Monday, November 24, 2008

Demolition progress!

We decided to demolish and enlarge Cadence's closet too. (Thanks to Bersjo's for letting her and Cooper come play so we could get this done!!!) Her closet was about 4 ft wide, 3 ft deep and 5 ft tall. We told her it could be a new playroom and closet. She's exited about the playroom part and keeps talking about it!!! We obviously weren't ready by Friday and delayed the insulation people from coming.
Chris had to update the wiring in the bedroom and add lights and outlets to the inside of both closets. There was no electricity/lights in the closets and they were very dark. Since the hall closet will be more than double its original size and Cadence's will be 10x as big, we needed to be able to see in them. Chris is amazing! He has learned how to do most of the electrical work from a book. He wired the whole basement from what he learned in that book!!! I love my hard working husband. He is my rockstar!!!

I don't know when the insulation people will come. I don't know if we need to sheetrock it before they blow the insulation in or after.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Handful of Hair!

It is sad, but true. Cooper loves me so much, he wants to take a part of me with him wherever he goes! Thus the desire to pull my hair. In large chunks, no less. He will be giving me a cuddly hug, sucking on my cheek and then he yanks a large handful of hair from my head! Thank you son! I love you also!
It reminds me of my days as a Special Education Teacher and those cute, innocent kids who pulled my hair when the manipulative monster inside of them didn't get his way. Whether it was elementary or high school, I did not enjoy that part of the job. It is a good thing I loved my students and my son because I hate pulling out a handful of loose hair!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rice Cereal - Not So Yummy!

Cooper finally got first slurp of mush/food. He didn't seem to enjoy it too much. The sour look on his face said it all. I believe he swallowed a little bit, but most of the rice cereal seemed to come back out and tried to push Dad's hand away.
Feeding Cooper was a family affair. Cadence wanted to help. Shhe couldn't understand how Cooper was going to eat "because he doesn't have teeth." She hears that from me often when she tries to share her food with him!
I started by signing and saying, "Eat. Food." I'll probably be inconsistent with signing until he is about 8 months old. That is when babies really start picking up on the sign and hopefully, he will start signing by 9 months!!!
Let's hope he grows to enjoy eating rice cereal and other foods soon. I prefer to have kids that will eat everything and anything like Chris and me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


We decided to put some blown-in insulation in our house in an attempt to make it warmer this winter. There is a rebate from the gas company that will help pay for it. Anyway, yesterday we decided that before the company comes to insulate our attic space, we wanted to expand some of the closets as much as possible. So therefore, we get to demolish some of the walls. This is actually what we should do our house. Just do whatever we have to do FAST instead of thinking we have years to do it.

This is the closet at the top of the stairs. It is long and skinny. We want to make it at least twice as wide.
Cadence wanted to assist (for short periods of times and we let her). I got to work for about 45 minutes before the kids were tired of being neglected. Cooper was sick of the bouncer and Cadence didn't like the loud sound of ripping the lathe and plaster off the wall. She wouldn't be babysat by a movie unless I was with her. (What is wrong with my kids?)

Chris and I wore dust masks because there was definite dust. Ninety years of lathe and plaster on the walls and it is finally coming down. The house is probably saying "THANK YOU" because we are helping it lose weight. Destruction is kind of fun!!!

The majority of the lathe and plaster is gone (we just need to tear down the ceiling). Hopefully, tonight we will build a new wall. Tomorrow, sheetrock and be ready by Friday. Can we really get this done before the insulation people come? I'm not sure. All I know is that I like doing these spur-of-the-moment improvements with deadline much more than taking years. If anyone wants to watch the kids Thursday night, let me know. Then it might get done sooner:)
At the end of the evening, Chris' dust mask was black! He was filthy. It was a good things we decided to use the masks so we didn't inhale all that lovely dust!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Two Years and Four Months

Since I write about Cooper every month, I thought I should write about Cadence at this point in time. Cadence is so cute most of the time. She has her moments when she acts like a two-yr-old. Cadence is smart. Lately, when people ask her how old she is, she will reply, "Two and four months." She hears me say that Cooper is four months and Cadence is two and four months and has started repeating it. We still watch Sesame Street's "Word on the Street." Last week, the word was unanimous. Cadence would say the word and then say "it's when you just take a vote, and I can't remember the rest." I would say "and everyone votes" and she would finish "the same way!" She loves to "read books" repeating the words and phrases she hears us read. She knows most the letters of the alphabet and knows all the sounds the letters make. Listening is one of her strengths.

Cadence is two. She has a very hard time sharing her toys when friends come to our house. She does much better sharing when she is at other people's homes. She can be a bit bossy when she sees kids doing something they probably shouldn't be doing. I tell her her job is not to be the boss of other kids. That is the mom/adults job and not to tell other kids what to do. She found a way around by telling kids, "Your mom said....." She is too funny. Unfortunately, Cadence attempts to make demands. She wants to tell me what to do. If I tell her "no," she says, "Don't say No to me, Mom." Some days she is a little whiny. At times, my patience is definitely tested.

Cadence loves to sing and dance. She makes up her own songs with very funny words. I love her singing. When she sings or makes "music," she wants me to dance. Cadence could dance and dance and dance forever. She has rhythm and likes to shake her "bootie."

Cadence has so many friends.and is so social. She wants to know everyone's names. After she meets someone new, she shakes their hands and says "Nice to meet you" usually without making eye contact. She has all four of our birthdays memorized. She loves to sing "Happy Birthday" and pretend that many toys are birthday cakes. She often asks, "Where's.....?" She asks that question many times a day. The answer is usually "At home, school or work."

Cadence is her mom's daughter. She loves treats!!! Chocolate, ice cream, sugar, suckers, chips, etc. She doesn't always want to eat what I give her. Her favorite breakfast food is waffles.

Potty training is not going so well because she doesn't want to go in the potty. It has been 10 months since she went in the potty the first time. Since Cooper has come, she says she "wants to be like a baby." She still doesn't like her hair being combed or getting dressed in the morning.

She loves Mr. Cooper. She kisses him, rubs his head, pokes him, etc. Cadence is very good to play with him and to include him in her activities. I think her favorite thing to do with Cooper is to wake him up from his naps. (My favorite!)

In all, my Cadence is a joy! She makes my day everyday. There is so much I learn from her! She is my super-reader princess!

A Month of Thanksgiving!

I really enjoy the month of November. It is a time to give thanks and remember all for which I am grateful. For me, it is sad that Thanksgiving is skipped over by many.

For the first FHE this month, the focus was on being thankful. We created the beginnings of our Wall of Thanks. In college, my roommates and I would fill one wall in our apartment with sticky notes of things for which we are grateful. I decided to start the tradition in our family. Instead of sticky notes, we use pictures cut from magazines so those who can't read yet can see the objects of gratitude. I tought about drilling of heavy-duty hooks on the wall and hanging up Cadence and Cooper, but decided against it;) Some of my favorite pictures that Cadence wanted on the wall were Elmo, Chuck E. Cheese and an alligator. As people have come to our house thoughout the month, we ask them to add at least one thing they are grateful for to our wall.
Last week's FHE consisted of creating Thanksgiving dinners for two families who deserve a nice Thanksgiving. A group of Chris' friends and their families got together and did this. Our little group went knocking on doors asking for food donations and some went and bought the turkeys at the store. We delivered the dinners to the families that night. I think we will continue this tradition every year too. (If you know who received the dinners, please do not tell them we were involved.) This is part of our group!
This last week was busy, yet so rewarding. Besides creating dinners, Cooper and I visited some ward members in a nursing home, rakes leaves for our neighbors and had three nights of people over for dinner (VT dinner, Mike and Sara down the street, and our neighbor Sarah and Nick Thompson). Service and friends rocks!!!

Two Cheers For Visiting Teaching

Last December as part of our ward Christmas party, we had a service exchange. Our volunteered service was to fix a yummy jambalaya dinner for the Kvarfordt family. We FINALLY made them take us up on our service. Since Melanie is my visiting teacher partner, we thought it would be fun to invite the other women/families we teach to the dinner. However, on Sunday we got new partners and people to teach. We decided to do the dinner anyhow and just invite all the new families too. So, Friday night, our house was packed with 13 kids and 12 adults for some yummy cajun food. Chris cooked Jambalaya and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! The other families brought a salad, dessert or drinks. In my humble opinion, THIS is how Visiting Teaching should be done! A party every month. I asked them all to contribute to our "Thankful Wall" and visit with each other! The toy room was enjoyed, a tour of the house was given and "The Very Hungry Catepillar" and parts of "Madagascar" were watched.

Thanks to all those who could make it! (Dobbs, VonNeiderhauserns, Hadfields, Naylors, Kvarfordts, Trinkella) We are sad the Rodebushes couldn't come (son was sick, but I still took them some dinner.)

The Ladies (except for KimberLeigh who left before I pulled out the camera for this shot!)
You gotta love Relief Society!
Note to self: I don't normally like to hold parties! I like to attend them at other people's houses! Much easier, less stress. However, I am getting better at relaxing and realizing that everything doesn't have to be perfect! I even whipped up some last minute cupcakes without stressing about it. What is happening to me? Am I turning into a girl!?!? A cook?

Playtime Fun

Everyday, we have playtime fun! And boy, it is fun (for Cadence)! Kids are so silly. I can't wait to see how Cooper "plays" when he gets bigger. It will be double the fun!

One thing I like about this house is that we have one bedroom solely dedicated to toys and fun! When kids/friends/playgroup come over, I send them up the stairs straight to the toyroom. So nice!!! The following pictures are part of a day in the life of playing and toyroom fun.

A neighbor gave this big star balloon to Cadence the other day when we were creating a Thanksgiving dinner (more on this another day.) The "fun" for Cadence involved bonking Cooper and me on the head multiple times, throwing it around, jumping on it, throwing it in the air and hitting it, etc. Love it!!!

Next was musical instrument fun. Hitting the drum, banging the tambourine, making me dance to the beautiful music, marching around the room, hitting every button in the room that makes a sound and last but definitely not least, putting the tambourine on heads and taking pictures. Cadence actually snapped a centered, good picture!!! Way to go, Superstar!

(Notice the shelves in the background and how the stuffed animals are ON them!)

Now that you've seen the shelves, look at what they look like when they are completely empty and scattered. We can call this "a bed of animals" or "choas is exhilirating" or "I love to play clean-up." Yes, Cadence thought it would be so much fun to pull everything off the shelves and lay on top and throw them. She really is so cute!!! It is a good thing she likes to sing and play "Clean up" for a few minutes!!!

Later that day, Cadence was standing on chairs, jumping on the couch, dancing on top of her art table, etc. To teach her it is MORE fun to play under tables instead of ON TOP of them, I showed her how to build a tent/hut! She thought it was the coolest!!! Not a lot of fun for the three of us to get under at once, but worth the memories!!! And, yes, she is without clothes or diapers! Just one of those fun play things she likes to do!!!!
Playing with kids rocks my world!!! They make me laugh everyday! IF you ever want to come play, give me a call!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Four months of Joy

I can't believe that Cooper has lived in our home for four months. He is such a joy! He rarely cries, loves to be held and cuddled, drools tons and is easy going. This month, he laughed at Cadence. He is tracking very well, reaches constantly for toys in front of and above him, making loud, fun, squealing sounds, smiling often and is still spitting up. He does not like to be left alone in a room for even a few seconds. He plays in his saucer (actually spins and hit the toys on it). Taking a bath in the big tub is one of his favorite things. He kicks, sqeals and splashes like crazy. He can sit by himself for a few seconds, but eventually jerks backwards or sideways with excitement!!! Oh how I love this sweet boy!!! At his doctor's appointment, he weighed 18 lbs, 11.5 oz. which is the 95%ile. Yes, he has already doubled his birth weight!!! He is 27 inches tall which is also in the 95%ile. He is a big, healthy baby! The doctor was very impressed with his strength and skills!He is heavy to lug around, but I am so grategul to have him and that he is so healthy. The doctor said that usually big babies are sedentary/not as active, but could tell that Cooper is a wiggly. active baby.
My fear that Cooper would have a flat spot on his head did not happen!!! Cooper head has a beautiful, symmetrical shape!!! Yeah!

Cadence loves Cooper and tells him often, "I'm so glad you came to live (or visit) at our house. They are best friends!!!
Cooper, I love you very deeply!!! I'm glad you chose to come to our family.

Grandma's Backyard in the Fall

Playing in Grammy's backyard is so much fun no matter what season. Cadence wants to be outside in her backyard when it is dark, middle of the night, raining, snowing, first thing in the morning, etc. She loves all there is to do!!! This trip was no exception.

The guy that rents Grammy's garden space has three sheep in her backyard. They are named Lawnie (the black one) and Dumb and Dumber (The white ones). Lawnie is the friendliest. Cadence is a little nervous around them, but this trip she was really into putting sticks through the fence in hopes they would eat/chew on them. (Cadence really enjoys all the fabulous activities she can do with sticks.)
She also loved swinging and pushing Cooper and I in the swing!!! There were lots of wet leaves. and while Cadence was napping, I was raking. If the leaves weren't wet, we would have had tons of fun jumping in the big piles!!!
There was a little snow and Cadence was thrilled to make her footprints in the snow. It looks like that will be a favorite activity this winter- just like last winter.
Grammy has decided that she is NOT retiring this year due to the economy and plans to teach another 3 years. She will be in her house another 3 years at least so my kids will have three more enjoyable years of Grammy's backyard!!!

Monkeys Jumping On The Bed

This weekend Chris staffed the Ropes Course for Impact Trainings. He LOVES to staff Ropes and got to facilitate "The Perch." Needless to say, he is on a natural high since coming home.
While he was at Ropes, we played at Grammy's house! Cadence LOVES Grammy and her house!

One of her favorite activities is jumping off Grammy's high bed. This trip was no exception. A couple of months ago, Cadence found my wanna-be cabbage patch doll from when I was little. Cadence enjoys dragging this special doll around by her hair. She also gave her a very fitting name, Kurtis. Yes, the doll's name is Kurtis and is named after Bro. Kurtis Williams from our ward bishopric. If you know Kurtis, tell him the doll looks just like him.Cadence is a jumper. She jumps on tramps, beds, couches, floors, in leaves, etc. I often chant "Little Monkey Jumping on the Bed" when she is being a crazy jumper. Her are the two monkeys (Cadence and Kurtis) jumping on the bed and preparing for take-off.
She throws Kurtis off first.
Then she leans into the air with a huge smile.
And dives/falls. Superman. (Don't you just love the hair?)
Cadence can jump for an hour, squealing with delight and excitement the whole time. I'm glad she has a friend like Kurtis to participate with her. It is only a matter of time before another little monkey (Cooper) starts to jump off the bed with her!!! But for now, Grammy and Cooper just lightly bounce and laugh with/at the crazy monkey named Cadence!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cadence's First Post

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This morning as I was typing my post, Cadence wanted to type. So I saved my work and opened a new post so she could have one of her own. This is the post she composed.
When I asked Cadence what this says, she said "Cadence is beautiful." While she was typing, she would say, "Look Mom. ccccc. lllll. Do you see the letters?" I added the picture I took while she was typing. She liked that part! Cadence is brilliant!!!

Playtime with Bridget

My friend, Tina, went all out for Halloween this year. She made the costumes of Mike, Sulley and Boo from Monster's Inc. To see Tina's blog, click here. (She's won two costumes contests with it so far.) I volunteered to assist her with paper mache, brainstorming and watching Bridget while she worked vigorously. We played with Bridget two different days. Cadence and Bridget get along pretty well for two 2-yr-olds. They have their moments of selfishness and mischieviousness, but for the most part they are well behaved!

It is now a proven fact that a Ford Focus can fit 3 car seats...barely. We had a hard time getting the third seat in and closing the door, but we did it!!!

After eating and playing at the McDonald's Playland (a favorite playdate activity for these two), we walked through the Willow Park Zoo. Bridget and Cadence took turn riding in the stroller.

After the zoo, they played at the park. Sliding down the slides with their babies was their favorite part. (If you can't tell, Cadence was really into having her face painted for the week before Halloween. If I didn't paint it for her, she would paint it herself!)The second time we played with Bridget, we rode the city bus. Cadence has been asking to ride the bus for a couple of weeks. They brought their babies, Emma (Bridget's) and Soppie (Cadence's). Their babies had to have a seat of their own on the bus. Bridget named Cadence's baby. Cadence hadn't even paid attention to the troll/baby in the toy room until Bridget found it and started playing with it. Now she likes the baby.

After the bus, we played at Cadence's favorite park by our house, played with play-do, in the playroom, etc. I'm grateful Cadence has Bridget for a friend. She learns a lot from playing with Bridget. I'm glad I have a friend like Tina. I learn a lot from her!