Saturday, June 26, 2010

Birthday Fun Installment #2

This year Josiah's birthday had a Lego theme and as you can see the cake is a gigantic Lego brick. Thankfully, I still had some candles from last year's party or I wouldn't have had any candles for him to blow out! We had quite a turnout for the party and it was fun to see everyone!

First we played a little treaure hunt game to find the treats for the goodie bags. I had little clues written on Duplo Lego blocks that would lead them to the next treat. After we got the game out of the way, we did the cake right away and then following that had a lot of water fun in the back yard. We had the wading pool, some water cannons and water guns, (I meant to have more of these, but ours got locked in the half bath in Josiah's room somehow and I didn't have time to take the doorknob off and retrieve them) water balloons, a big tarp to function as a slip and slide, and an octopus sprinkler dealy to shoot water all over the yard. The kids had a lot of fun with all the water stuff and thankfully the weather cooperated and it was really sunny for this part of the party! You can see Josiah in this shot gleefully trying to get Jaiden with the water cannon. Judah and Caleb are in the pool getting wet as well.

Rather than bringing everyone in to sit and watch Josiah open the presents (since the kids were all having so much fun with the water and were soaking wet), I decided to just bring the kids who brought each gift up to see Josiah open his presents one at a time. This was nice too as they could personally hand him the gift and I could get a picture! Here Asher is telling Josiah what he is getting before he opens it! Too cute!

Maggie, Issac, & Gary Jr. made Josiah a cute card that required him to look through the glasses they drew on the card. Maggie is there smiling in the background as Josiah is looking through the card as directed! They also gave him some Lego candy, which he was really excited about as well!

Hailey, Isaac, & Katie gave him a neat homemade card also and some money for a gift. My mom said, "Oh look Josiah, money!" And he said, "yeah, money to give to church!" Everyone laughed and I looked at them and said, "I have no idea what made him think of that, but I'll take it!" Of course, when someone else gave him a wonderful Lego set, his first response was, "I don't need this one, I already have it!" So you win some and you lose some I guess!

When I took the water balloons out for the water fight the twins stood around one of the buckets and just proceeded to pick up the balloons and drop them on the ground nearby the bucket. It appears that the idea of a water fight is pretty much lost on two year olds!

And of course I had to include a shot of Miss Naomi in her pretty dress! I took this before all the kiddos arrived for the party.
Overall, Josiah had a great time with all his friends and hopefully they had a good time too! I have many more pictures of the event, but just included a few here to share. Josiah really loved all his gifts and the time spent with friends. Thanks all for making his day so special!

Boy Adventures!

The boys went over to our babysitter's house for a little bit while I took Naomi to the doctor. As per usual, Caleb was quick to find dress-up clothes and he put on two different girl's dress shoes and a cat headband. They have seven girls and so there were LOTS of dress-up things to choose from.

Here he is again fishing outside with the cat headband on. He is just loves to be the clown and we predict he might be an actor or do some kind of outgoing type of job some day!

Josiah and Daniel were enjoying jumping on the trampoline with the babysitters. I was able to go in and talk with the babysitter's mom and we had a nice time chatting. However, while we were chatting Daniel proceeded to draw all over her wall with a marker. At first, I thought it might be permanent since it had a "Sharpie" label on it, but it turns out it was a Sharpie dry erase marker and it wiped right off the wall! Thank you Lord for that! Anyway, they had a fun time playing while I was out.

Birthday Fun Installment #1

We had the pleasure of getting to see Grandpa Carpenter around Josiah's b-day this year! He was here under sad circumstances, however, as his brother's wife recently died and so David and he drove down to Oregon for the funeral on Saturday and they will be back on Sunday night. The first day he was here though, we got to catch up a little and we will see him again for a day and a half when he gets back. First thing upon entering the house, we handed Miss Naomi off to him to hold. He was very pleased to see our 4-month-old little bundle and she was very smiley for her Grandpa as well.

Grandpa came bearing gifts for all the children that were from all the Carpenter's East. The twins were given some fun drawing toys and Daniel was right on top of those! They also brought a little train set and some cute clothes for Naomi as well. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Carpenter for all the nice gifts!

Josiah was given a new Leapster game for his Leapster 2. I had wrapped it up prior to him coming and when my back was turned the twins had taken it off the counter and were unwrapping it as Grandpa Carpenter and crew were coming back from the airport. Sooooo, I had to re-wrap the gift so that it could then immediately be opened by Josiah.

Grandma & Grandpa Walker came yesterday and brought Josiah's b-day present as well, which is this farm Lego set. She told Josiah that it came equipped with the Lego version of Uncle Mike and Aunt Genny (who incidentally work a farm in Eastern, WA in real life). According to Josiah, Uncle Mike is the one who drives the tractor and he very matter of factly told me today as he was playing with his set that "boy cows are called bulls." When I asked him how he knew that, he said, "Uncle Mike told me on the farm!" I am sure Uncle Mike will be glad to hear he had a very good listener when he was teaching him about farm life the last time we visited. Later, my mom asked Josiah what Lego Uncle Mike & Aunt Genny were doing on the farm and I found Aunt Genny laying down under the silo and remarked, "Guess Aunt Genny is laying down on the job," and my mom said, "Something which doesn't happen very often!"

Here is Josiah opening his gift from us, a Lego fire station! This was also VERY popular as well! We opened this gift early since Daddy was leaving on Friday. This allowed for them to build the station before he left.

Josiah is telling me here that he loves his fire station "THIS much!" And I might add that he loves the time spent with Daddy building the station!

When Grandpa Carpenter arrived, Caleb went into full show off mode and was dancing around and flopping on the ground to gain Grandpa's attention. This is one of his poses as he was dancing around the room.

This is a sweet picture of Daniel and Josiah checking out Josiah's new Leapster game. Daniel LOVES to watch Josiah play and if it were up to him he would have a turn too if Josiah would let him.

This picture I had to include also of Daddy holding Naomi. She is Daddy's little girl and he loves her dearly, as do I of course!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Naomi's 4-month Update

Today, our sweet Naomi Joy turned 4 months!! It is hard to believe it has only been 4 months with our little precious one, but indeed it has! She has turned out to be such an easy-going baby compared the other kiddos. She does cry and have her moments, but she is soothed very easily either by face time, being held, or pacifier. She sleeps from 10pm until 5am most every night and in the morning she doesn't even really cry to wake me up, but rather makes these restless noises that stir me awake to go and feed her. I would like to add here though that when I unwrap her from the swaddle I make sure she can eat right quick otherwise she does break out the loud tomato-head cry! She loves to be wrapped up tight in a swaddle blanket at night for bedtime and she lays on the reflux pillow (a 45 degree angle pillow with velcro straps to keep her positioned without falling). This is her preferred method for sleeping well we have found! I really don't think she has reflux, but have decided that I am not going to mess with a good thing, since it is working so well for her right now!

She still gives us many funny faces and expressions when we converse with her. She has the cutest little sounds and she tries so desparately to talk to us! She also is very active when she is awake and loves to kick her feet, move her arms, and try to sit up. When I lay her on the bed to feed her, she either scoots closer to me or rolls to her side, but we haven't seen her do a full roll over yet either way. The doctor told me she thinks she will do it soon though. This picture above is so funny 'cause it reminds me of how easily she is startled by loud noises. And actually, she is OK with lots of noise that is going on and on, but it is more like if it is quiet and then a sudden loud sound, then she is startled. She and Mommy are a lot alike in this way. A common scene around here is me lost in thought doing something and David coming to wherever I am in stealth mode and he will say something and I pretty much hit the roof! He "thinks" he is loud enough as he walks in but most always I never notice until he scares me half to death. And then Captain Wordsmith usually says something like, "Well at least you were only scared 'half" to death this time!" Ha ha ha....very funny honey!

So here is Miss Naomi working on some tummy time at the doctor's office. You can see that this is serious business! She weighed in today at 13 pounds even and is now approaching the 50th percentile in weight! Yeah for progress! As for height, she is 24 3/4 inches tall, a whole inch taller than her 2 month check-up! She is right on the 75th percentile for height. Her head circumference was 16 1/2 inches, which is also the 75th percentile. She apparently wants to have a big head like her brothers do! The doctor was very pleased with her progress and didn't have any concerns, so that was good. She got her shots today and as usual that was quite unpopular. The nurse might have nicked a capillary and for a bit there was a little more blood than I would like to see coming out of our Tomatohead, but it quickly stopped when pressure was applied. It took a while to calm her down after that though and later her legs were a little sore, but she made it through!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Handsome Boys!

The twins got their hair cut again now for only the 2nd time in their lives. This time though they went with Daddy to where he gets his hair cut. As per the first time their hair was cut, Daniel threw a fit and Caleb was fine and dandy! Daddy had to talk to Daniel to get him to let his hair be cut and the motivation was McDonalds food for lunch. He was able then to calm down enough to get his hair cut. Caleb was busy looking at everything around him and trying to explore the area to be worried about his hair being cut.

This picture I just had to include. It was right when I said I was going to take a picture of him and Daniel just looked so proud! When he first came home, he came head first at me saying, "See?" Both Caleb and Daniel got suckers for being good at the hair salon, so as they came in the house they were sucking on them. They boy had blue tongues afterward to show for it too!

I attempted to get a good shot of the boys and Caleb got knocked down at one point and as you can see here is in the midst of throwing a fit about it. I think I have captured his classic pout-y face quite well!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Friends, Food, & Fun

Josiah's friend Hannah came for a quick visit and they enjoyed some time together chowing down on goldfish together. It is funny to watch them play together. Josiah typically tries to boss her around and Hannah either does what he says or tries to do her own thing. When it was time to go, she didn't want to leave and Josiah found a "pretty pony" to give to her as a parting gift. Josiah doesn't look super happy here, but trust me he was happy to have Hannah here with him. She was squealing with delight here and there too. She ran down the hallway once and just hollered, "JOSIAH!!" It was super cute!

Then later the same day, we had other friends come over as well. I was watching my friend Melissa's kids so she and her hubby could go on a date for their anniversary. It was nice having them all here! Katie (her youngest) just LOVES to play with the twins and especially she and Caleb have a blast together. Caleb would do something silly and she would copy him and they would just laugh and laugh.

Hailey & Isaac came too and they had fun playing Super Mario Party 8 on the Wii with Josiah. He isn't too great at those kinds of games yet (we haven't played it much with him), but he still insisted on trying his hand at some of the mini-games and such. Josiah and Isaac love to take our Thomas the Train tent and roll in it down the hill in the backyard and then let the little ones tackle them in the tent. Fun game? I suppose for boys that this is a brilliant game! The older ones also enjoyed playing with Josiah's Legos as well.

Today, I decided to take Miss Naomi out into the fresh air to partake in the little bit of the nice sunshine we are having this weekend. As per her usual, she has a flailing arm for you all to enjoy!

Her brothers loved having her outside too and were tickling her here on the pillow.

This is a shot of her getting some tummy time. She didn't complain about it much, but she had a very serious look the entire time. Lately I have noticed that she is REALLY trying to roll when she is laid flat somewhere. It is funny to watch her try it! She also is desparate to sit up as well and I see her attempting to do so in her car seat a lot of the time. We have discovered that she makes very different noises from our other babies. We will attempt to capture that on video sometime for sure!

Caleb was up to his usual antics and was pointing with both hands here at something.

He found Josiah's bike helmet and decided to drag the tricycle down to where I was in the yard. Needless to say, the "road" was a bit rough to ride in this part of the yard.

This picture I just had to include as it was too cute of Mr. Daniel. He still loves to call me "Mommy-a" from time to time and seems to be the spokeperson for the twins. We are trying to get Caleb to talk more for himself, though he prefers I think to point to things and throw tantrums instead. Can we say DRAMA? I pray daily for him and for how to help him communicate better, please join me in that!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Twins Update

Since the twins were born early, we got in on this grant for babies who spent time in the NICU to be checked periodically in the first couple of year of their lives. Today was our last visit at the developmental clinic for them in this program. Over the years, it has been helpful to go as we have learned a lot about how to help them progress in various areas. They were able to assess their strenghths and weaknesses and could give us exercises, tips, and advice on how to help them improve in certain skills, etc. This is a picture of them looking out the window down at the cars below.
Caleb was extremely grumpy during the visit due to being tired and hungry, but by tickling him here I got him to laugh, thus making him "appear" happy. I assure you, he was NOT! He in fact had one of his classic meltdown, throw himself on the floor tirades here and the occupational therapist sort of looked at me like, "Is he OK?" I assured her this was normal Caleb drama! Caleb weighed in today at 27 lbs 12.8 ounces (just above 25th percentile) and was 35 1/2 inches long (also a little above the 25th percentile). His head circumference was 20 inches around (a little below the 90th percentile). So he has a small body with a big head, can we say Charlie Brown children? Yes, well I blame it on David...he has all the brains in the family AND the biggest head to boot!
Caleb was all about exploring the area and showing off his large motor skills. He is taking after his biblical name sake in that he always wants to "conquer that hill" in most any new adventure. We are proud of his bravery and ability to adapt to new situations easily.
As for Caleb's speech, he is still a little behind and they recommend he get some help, but we will be praying and thinking about that to decide for sure if he needs that or not. We were in process of getting him some therapy, but then he started talking a lot more and we weren't sure it was necessary to go through all that afterall. We will keep a close eye on him though and I have some ideas now on how to work with him more as well.

Daniel was pretty cheery the whole time we were there though he also was tired and hungry I think (the appt. was during their normal lunch/nap time). He weighed in at 32 pounds 1.9 ounces (right on the 75th percentile) and was 37 1/2 inches long (also on the 75th percentile). His head circumference was....ahem....20.5 inches around (WELL above the 95th percentile). Ummm....yeah....super big Charlie Brown head! And let me tell you, this kid is too smart for his own good! He can count to 12 and recognizes most of those numbers on a page, sings his ABC's and is a major bookworm! He is taking after the Daniel of the Bible it seems and is training to be a "wise man."
The speech therapist had no concerns for Daniel at this time, but did tell me for both the boys to work on having them respond with plurals when asking about groups of things as well as asking more where & who questions of them about their surroundings to help them continue developing in their speech.

This picture is just classic. Daniel is seated working on the puzzles (practicing something) and Caleb is exploring his world! The ladies were thrilled to see they were doing so well and one of the nurses who had seen them all along remarked at how big they were now. It was nice to be a part of this program and I learned a lot!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Another Beautiful Sunset!

One of the things we love about the home we live in now is the gorgeous sunsets we get to witness quite frequently. This one was yet another beautiful one tonight!

Fun Times!

The three boys were "playing nice" one morning cuddling under the blanket driving little Hot Wheels over the roads on the blankie. Who knew that when I crocheted this pattern that my little boys would see roads to drive on? I guess I should have figured so.

Today we went on a little mile walk together on this paved trail near our home. As I am just finally starting to make strides with my physical therapy (my hip has been having issues), I was able to join the family on this short walk without having major pain afterward. Here are the Carpenter boys coming down the big, green hill at the end of the walk.

We paused a moment on the walk to get a picture together. Mommy and her boys!

Last Thursday, David took a personal day and took Josiah up to Mt. Rainier to do a bigger hike. They walked on a log across a "raging river" and Josiah was scared at first, but Daddy convinced him to be "brave and courageous" and cross it anyway. On the way back, he wanted to do it all himself, but David kept close in case he lost his balance. They had a great time together and saw some great sites as well!

Clearly, David wore him out really good and he slept most of the way home!

Naomi 3-Month Update

Miss Naomi girl is a little over 3 months now! Hard to believe as it seems she has been with us longer than that! I took her in for a quick weight check just to see how she was doing and the good news is that she is now a little above the 25th percentile marker (at 2 months she was just below that). She weighed in at 11 pounds 13.5 ounces and was 23 3/4 inches long. Just like her brother Daniel used to, she is poking her toes through the holes in the blanket in the picture above. She is such an easy baby and a real JOY to have around! My Aunt Sharon suggested a while back that if we just use her first intial and her middle name she would have the nickname "N-Joy" and indeed that fits. We enjoy her tremendously! Sooooo precious!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Spokane Trip

We ventured to Spokane this last weekend in order to attend my cousin Kalen's wedding. It was quite an ordeal getting all of our stuff together and traveling as a family, but it was well worth the effort to see friends and family at our destination. Our vehicle isn't big enough to house all our family AND our stuff, so we got a hitch for our SUV and pulled a trailer behind us. Though we chose the smallest trailer at U-Haul, it was still much too big for our purposes, but it did the job anyway. I would like to point out also that everything we brought was used at one point (except the 1 extra set of clothes I packed for the kids), so I didn't bring a lot of unnecessary items. The picture above is of Josiah playing two kazoos at the wedding reception. They had kazoos on the tables for everyone and when the bride and groom came into the reception area all the folks kazooed the Wedding March song for them. It was a cute idea. My brother Brent and Aunt Genny (Kalen's mom) were having a blast kazooing many different rendions of various show tunes and other favorites and were making everyone laugh. There is in fact somewhere a recording (the guy that was videotaping the reception) of Brent and Genny kazooing the Dueling Banjos more appropriately titled Dueling Kazoos.
We traveled up a day early and so on Friday morning before the wedding we met up with some friends of ours from Spokane. Unfortunately, I didn't get ANY pictures of our kids together with theirs (I so dropped the ball on that one!), but before they arrived I got some fun shots of our kiddos playing at the mall play area. This is a classic of Caleb scouting out the area.

And Daniel, my camera ham, riding the fishy! Josiah and Colton (our friend's son) had a blast together! Some funny highlights to follow of their encounter. When Colton first arrived and saw Josiah he ran up to him and said, "HI, I'm Colton, I can do AMAZING tricks!!" and then proceeded to stand on one foot or something like that (you know....boy stuff!) Colton and Josiah were sitting with each other at the table while we were all eating lunch and at one point Josiah got up to walk around. Colton kept wanting Josiah to come back and sit by him. It was soooo cute to watch them play!! Later, David took both the boys to the bathroom because both had to "pee REALLY bad." They went to one of those family restrooms at the mall and Josiah went first and apparently didn't hit the bowl or make a mess. Colton had his hands on his hips watching and then said very matter of factly, "You do that really good!" Josiah's response? "Yeah, I had to practice a lot!"

The boys didn't attend the wedding as we were pretty sure they would have caused quite a commotion and would have been distractors from the event. So David took them to get some ice cream and then they ate it over by the place where the reception was to be held. We were all being summoned for a family picture, but David didn't think they would be done with the ice cream in time, however, as it turned out they were! I had called Natalie (my cousin Daniel's wife) to get some of the family back over to the chapel area for the big family photo and as they were preparing to return my cousin Daniel asked David if the boys would like to hop in the back of his truck to get back to the chapel. (We were on a college campus and they were going to drive really slow, so it was a perfect opportunity to ride in the truck!) The boys were MORE than happy to ride in the truck as you see here! The funny thing was on the way home later that night, we were headed to our car and our Daniel headed for my cousin Daniel's truck thinking he was going to ride in it again! Ha! The kids crashed pretty hard this evening as we didn't get to the hotel until 9:30pm and their usual bedtime is around 7:30!
Sadly....I didn't take any pictures of the wedding on my camera....again, not sure how I missed that one, but Kalen was beautiful in her gown and it was fun to see her marry her Jameson to become Mrs. Kalen Ault!

Before we drove home on Saturday, we stopped at the care center to visit my Grandma Betty for a little bit. She can't talk to us anymore (due to her stroke), but it was clear to me that she recognized us and that she LOVED to see the little ones! Though we couldn't understand her words, her tone of voice said it all. I have some pictures also of the boys playing with the stools in the care center cafeteria. They were playing bumper stools with my brother Brent and my cousin Luke. The twins and Josiah were getting a big kick out of running into the "big boys" on the stools.

My Aunt Debby was there also and when we arrived was playing hymns on the piano and the group was singing to Grandma (one of her favorite things to do and listen to). Aunt Debby tried to get the little ones to sing to "ABC's" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Baa-Baa Black Sheep," but they were acting shy! When we got to the third song, Aunt Debby quipped, "I don't think I know this one!" For those of you unaware of the musical joke, all three songs have the same melody and chords. After Aunt Debby and her crew left however, Daniel got up on the bench and started banging on the piano in rhythm to the ABC song and was singing along with his own accompaniment. The other two joined in as you see here and it was QUITE a racket! Not exactly a harmonious trio at this point, but maybe someday!
As we were leaving the care center, my Mom was wheeling Grandma back to her room and she kept motioning toward us as we were leaving. I told my Mom that I thought she wanted to see us off! When she and Grandpa were living in their home and we would visit, they would always stand outside and wave goodbye to us as we drove off. I am pretty sure that is what she wanted to do this time too! It is clear that our sweet Grandma Betty's personality comes across even when she has a hard time communicating. We love you Grandma!!