Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cute Boys

This last weekend we had graduation, and our cousin returned from his mission, and it was Memorial weekend. It meant that lots of friends and family were in town. A lot of the family either hadn't ever seen Ryder, or hadn't seen either of the boys in quite a while. We seemed to get the same reaction from everybody, and that was, "Wow. Ryder looks just exactly like Brody." I think that at times they look so different from one another, but the bigger Ryder gets, more and more he reminds me of Brody.

At church later on....

Lady: "Let me see that baby. You have the cutest little boys."

Me: "Thank you! I think they are pretty cute, but I guess all moms think that about their kids."

Lady: "Well, yeah, they do. But your kids REALLY ARE so cute."
Call me vain, call me shallow, I don't care.....but I seriously love to hear how cute my kids are from other people. I think when you become a parent you put on parental blinders. You know, the kind of blinders that can make you think that your kid should be a starter on the basketball team instead of sitting the bench where they probably belong, or that they are some sort of awesome star on the stage, when in reality they are kinda annoying? I like to think that I'll recognize when my kids may not be the best at something, but maybe not. I ask Trevor if our kids really are as cute as we think, or if its those blasted blinders? Having outsiders tell us quite often how handsome they are, makes me think that maybe we only have PARTIAL blinders.

Maybe they are that cute....? Maybe beauty is just in the eye of the beholder.....?

Monday, May 30, 2011

2011 SJHS Graduate

I'm the oldest of 4 kids. I love all my siblings and am always so grateful that they are a part of my every day life. I don't know about you, but I feel like I have different relationships with each of them. Spenser is closest in age to me. He is who I have most of my memories with. We played and fought all the time with one another. He is so much fun to talk to now as we have grown up and are in the same sort of stages of life. My youngest sibling, Taylor, is my only sister. She is the baby. I will forever be glad that I have a sister! She is 11 years younger than me so along with having a sisterly relationship, I have tender motherly feelings toward her. Then there is Kade. He is the middle child. He is 8 years younger than me and I also have those mothering tendencies to him. All of my siblings have talents or seem to shine in certain areas. Kade is no exception. He is what I would definitely call "the golden child." He is fairly popular, VP of the student body, a lifegaurd, a prom king, he's protective, he has been involved in the school plays, and just this last Friday he graduated as the Valedictorian of the St. Johns Highschool class of 2011.

Despite being 8 years younger than me, Kade is the sibling most like me. I think that we are somehow always tied to one another. He is so much like me. My mom always says he is the male version of me (and Taylor is the female version of Spenny). The day I was baptized, Kade was blessed. The day Kade was baptized, I gave a talk at it. When Kade was burned and had to spend time in the burn unit, the only person besides my mom that spent time watching him in the hospital, was me. And when Kade graduated from highschool on Friday, it was my birthday.

As we sat through graduation and listened to Kade's speech a sense of pride totally overwhelmed me. Tears never actually spilled over, but my eyes misted more than once. Kade has turned from that annoying little brother with the high pitched voice that drove me bonkers, to a confident, smart, handsome, outstanding human being. He truly amazes me and even being so much younger, makes me feel completely insignificant. His light shines a little brighter than most.

We are so proud of you!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Real Live Trains

Ever since receiving a train for Christmas, Brody has fallen in love with them. He will play and play with the train. He even likes to just drive it around without using the tracks. He also has a set of lego blocks that make a train and he plays with that a ton too.Well, about 2 months ago we were headed to Mesa for Trevor's brothers wedding, and as we went through Globe we noticed they had a train at the station. We took a little detour and went to check it out. We got there just in time to watch it pull out. It was easily one of the most exciting parts of our trip for Brody. He was so amazed. He and I stood outside of the car and waved as it drove by. One of the cars had big windows so we could see the people and they waved back to us (pretty sure one even took our picture!).

Maybe someday we'll take him to ride on one. Maybe even the polar express that they do in Williams around Christmas time. He would LOVE it!

Potty Talk

As we continue our adventures in potty training Brody there are a few things I want to remember.

I've been asked if Brody is completely potty trained, meaning no diapers at night or at all, and the answer is no. When Brody takes a nap or goes to bed at night he is still in a diaper, but all waking hours he is potty trained. There is two reasons for this. The first is, he still wakes up most mornings with a significant amount of pee in his diaper. This to me is a tell-tale sign that he is not ready for underwear at bedtime. The second reason is that Brody joins us in our bed at night almost every single night and it is one thing for him to pee all over his bed and his sheets, but it is quite another to pee in OUR bed on OUR sheets, or worse, on US!

We have gone 8 days without any accidents. Its a small victory if you ask me.

Everytime Brody sits down to go to the restroom he tells us, "It's still working!" when he begins to go. Thanks buddy, we were worried that it didn't.....

During our first week I hardly ever left the house but one day I had to borrow something from a friend, so we left and kept our fingers crossed that he would inform me if he needed to go. Sure enough, Brody announced the need for the bathroom. We go to the spare bathroom and lift up the seat to a longer shaped toilet. Brody looks at it and then looks at me and says, "Hey Mom! Its a oval!" Yes, I guess it kinda was shaped like an oval. Glad that your need to go didn't override your knowledge of shapes....hehe!

Brody will use his little potty or a normal toilet now without hesitation. If he uses the normal toilet when he's finished peeing he does this little jiggle to get the last drops of pee to fall. If he's on his potty he'll tap, shall we say, his boy parts(?) to get the last drops to fall. This is not something we've taught him, he just does it and it makes us laugh every time!

Brody's also discovered the joys of being a boy. He can 'go' just about anywhere, and standing up too! While outside with Trevor he peed and informed Trevor that he was, "watering the plants."

We are so excited that he's done so well. He loves to wear his "unawares" (not undies, or chonies please!) and has opinions on which ones to wear each day. High five to you big boy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Indoor Play

The windiest city in America may be Chicago, but did you know that the windiest town is Springerville, AZ? Being that they are the closest town to us, it means when they have nasty windy weather its just about as bad here. So after being cooped up in the house most of the winter and ready to get out and enjoy the warmth of spring, we have been stuck indoors because of the wind. No joke, the past two weeks have been particularly nasty but the week before was nice and the week before that was also gross. It is really hard to plan any sort of outdoors activities.

I'm not just talking about a little breeze. I'm talking downright crazy gusts that can be 50 mph! Don't believe me? Then you aren't from St. Johns and you haven't ever visited here. I somehow get piles of dirt blown in through cracks in doors and windows that the naked eye cannot even see! This is not exagerating at all!

I hate to admit it, but Brody watches far too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and movies because of this. He plays a ton, but the t.v. is also on quite a bit.

To pass the time indoors we have many a deep conversation.

B: "Mom, wets(lets) talk about.....(long pause)....Dragon Movie!"

Me: "Really? How about something else?"

B: "Um....(more pause) wets talk about Tang-ole (Tangled)!"

Me: "What about Tangled (as I think to myself we watch too many movies)?"

B: "Fwinn (flynn) Rider and Punzel (rapunzel). Girl have magic hair! You have magic hair, Mom!"

Me: "I do?!"

B: "Ya! You sure does!"

We do the standard indoor boy stuff too like play with cars, and blocks. Sometimes if I'm really lucky Brody yells from his little play kitchen that he's "Cookin' sumpin a-you Mom!" I love when he wants to cook me something! Maybe that will someday translate into him ACTUALLY cooking something for me.

Then we have days (they don't happen often) where I decide to try my hand at being creative. I turn a stick, piece of string, and paperclip into a fishing pole and some colored paper into little fishies. It is a pathetic attempt, but Brody thinks I'm the coolest mom ever so we go with it....

Please weather, turn nice! This mom isn't going to come up with many other ideas. I am tired of days where we stay in our jammies all day and watch movies! We are so ready to play outside in the dirt, enjoy days at the park, run in sprinklers, and go to the pool. So if you are in AZ and dealing with a windy day, think of us, remember that if its windy there its probably 3 times as bad here!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Potty Training 2.0

Probably about a year ago we tried out the idea of potty training on Brody. He took to it unbelievably.....that is, for one day. After that it was a big no-go. For this year or so, the potty has always been out and visible. Before baths he would often use it. Sometimes he would take a fancy in his head to even use it for about a half a day and then the novelty of it would totally wear off. Potty training was too much work! It meant Brody had to think about going pee. It meant not being able to just go whenever without thinking about it. So without fail, after going on the potty for a few hours he wouldn't even just ask for a diaper back on, he would whine to get it back.

You know, once upon a time I thought that I never wanted more than one kid in diapers at a time. Once in a while, diaper duty on two kids can get old, but for the most part I haven't hated it. Diapers were just way easier than potty training. I cannot stand to clean up pee, or worse, poop messes! It involves lots of gagging on my part.

However, on Tuesday last week I realized we were running low on Brody's diapers so I just decided I was going to buckle down and do it. Trevor for weeks had been saying 'we really need to potty train him', but I'm pretty sure that "we" really meant "ME!"

But we pressed forward. I set the timer in my kitchen for 30 minutes and stripped Brody down naked for the entire day. When the timer went off I made Brody sit on the potty and go. He did it! Then I would set the timer again and we'd start all over. After each time he used the restroom he got a treat. It was usually only 2 M&M's or a small piece of chocolate, but when you are going potty every 30 minutes that really can add up. By the time Trevor got home I was totally worn out. Potty training is just as hard on mom as it can be on child! It definitely means NO leaving the house, talking on the phone for long, or doing basically anything besides potty business. Lucky for me, Trevor relieved the pressure and everyday when he would come home I would take off for about an hour and a half to just get a break!

Day 2 I made a chart. Brody loves stickers and getting rewards so this was perfect. For every pee he got 1 star sticker. For every poop 2 star stickers. Once he reached 6 stickers he then got a prize or treat. We even bought some glass jars with lids to put candy in for more incentive.

So far things have gone GREAT! On Tuesday, Brody stayed naked all day and had only one accident. On Wed, Thurs, Fri he got underwear and still had one accident per day, but only pee accidents so not too bad at all! On Saturday Brody went all day long without any accidents until we had to go to a reception, and he just got too caught up in everything and had an accident right before it was time to go home and go to bed. Sunday-not a single accident!!!! Can I get a hallelujah? Is there light at the end of this tunnel? I think, yes!

Our baby is taking more and more steps to becoming a big boy. He is still wearing a diaper at night, but he's in his undies all day and that is more than I could hope for, for now!

Ryder is on the Move

Have you ever noticed that when you are trying to figure something out or working out a problem that once you finally give in and decide to ask for help that that's when the answer comes to you? Well, maybe it doesn't happen to you, but it happens to me all the time.

I guess that's all I needed to do with Ryder. I wrote about him being 8 months old and not crawling, and it didn't take him 2 days before he started doing it. (stubborn child..hehe)

It is most definitely not the traditional form of crawling. Ryder uses a variety of techniques to get wherever it is he wants to go. Sometimes he gets up on his hands and knees and just lunges forward. Other times he likes to use his arms to drag his body, you know, the good ole' reliable army crawl. But his favorite method involves him reaching out as far as he can with one arm and then he stretches our the other arm. It looks a lot like someone swimming out of the water.

Although Ryder does not love to be on his tummy and crawling can be frustrating enough to cause some tears, he also has lots of fun getting into his brother's fun and games. He grins the whole time while Brody is shouting out exclamations of: "Uh-uh! No! Dop it!" I have a feeling that this is only the beginning!

Monday, May 09, 2011

8 Months Old

It's hard to believe, but 8 months ago today I was suffering more pain than I had ever experienced. 8 months ago today we made Brody into a big brother. 8 months ago today a new little love came into our lives. 8 months ago today our 9lb. 1oz. Ryder Joel Waite was born.

So much has changed about our little dude since then. He seems SO big. Probably because he IS so big. Its been a while since we've been to the dr. and had him weighed but I would guess he's somewhere between 18 and 20 pounds.

Ryder thoroughly enjoys eating. He just recently quit nursing. Poor boy loved it, but Mommy just runs dry about this time. So we're on to bottles, and although its nice on the pocketbook and for health reasons to nurse, its like a whole new sense of freedom has come over me. Yay! Ryder doesn't discriminate when it comes to baby foods...he likes them all! If we seem to be taking too long between bites of food Ryder will let out some loud man yells at us...meal time is serious business around here! I don't think he seems to favor any baby food over others, but he cannot have carrots because it makes him have serious digestion problems. Because of these issues Ryder gets apple juice everyday....something Brody never had this early on.
Most babies have begun to crawl at this point. Not our little guy. He refuses. Its all about rolling anywhere he wants to be or just sitting up in the middle of the floor. I'm not too worried about it. I guess he'll crawl when he is good and ready to crawl.

Ryder continues to be a rocker/shaker/bouncer, whatever you want to call it. He just doesn't sit still. If you are holding him, you better make sure you have a pretty good grip because at some point (even if you're standing) he will begin to move.

No words yet. Just yelling somedays, and sounds like bah-bah-bah. There's always giggling and smiling going on, and if you are lucky you'll get to hear the sweetest little cooing noises.

Ryder love, love, LOVES his brother. If Brody makes crazy noises or is jumping around it makes Ryder laugh. Before I put Ryder down for bed at night Brody insists on giving 'loves and kisses.' Ryder smiles through the whole process. Every morning when Ryder's cheerful little self wakes up his brother loves to run in the room and peek through the crib and say 'good morning baby Ryder!!!' And yes, he is still BABY Ryder to Brody. We wonder how long it will take before he stops calling him this and just says Ryder.

Ryder I would say is slightly more challenging as a baby then Brody was, but everyday gets better as he seems to gain more personality, more independence, and just becoming all around more fun. He is a joy to have in our home and we couldn't imagine our lives without our two little boys!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

The day started off with Trevor making me breakfast. It was an oh so wonderful (if not so healthy) amount of bacon, sausage, and eggs. And even better than getting breakfast made, was having the dishes done afterwards.

Brody said all day, "Happy E-ser muh-er's day, Mom!" No matter how many times we would ask him to say Happy Mother's day it always came out Happy Easter Mother's Day. With Easter so fresh in his memory and clearly far more fun than mother's day, that is what he kept saying.

Breakfast was followed up with a card from the hubs that may have made my eyes mist up a little bit from the tender words telling me how much I matter to him and our family. Then I got a card from the kiddos that kept unfolding until it was a huge heart. Ryder's 8 month old hands even got in on the action. Those little scratches across the card from the boys mean more than any flowery poetry ever could.

A shower was next without ANY interruptions. Total peace.

My toes got a much needed polish without any little busy bodies stealing the bottles to line up in rows, or taking files to scratch between those little toes.
My hair got curled without ever having to stop.

I was slightly disappointed with church. There was no mention of mom's. Was there spiritual upliftment? Yes, some, between games of peek-a-u (no peek-a-BOO for brody)and a busy baby. But still, sometimes its nice to hear a little about the importance of mom's and I got none of that during sacrament.
Dinner was made mostly by me, but cleaned up by Trev.

It wasn't a lavish day. No expensive gifts given. BUT....I call the day perfection!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Wants and Hopes

Summer is just around the corner, and as always it will go by too fast. At the end of the summer our kiddos will both celebrate birthdays and turn 3 and 1. Trevor and I are constantly in disbelief at how fast the time has gone by. Before I know it Brody and Ryder and any future children we may have will be grown and gone. I constantly wonder what my kids will grow up to be like. I have so many wants, hopes, and dreams for them. So many things....

I want my kids to be strong and independent, but not so independent that they don't need Trevor and I every now and again.

I want them to be leaders not followers and to set good examples for one another and for those surrounding, but if they must follow, I hope they have picked good friends to follow.

I want them to have empathy for others and be willing to do service.

I want them to just be GOOD. I mean really really wholesome-y good. I hope that they have a naturally gravitate towards the good things in life without having to think about it.

I want them to choose the right.

I will never be able to give them everything they want, but I hope that even if I could that I wouldn't because I want them to know that things aren't going to be handed to you on a silver platter. That's just not reality (for most people that is), and I don't think it does your kids any favors to do this.

I want them to know how to work hard and be willing to pitch in and help whenever they can.

I want them to be sweet, kind, and loving.

I don't hope for them to be rich someday, but I do hope for them to find something they would love to do.

I don't necessarily want them to be 'popular' but I want them to be well liked.

I hope they are intelligent, and that even if studies don't come easy to them they won't get too frustrated and that they'll work at it.

I want them to always want to be around Trevor and I. To always value our opinion and ask our advice, but I also want them to figure things out for themselves.

I hope that they'll have a natural willingness and want for church and things spiritual, and that they'll serve missions because they want to not because we tell them they are supposed to.

I want them to be patriotic and PROUD to be American.

I hope they find love and have families of their own.

I hope they love Trevor, me, their siblings, and extended families unconditionally.

My list goes on and on and becomes more and more overwhelming as I wonder how in the world Trevor and I can instill these values and desires in our kids. I already know we'll be strict parents but how do we make sure that we aren't too strict? I've seen all kinds of parents and I don't want to be the kind that just jam rules down are kids throats, but I also don't want to be the kind that are too laid back. How do we find that middle ground? Trevor and I talk a lot about what we'll do. His favorite quote to say to me is from Joseph Smith: "Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves." In other words, we'll do what we can, we'll teach them and love them but ultimately they have free agency just like we do and they will have to make their choices themselves. Sometimes we may like their choices and other times, maybe not.