

- We'll get her stats next month, but the girl is big for her age (in true Goldie fashion). She's already in 18-24 month clothes.

- She babbles and baby talks all day long -- I'm pretty sure she says "da-da" and "book" in their correct context., maybe, sometimes. ;)

-Her favorite game is to climb to the top of the stairs and yell for me to come and get her. She laughs and laughs and does it over and over. She also loves to play peek-a-boo and she loves books.

Now, some photos:

 In one of her many silly moods...

 Messes, messes...

 My garbage sacks have since found a new home...

 She loves to climb up onto the art table...
 Putting the wipies away...
 My big 11 month old!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


 My biggest boy, my first born, my little helper, my dude with a 'tude had a birthday today.

Here's the 'tude I'm talking about--
 Wish this wasn't blurry -- anyone want to teach me how to use my camera? Pretty please?

 This is his first birthday where he's had to go to school. He didn't seem to mind but I was totally bummed. I like it when the whole day is dedicated to the birthday person. As it was, I made him pancakes for breakfast, ate lunch with him at school, took him to pick a book after school, watched him open presents, fed him his favorite dinner and dessert, took him to swimming lessons, and forced him to bed. I did let him have the day off of piano and chores, though. And we'll celebrate a bit more this weekend.
 Nick loves games. We have family game night every Sunday evening and he LOVES it!
 Sporting the birthday crown he got at school (and apparantly I let my kids sit on the table when it's their birthday)---

 The boy loves legos! But his favorite present was the huge crane my mom gave him. And of course I don't have a picture of it.
 Here are some random photos of him from the past year.

After much coaxing, he finally talked me into letting him get a buzz cut this summer. Nick loves to be outside, no matter the weather. I finally gave in after watching him sweat buckets in the heat over the summer. I didn't let him keep it but it might be a new summer tradition. I said might.
 Nick learned how to swim over the summer and now he's taking lessons to learn the strokes. He loves any physical activity.

 First jump off of a diving board (this was a huge deal for him. I may have mentioned a time or two or four hundred how he's scared of everything and everyone).

 A rare moment of happiness between the two boys. Someday I hope they like each other for more than 5 minutes a day.
 Nick has fallen in love with baseball over this past year. We went to a Bee's game while in Utah over the summer and he loved it.
 Nick's very into science right now and loves discovering new things.
He loves cotton candy but seems to be sensitive to sugar and gets a stomach ache if he has more than a few bites of something sweet. This is just fine with me and I'm glad he recognizes this and listens to his body.
 It's been a big year for Nick. Last night when I was decorating the house for his birthday I made a list of everything that's happened since he turned 5--

*Right after his 5th birthday he learned how to ride his bike sans training wheels. He LOVES to ride his bike and does so daily. I think it's given his a sense of freedom. The older and more independent Nick gets, the happier (and easier) he is (good for both of us!).
* Nick became a big brother again with the birth of Cora, and he's been such a sweet and attentive brother. Cora loves him and he adores her. He's such a great help to me!
* Nick started piano lessons and has progressed really well. I have to admit that I get so proud when I see him excel at this, but I'm trying not to be "psycho-music-mom". I'm really glad he likes it (most days).
* I also started teaching Nick to read using this book and he's doing great!
* Nick has lost 2 teeth and has 2 more that are loose!
* He's made some huge strides as far as his shyness is concerned. He really enjoys school and his swimming and piano lessons; he even sang and said his part in the primary program this year -- things that I had wondered in the past if I would ever be able to get him to participate in.
* Between the bike, the piano, and the teeth, I feel like we're really out of "little boy" phase and into
"kid" phase. Nick tries really hard to make good choices and do what's asked and expected of him. He has a very strong conscience and wants to please others (except for maybe at bedtime). He's still intense in every way and is learning how to deal with his very strong feelings. I love this boy and am so glad he's mine!
Happy 6th Birthday, Nick!! {photo, of course, by Katie}

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Someone turned THIRTY

I'm pretty sure that if I had ever asked Brad if he would like a surprise party, the answer would have been "heck no!" So I never asked.

You only turn 30 once, right? And when I asked him what he wanted, the only reply I got was "I want to watch the Penn State football game and the BYU football game." But that was clearly not enough  for such a milestone. I know he wants an ipad, but that was clearly not an option either. So a surprise party is what he got!

I still can't believe I pulled it off. It took two weeks of secret planning and lots of help from friends. Here's how it went down:
I told Brad that we had to go to Max's birthday party on Friday night (Max is our best friends son). 2 hours before the party was to start, I dropped Nick at piano lessons and ran over to the park to set up. Much to my dismay, the park (which I didn't reserve because I'm cheap) was reserved and chock full of people! So I frantically called three of my best friends who then called and texted all the guests while I ran to another park which was, luckily, open. I hurriedly set up and ran home to pick everyone up. Brad's parents and sister and brother-in-law were in town and when I walked in the house his mom told me that Brad had just been called into work! His advisor wanted to go over his dissertation before a deadline he had coming up a few days later. Slight panic (again) on my part. Luckily he wasn't gone for too long and we were only about 25 minutes late to the party. When he saw the banner and all of our friends cheering for him underneath and realized what I had done and what was going on he just gave me a weird look. Let's just say there were no "that was such a thoughtful thing to do, thank you so much" kind of comments happening!

I am horrible at socializing and taking pictures simultaneously so I didn't get any great ones. I did take a few with my not-so-great camera after I set up.

Don't mind the unsightly duct tape-- this onning was covered with  moss and this was only way I could get the banner to stick.
 I set up a little collage of photos highlighting some special moments and people from Brad's thirty years of life:

 We were so blessed to have Brad's family here and to have 60+ guests at the party. I snatched a few photos.

 The inevitable man circle...
 This is our favorite park that we'll miss sorely when it comes time to move. There's this great creek, a sand area, and a fun playground.
 Mal (Brad's sister) just got married this last spring. It was fun to be around newly weds.
 Here's my 30 year old husband! I had to take this photo for his resume. I really like him.
Here are 30 fun facts about Brad:
1- He says "ruh-roh". Instead of uh-oh. Yes you read that right. I am married to Scooby Doo.
2- He played football and basketball in high school. He also ran on the cross country team.
3- He loves BYU
4- He loves OHIO and anything to do with Ohio. He was a big Ohio State fan until going to Penn State (huge rivals). But he loves the Reds.
5- He never loses anthing. And when I lose things (fairly often) he can't do or concentrate on anything else until it's found.
6- He's really good at finding things ;)
7- He loves his mother (rightfully so).
8- He is a good brother to this 3 sisters and talks to them regularly
9- He's a little OCD about his wallet and his keys. He checks his pockets and/or bag 4 times before leaving the house to make sure they're there.
10- He owns 11 calculators
11- He can solve just about any math equation in his head
12- He loves numbers
13- He loves games
14- He wins at games about 98% of the time, no matter what game he's playing
15- He has pretty good taste in music, except for Kenny G and Elton John. He makes up silly songs and does silly dances all the time.
16- He played the trumpet
17- He's been in two musicals, The Fiddler on the Roof and Little Shop of Horrors
18- He's a home body -- he might not ever leave the house (other than school and church) if it weren't for me! ;)
19- His calling in our ward is to teach early morning seminary and he loves it
20- He loves sports
21- He loves politics and really enjoys bantering with people that have different view points as long as he feels like they know what they're talking about
22- He likes to read; classic novels and finance/economic books are usually what I see on his night stand
23- He likes TV and movies but is pretty picky about what he watches as far as inappropriate content is concerned (and I love this about him). He watches and enjoys girly movies with me, including the long version of Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, Wives and Daughters, and North and South, ect.
24- He coughs every time he sticks q-tips in his ears
25- He speaks Portugese in his sleep
26- He is hilariously and deliriously out of it when he is awakened in the middle of the night
27- He is a thoughtful husband; he often asks me what he can do for me and what he can do to make me happy.
28- He is a wonderful and attentive father and takes his role as father very seriously. He often talks about what kind of relationship he hopes to have with his kids as they grow and how he can help them accomplish their goals and be their best. All 3 kids adore him.
29- He would choose salty over sweet any day. He loves cheeze-its and pasta and chips with dip and bread and if he has to choose a dessert he'll choose no bake cookies or plain cheesecake with strawberry sauce.
30- When we were dating and he wanted to tell me he loved me for the first time, he chickened out and said "I more than like you." I still occastionally mock him about this, but I really think it's kind of sweet considering I am the only girl he's ever said that to!

Happy 30th Birthday to my wonderful husband! Here's to 30 more and beyond!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This morning started out like any other..

A work out, a shower, breakfast, getting myself and the kids ready, ect.

But then something out-of-the-ordinary happened.

A bus came, and took my oldest baby away to kindergarten for 6.5 hours.

And just like that, my life as I have known it for the last 5 years and 11 months, has been changed forever...
I turned my baby over to the public school system...
He is now spending the majority of his wakeful hours with people I don't know...
Does this seem ludicrous to anyone else? I've spent his whole life controlling his environment -- what he was doing, what he ate, who he spent time with, what was being put into his sponge-like, beautiful head, ect. And now I'm expected to send him somewhere where anything can happen and be okay with it?!

If you can't tell, this whole kindergarten thing has been hard on me. I've looked endlessly into the local charter and private schools, debated the pros and cons of homeschool, and so forth.
But in the end, public school (and Brad) won. Because if I'm being honest with myself, I have to admit that his teacher is awesome. That there are only 17 kids in his class, plus a full time para-educator (basically a trained teachers helper). And that the public school system here is incredible and out-ranks all the private and charter schools. So I'm choosing to have faith instead of fear. And despite my all-out sob session this morning, I'm actually feeling surprisingly peaceful about the whole thing. Now time to document:

Yesterday was orientation, where we went to school with Nick for an hour and a half. Nick was in true "Nick-form" and was incredibly shy and uncooperative. His teacher had a little scavenger hunt for the kids to do with their parents to get to know the room and the morning routine. Nick wanted Brad by his side the whole time, even when the instructions were to sit on the rug and read a book while the other kids finished.

 But when the teacher called the kids over for a story, Nick perked up a bit and listened attentively.
And when she told them to line up so they could go play on the playground with the para while she talked to the parents, he willingly obliged.
 And after the meeting when we went to get him from the playground, he was a happy camper.

 This morning it was time for him to ride the bus and spend the whole day at school sans parents. He was "a little bit nervous, but mostly excited." Here he is drinking his first-day-of-school-smoothie:
 Walking to the bus stop, a few doors down...
 Standing in line, waiting, waiting, waiting...

He put on his green jacket just in time for the bus to come --



 It was a long day. Luckily, I have wonderful friends who spent the day with me. Even still, I don't think a minute went by where I didn't think of my boy. 3:04pm couldn't come quickly enough. And this view was a very welcome site!

 He gave me a huge hug and then turned to his siblings:

 He loved his first day! He said he wasn't scared once and is "excited to go back tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and all the rest of the days!" I'm proud of my brave big boy and I'm excited for all that he will learn!