Thursday, March 29, 2012

The end of another semester!

As relieved as we get to have these classes behind us, that relief is always overshadowed with crazy amounts of stress...

However, we're LOVING that our (Mitch's side) whole family will be together in just one week!! It may be the last time in a long time; Mitch's sister Dani and her husband Danny are graduating and moving to Seattle to start jobs and "real life" (watch for a preview of their graduation pictures on my photography blog!), Mitch's brother Ethan will be here at school with us until July, and then will head off on a 2-year mission for our church, and his youngest sister, Jayna, is headed to college in September! We plan to make the most of our time together, and we all just can't WAIT to be together!! 

Dani & Danny's graduation will be the main event, and my good friend Amy has promised me her "stalker lens" so we can capture awesome, close-up pictures of them receiving diplomas! Mitch has to work the graduation/convocation events, but has been assigned Dani & Danny's convocation so he can still sit & be with us. Their parents are driving from Gillette, WY and their grandparents are coming from St. George, UT, not to mention Danny's family is coming from Seattle! I can't wait to hurry and get finals week OVER with so we can have fun with family!

Mitch is very hard at work in school. His grades look amazing and he's very confident about classes for the first time in a long time! It's crazy what finding a perfect major (Recreation Management) and minor (Business) will do for confidence and determination! He plans to go into the government side of recreation, and I always tease him that NBC's Parks and Recreation depicts his future :o) Anyway, he already has two finals open to take (finals don't officially start until Monday) so he's off working hard today, taking advantage of that and getting ahead of the game where he can!

Nathan has been a great napper today, and I've actually gotten a lot accomplished too, including writing a 7 page paper, cleaning the house and getting a lot of laundry done. Nathan has found plenty of "new games" to play and places to explore around the house. Honestly, if picking up my Tupperware drawer's contents off the floor for the umpteenth time today means getting more work done, have at it kiddo!

And now for some picture updates of our favorite kiddo ever!

Nathan has discovered that our curtains make fun peek-a-boo toys! He stands on the ottoman/toy box and loves to peek through at the dog, who he thinks is playing peek-a-boo with him. Apollo's really just staring, wondering what's going on!

I love seeing these little fingers on the piano keys, as long as they're clean! One day he'll learn not to "pop his bubbles" (flatten his hands) :o)

He's into making weird faces for the camera!

Nathan loves to play outside in this awesome weather we've had lately! This week it's been into the fifties so we only get to go out for a bit, but whenever we do he runs straight to our neighbor's four wheeler! He's fascinated with wheels, bikes, and anything else that moves.

Helping daddy pick up after Apollo...haha not really, he was just following him around.

We got a basketball and he is just enthralled with it all the time! He loves to chase it and throw it.

In the stroller after a walk...MAN does he have a sweet double chin in this one!
I love it when little kids rediscover that toys they've had for awhile can do more than they thought! Nathan got this bunny almost a year ago from his GG & Papa Dooley but is totally in love with it as of recently. He giggles when it laughs and carries it around all the time!

This is the main purpose his "friend" serves, and we always find this little green triangle stuffed in his mouth :o)
  Nathan was running around acting crazy after the bunny pictures...what a weirdo! :o)

We decided to paint a picture for grandparents. The plan was to fingerpaint it, jump in the bathtub, then after it dried we'd cut it in half and send one to each set of grandparents...

Notice there was ALREADY paint on his lips by then...

contemplating eating more...good thing it's non-toxic, right?



nothin' but pro supplies for us! Paints, paper, and crayons all from the dollar store...

I only pretend to be artsy...

Mom, crayons don't taste good either!

A combination of paint-drenched paper and a bit of frustration tore the much for mailing it off!

One day I'll get the buckle! Haha, probably not...

We jumped right in the bath, where he proceeded to make a ton of funny faces! Here are a few...

Nathan is full of fun these days. He will be 17 months old on April 2nd. We are already practicing going to our church's nursery, where kiddos 18-36 months go during the last 2 hours of church. He does really well. I stay out of his way and he comes back to show me things or whatever all through the two hours (I love that secure base theory!). The only time he really needs help is during snack time.

Nathan is mostly still babbling, but now it is CONSTANT. He is always trying to repeat words that we say. The only words he can say perfectly are mama, dada, and baby (lots of our friends just had babies, so he's getting exposed to them a lot!). The words he says every day in his own little way include:

thank you
nummies (aka food)
bike (baaah!)
(he's getting really good at sitting through prayers at home and church)
banana (nananana)

...and that's about it. He LOVES bikes and cars (specifically the wheels). If he sees a bike anywhere he yells, "DAAAH! DAAAH!!!" and won't stop until you say "bike". If I'm driving and just say, "Yeah, Nathan! What do you see?" He won't ever stop saying it. He loves to hear words and try to repeat them, like I said earlier. I love how much he can understand. It really makes his days go a lot smoother!

Well, that's it! Hope you enjoyed my long, looong post and 35 pictures...especially you, grandparents and great-grandparents!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What Nathan's Been Up To

Mitch and I have not been up to anything very exciting recently, just parenting, schooling, housework and jobs. Well, we have been up to other things, but I'm saving that for the next post. Well, the next two posts that are writing themselves in my brain.

Right now, I'll just share some pictures we've been taking as our weirdo winter got even warmer!

Nathan has been smiling more and more for the camera....something I've waited forever for! Being able to have pictures of our own children, no matter what our budget is, is the whole reason I got into photography. I love doing shoots for other people, but I started doing that to pay off/save up for some lenses and camera toys I wanted. Now it's just a really fun way to help support us!

Anyway, these next few pictures are straight off the editing at all! I wish the light looked like this in my house every day!

PS--most of these are for grandparents' sakes, since they've been on facebook for awhile :o)

I love his little smiles, even if he isn't looking straight at the camera :o)

He loves to play on the couch!

Just chillin'

Love this!!

This picture has no photographic value whatsoever (out of focus, overexposed face, distracting light from front door on left side), but can we talk about how awesome it is that I CAUGHT this face!?

Everyone on FB tells me this is a total Mitch face, and the more I look at it, the more I see it!! He looks just like Mitch did in pictures from his little boyhood!

With his "friend", as we call it. We're on #2 since he was born, and even this guy's almost worn out. That funny triangle is ALWAYS in his mouth! This is one of the few things that comforts him when he's nervous. Which, let's face it, is almost all the time!

These pictures are also straight off the editing...they could have been a ton better, but I honestly just don't have time to edit every snapshot! This was about the tenth time he tried to sneak under the gate, wanting to play on the stairs.

"Yes, mom, I'm stuck. Again. You just gonna stand there?"
"Really, mom, the camera!? Right NOW!?"

"I'm not learning my lesson even though I'm crying so so hard!" (you can see Apollo looking on in confusion on the left)
Yup, he definitely did that about five more times that day. We're trying to spend lots of time on the stairs so he knows how to go up and down them. Because let's face it, sometimes (rarely) the gate doesn't get latched. I want him to know what to do when he comes upon an open gate, instead of just barreling down the stairs like he did a couple days before these pictures. Note the bruise on his's now gone, but there's still a little dent there. Poor guy and his soft bones! (Don't worry, we had him checked was a good sized dent when it happened!)

Today we played outside with daddy and Apollo. Nathan loves being with his dad. Whenever dad is doing something fun, Nathan has to be one of the guys! He tried to clean guns today with dad and his friend Mark...turns out no one lets him touch anything! Darn it!

Little feet in cute sandals, all ready to play!

Idaho in March without needing a jacket...what!?

Walking around all tough...and 100% boy!

Love his little eyelashes

He loved to find little rocks and pick them up...silly kid.

These boys are buddies...

...At least Nathan thinks so. Poor dog gets nearly abused every day! Nathan sure has fun with his doggie!

Climbing the steps to the front door

Sticking his fingers through the slats in the porch

I guess they're fun to look through, too! Silly kid!

Had enough yet? No? Still missing your grandson? Yes? Okay, let's keep going and get me caught up :o)

Nathan recently got a new car seat. He's about five pounds away from growing out of his baby one (that goes up to 30 lbs), but his little hips and shoulders are just too snug, and he's gotten too BIG before he's gotten too HEAVY. So, we still had our tax return in our bank account and thought there wasn't a better time to dive in and make the big purchase. Here is Nathan before and after:

Snug as a not-usually-so-happy bug!

He usually hates this; it was probably obvious that we weren't actually driving anywhere, and dad was making faces in the back window :o)

The little strap adjuster had met its match and was at the very end of its tether...this is as far as it goes!
Long story short, we tried and tried to get this car seat to install rear facing in our car. We ran into two problems along the way:
1) our car (an older Camry) is too small for such a tall car seat to be rear facing, and Mitch was eating the steering wheel because he couldn't scoot his seat back at all.
2) Nathan's legs were too long for rear facing: he couldn't stretch them out at all, and got mad about that FAST. It wasn't a problem in his baby seat because we had the seat base reclined as far back as it went.

So, since Nathan exceeds the minimum requirements for turning a child forward facing, we went ahead and did it. 
 Note: When I was little, the recommendation was 1 year the requirement is 1 year old, but kids are 5 times safer if they sit rear facing until they're 2 years old, so that's the new recommendation. Needless to say, I fought off tons of guilt until I realized it just wasn't going to happen the rear-facing way!
Looking around and around!

So excited!

I slowed down my shutter speed to remember how fast he kicked and kicked in excitement! "I can swing my legs!!" On another related note, between the before/after pictures he made a mess of his cute Robeez running in the mud. I washed and dried em, almost ruined em, got great advice of how to fix them on FB, and now they're all better :o) I didn't feel like putting real shoes on him and he wasn't playing outside at this point, so on go the slippers!
Looking and looking :o)
Soft new car seat fabric! He wouldn't stop rubbing it!
But soon, it was back to oh-so-serious business on his Buzz Lightyear cell phone :o)

Just a couple more, then we're done, I promise!

Nathan the cranky boy (a nickname that's slowly fading, thankfully!) has always loved his baths. It's so cute to see him run to the bathroom door when he's messy after a meal or we talk about taking a bath before bed. He knows what's coming, and makes the most of his time!

So excited! On tippy toes and everything! Look at those clenched little cheekies :o)

Grab a pic, run and catch. :o)

He's recently started this game of pouring water on his's hilarious and he laughs after every time!
 Well, that's it! Those are all the photos I have for the ten people that read this blog :o)