Sweet William

I wish you all could come and spend the day with Will, because he is just the CUTEST KID. He is charming and sweet and hilarious. His mannerisms make are just adorable. And we have the greatest conversations. I’m going to recap some here, but typing them out doesn’t do them justice. (Because seriously! So cute!)

The other day I got up to feed Lydia because she was crying, and although it was 4 am, when I came out in the hall I saw that Will’s light was on. I opened the door and before I could say anything he busts out with, “Um, actually it’s Lydia who is crying.” He assumed I thought someone in HIS room was crying. No kid, GO BACK TO BED.

This afternoon out of nowhere he said, “Remember when Buster Bear was lost? That was quite the adventure! He was up in the tree, then down in the lake, then upstairs in the box and then back with me!” Me: “Wait, did you say he was in a lake?” (We have found him in a tree and in a box in Kalena’s closet on occasions when he was lost. The lake thing threw me though.)

On Friday we surprised Will with getting to go see Walking With Dinosaurs Live. (Just he and Brian went. Kalena’s interest in dinosaurs has waned enough that it wouldn’t be worth the ticket.) Anyway, he was telling me about it today (again) and pipes up with, “Mom, when we went to the dinosaur show? We time traveled!” And I replied, “And there was a paleontologist like Nigel Marven, right?” And he got a very serious look on his face and said, “Mom. Nigel Marven is not a paleontologist.” This kid does NOT miss details.

He loves to pretend to be dinosaurs, particularly spinosaurus, and one day he told me, “I’m a spinosaurus waiting to ambush my prey!” *pause* “Mom, what does ambush mean?”

We’ve been working on letters (writing and recognition) in our little home preschool stuff and he had this epiphany after one session.

Will: “Mom! All the words are spelled with alphabet letters!”

Me: “That’s right, all words are spelled with letters.”

Will: “But nothing is spelled with the counting letters.”

Me: “Well, that’s because the ‘counting letters’ are actually NUMBERS.”


Often he will do something to make either Lydia or Daniel smile and then say, “Lydia really loves me” or “Daniel really loves me.” And, OH, my heart.

He is definitely getting to be a little kid, not a toddler (5 next month!) but he’s still not too big to fall asleep on the floor at church.





Alright, Halloween post time. We did most of our Halloween stuff on Wednesday, a scavenger hunt at the local museum, followed by dinner and trunk-or-treating at church. And, for the first time in years, Brian and I also dressed up! (I think last time we wore costumes Will was a baby.) This was mostly out of a desire on my part to not get out of my yoga pants. I thought, hmmmm, what could I dress up as that would need black pants and not require anything I don’t have already in the house? And the answer to that question was: black cat. Brian has a set of scrubs from way back when I had my c-section with Kalena so boom, easy costume there. Anyway, everyone knows the real point of the Halloween blog post is to see pictures of the kids in costume, so HERE YOU GO!

These first two are actually from Halloween. We went to a trick-or-treat thing at one of the malls here. Probably won’t do that again. It was PACKED, so lots of just waiting in line. Also, a ridiculous number of people carrying around babies to trick-or-treat. Babies in costume are adorable! Yes! Dress them up! But listen- if your kid can’t walk? THEY DON’T NEED ANY CANDY. (We did NOT pick up candy for our stroller babies. They were just there to be cute.)


We (okay *I*) forgot most of Will’s costume. I realized about halfway there. So he was just Nigel Marven, regular zoologist.



This one is from Wednesday: tuckered out little lion!


And look! Our whole family! I considered cropping this, but I kinda like having the giant T-Rex skeleton in there.



Here is, sadly, the best picture of Will’s whole costume that I got. It’s one of those costumes that looks like you’re riding on dinosaur and as soon as I brought it home he told me he wanted to be Nigel Marven. Nigel Marven is a zoologist, and acts as a “time traveling zoologist” on Will’s very favorite show “Chased By Dinosaurs.” So he was Nigel Marven riding a dinosaur. (Except on Halloween when he was just Nigel Marven.) Anyway. Kalena, as you can see, was Glinda again. And she was OH SO PLEASED that people here recognized her as Glinda. Last year everyone thought she was a princess or a fairy and she was quite disappointed.



Happy Halloween! (5 days ago.)

Museum and stuff

Once again I got on expecting to finish my Halloween post, but STILL my iPhoto is not cooperating. (I have all my OTHER pictures, but the Halloween ones won’t show up.) So something else! Again!

When we first moved here, we heard about a new museum that was being built. We always made good use of our dinosaur museum membership in Grand Junction, so we thought this might be worth looking into. It’s not a dinosaur museum specifically but it does have lots of dinosaur stuff in the free area. It also has a hands-on kids area (definitely up our alley) and then an area with exhibits that change. Anyway, blah blah blah, membership, blab blah blah, we love it. The kids are especially big fans of the current exhibit: Mythic Creatures. Because mermaids and dragons and unicorns, oh my!







Fun stuff. Will thinks the exhibit isn’t *quite* as fun as the discovery zone where they’ll take out Miss Chloe the boa constrictor for you to pet (shudder) but I’m ready to go back again.

Will at home

Will won’t be 5 until December, which means he’s too young to start kindergarten this year. We considered preschool, but decided not to put him in one for a variety of reasons. (My sanity being a big one. All the drop off/pick up nap-ruining shenanigans of last year are not something I’d particularly like to repeat.) I’ll be working with him at home on preschool type stuff. He is all for this arrangement, although there’s a vast difference in what he wants to learn and what I think we ought to work on. For instance, I suggested letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and writing his name. He countered with learning about space and dinosaurs. And really, I’m not against learning about those things! It’s just, those aren’t exactly on the “kindergarten readiness” list. So! We’ll see what all gets learned this year.

Some other Will tidbits for you:

He TOTALLY regressed with the finger sucking after the Tide Pod incident. It was like he thought we couldn’t see him doing it, since HE couldn’t see anything. The habit was such a process to break, so I’m super NOT excited to do it all again. Right now we’re trying out having him wear a finger splint to remind him not to suck. Works great! Except then he takes it off. *sad trombone* (Also, this is happening right as Lydia is finding and sucking on her fingers and thumb and it’s made me VERY insistent on her taking a pacifier instead of letting her suck on her fingers. Because I already don’t want to deal with this with Will, let alone again in 4 years with Lydia. And I’m sure getting rid of a pacifier is no fun either, but I’m not currently living that hell.)

Speaking of the Tide Pod incident, he definitely learned his lesson. Yesterday I was doing some laundry and he wanted to help, so I offered to let him put a Tide Pod in the washer. I might as well have told him to stick his hand into a bucket of venomous spiders the way he backed up. He helped pour in liquid detergent instead.

This kid makes me laugh all the time. Here are some of our recent conversations:

Yesterday immediately after we put her on the bus he said, “I miss Kalena.” (We hadn’t even walked all the way back to the house yet. And you can see the bus stop from our front porch.)


Today I was eating popcorn and I got up to do something and when I sat back down I got out my phone to check my e-mail.

Will: Don’t forget your popcorn, mama!

Me: Okay bud, I won’t.

Will: (pause) It’s right beside you.

You know, in case I forgot.


A while back we had a tooth fairy fail. Kalena lost a tooth and we did not put any money under her pillow. (WHOOPS.) So the next morning I grabbed a couple quarters and gave it to her and told her that the tooth fairy put it in my room by accident. Then later that day she and Will were speculating why the tooth fairy might have done such a thing.

Kalena: Maybe I should put a sign on my door. Maybe the tooth fairy didn’t know what room the tooth was in and that’s why she put it in the wrong room!

Will: Or probably it’s because tooth fairies aren’t real!

(Kalena assured him that YES THEY ARE.)


He finally gets himself dressed these days, but is INSISTENT on wearing his clothes backward. He puts on his pants backward “so he can have pockets” he tells us. (The front pockets aren’t good enough I guess.) But who knows why he puts his shirts on backward. It’s definitely intentional. They’re backward 90% of the time.


He still loves dinosaurs, crocodiles, and reptiles of all kinds. He’s a huge lego fan (especially the Chima stuff.) He’s dirty most of the time.



He’s my guy 🙂

Will the 4 year old

Hey! Back in December Will turned 4 and I never wrote about it! Originally he wanted a cake with stars (easy! I can do that.) But then he changed his mind and decided he wanted a dinosaur volcano. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to manage that, but then someone suggested starting with a bundt cake so that’s what I did. Here’s the final product:


I DID have some of those dinosaurs just standing there, but when Will saw it he insisted they ALL be dying in the lava. So. Who am I to deny the birthday boy, right?

We just did his 4 year well visit (when we did Daniel’s 2 year well visit.) He is 38 1/2 inches tall (7%) and weighs 35 lbs (45%). Hilariously this means he’s only 4 3/4 inches taller than Daniel. The pediatrician was like, “Uh, has he always been this short?” And yes. Yes he has. We also discovered at the appointment that he had an ear infection! He seemed fine, but apparently not. When we asked if his ear hurt (because he never said anything about it) he said, “No, it just hurts on the inside!” So I’m not really sure if it ACTUALLY hurt and he just didn’t say, or if he only said that because we were asking. He’s big on giving the answer he thinks you want. For instance, if you ask where Buster Bear is and he doesn’t know, he’ll still tell you somewhere. He’ll never just say he doesn’t know.

At age four: he is still obsessed with dinosaurs. He also has recently developed a love of LEGOs and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He loves his siblings, especially Daniel. The other night when Brian was putting them to bed Daniel started crying when Brian left the room and I heard Will say, “It’s okay Daniel! It’s okay, I’m here with you!” Those moments are just my favorite. He likes to remind us that he is “still small” (his words.) Mostly when we are encouraging him to get himself dressed or other “big kid” things. He doesn’t drink milk (unless it’s in cereal) but loves yogurt. He still eats his weight in breakfast foods, with eggs and oatmeal being the big favorites. He’s quite chatty these days which is often very amusing. Just all around a fun guy.


Christmas gifts this year

I did a post like this last year and had NO trouble finding pictures and links for the stuff the kids were getting. This year? WHOA. I don’t know what the deal is, but some of this stuff I couldn’t find pictures of at all. Anyway! Here’s what the kids are getting this Christmas.


From Santa:

doll furniture

{picture from: amazon.com}

This isn’t the exact set we got, ours has a bouncy seat instead of a pack-n-play, but you get the idea. She’s been wanting (and asking for) a doll stroller and furniture for a while.

In her stocking she’s getting a plastic giraffe toy (she’s got a thing for giraffes) and the movie Epic. (Those are also from Santa.)

From us:

Cinderella doll


{picture from: Target.com}

The Cinderella “toddler doll.” This was a specific request. Why Cinderella I’m not sure since it’s definitely not her favorite of the Disney movies.

And a book.

lady bug girl book


{picture from: amazon.com}


We have 2 other Ladybug Girl books and she’s a big fan, so when they had this one as one of the $5 deals at her school book fair I picked it up.


From Santa:

dinosaur mountain


{picture from: sears.com}


A while ago Will saw some kind of dinosaur mountain in a toy catalog and he WANTED IT. Which would have been fine except that it was $70 and really didn’t look all that fun. (Definitely not $70 fun.) Anyway, I started googling around and found that there’s really not much in the way of dinosaur landscape type toys. But then! Then I found this toy from Imaginext. Exactly what I was looking for! Except they don’t manufacture it anymore. Thank goodness for eBay. (And for kids who are still too young to know/care if they’re getting used toys.) I found it other places new (the Sears website, for instance) where it costs hundreds of dollars. No. I paid less than $40 on eBay. It’s probably missing a few pieces, but nothing you’d notice. Anyway, it’s awesome. I’m very excited for him to get this.

In his stocking he’s getting a plastic dinosaur (one he doesn’t have! I didn’t know there were any!) and the movie The Croods.

From us:



{crappy picture from: my phone, 5 minutes ago}

You can’t really tell from the picture, but it’s a little bucket of dinosaurs and dino landscape pieces (rocks, trees, etc.) The dinosaurs are the perfect size to go with the other toy so when I saw this I knew he needed it. (We bought it at walmart. I couldn’t find pictures of this anywhere online.)

And a book.

Reptiles book


{picture from: eBay.com}

Will’s Christmas really has a theme going on, doesn’t it? This was another $5 book I picked up at the school book fair.


Here’s where I tell you that I’ve finished shopping for the other 2 kids and have purchased nothing for Daniel yet. Whoops. He’ll probably only get a couple things since a) he doesn’t care and b) we’re about to move.

I’d like to get him a walker like this one:

playskool walker


{picture from: horizonhobby.com}

But it’s not being manufactured anymore. (We actually had this same one for Kalena, but the kids totally wore it out by the time Daniel came around.) I’ll still do a walker of some kind, but I haven’t decided on one yet.

I’d also like to get him this toy drum.

toy drum


{picture from: amazon.com}

When my nephew had his birthday here back in September he got one of these and Daniel LOVED it. It’s been on the list since then.

And he’ll probably get a book 🙂

Do you know what your kids are getting for Christmas?


Pumpkin carving time

Hey! We carved pumpkins! Before Halloween even! And by “we” I mostly mean Brian. The kids did a little better with scooping out pumpkin guts this year. (Last year Kalena got a handful of pumpkin goop and gagged and that was the end of that.) But the adults are still doing the majority of the work here. We skipped the pumpkin patch this year because October was crazy, so the kids had to settle for Wal-Mart pumpkins. Spoiler: they didn’t care. Anyway, pictures!

Will was an enthusiastic pumpkin-gut-scooper.



Kalena was decidedly daintier about it. (Actually, her pumpkin was being carved at this point, she just wanted to show me a seed.)



For the first time ever we used templates. And again, by “we” I mean “Brian” because my big contribution was printing them. Kalena wanted a Cinderella pumpkin, so that’s what she got! She was very pleased.



Will insisted on an oviraptor on his pumpkin and nothing else would do. (I offered Buddy from Dinosaur Train, but NOPE. Make the oviraptor happen!) I actually did carve this one, but then Brian had to fix it a lot. (I’m not even sure that template is an oviraptor. I just printed out the closest silhouette I could find.) I tried to get a picture of Will WITH his pumpkin like I did for Kalena, but he insisted he needed to look at it, so the only thing I could get was him looking at the pumpkin, with it turned partly away from me. So.


And Daniel carefully selected this penguin. Alright fine, that’s Tux the Linux penguin and I picked it because I knew Brian would love it. Because we’re both giant nerds. That is Daniel’s pumpkin though!




Sadly, it was unseasonably warm the week after we carved them (before Halloween) so they got pretty wilted and sad looking before trick-or-treating. Usually around here it’s plenty cold enough that carved pumpkins will hold up well for at least a couple weeks. Oh well.

Will’s birthday celebration

Because my parents are out of town most of this month, we did Will’s 1/2 birthday celebration a little early. His obsession with dinosaurs and crocodiles continues, so we started things off by seeing the “Super Croc” exhibit at the dinosaur museum. (Will was SO EXCITED to find out that the museum was getting this. He’s watched the Discovery channel documentaries “Super Croc” and “Ultimate Crocodile” at least 20 times each.)

Our invitation to the event preview. Because we have a membership at the museum. We went. OBVIOUSLY.




Will wouldn’t let me take a picture of him with the super croc (I’m sure I’ll get one at some other time) but I snapped this one when he wasn’t expecting it.



A crocodile cake: his only request for the birthday celebration. Turned out pretty well I think!


He got a couple awesome Imaginext dinosaurs as gifts. (He was very excited to discover that his gift was actually a toy since we wrapped it in a diaper box. He thought it might actually be diapers.)


Pleased with his presents.



Happy half birthday to Will! (Actually on the 22nd! Whatever!)


Well, time got away from me a little bit there, didn’t it? My sister and her family came to visit, arriving on the 2nd, and then my brother came down on the 5th. 7 adults and 7 children makes for a VERY busy house. I managed to take almost no pictures, big fat fail on my part. I did get this one of Kirsta reading to some of the kids:


It’s horribly backlit, but that’s all I’ve got! (Also, this photo is missing Caroline, Daniel, & Ethan.)

We celebrated Patrick’s birthday while they were here. He is the first of the cousins to turn 5! I made him this awesome dinosaur cake, complete with volcano and lava. He was suitably impressed. (If you look closely you can see the parasaurolophus being eaten by the allosaurus. Because no dinosaur cake is complete without some carnivore action, right?)




In other news, I’m back on weight watchers. I’ve tried the WW barcode scanner and it’s worthless. (Seriously, almost nothing I scanned was actually in the database.) They’ve also made some changes to the app that really annoy me. HOWEVER, I am by far the most successful at weight loss with WW, so here I am. It works for me.

Also, I joined a gym. Or rather, my mom signed me up for a gym. She’d been mentioning wanting to join a gym or sign up for a class or something and I kept telling her that I’d go with her if she wanted. (Let’s note here that I didn’t think it would actually happen.) Then one Saturday she came home and told me she’d signed us both up for gym memberships. We’ve been going 4 or 5 times a week (minus the week everyone was here) so that’s been great. I actually really like going. I keep forgetting they have a pool/hot tub/steam room though. One of these days I’m going to tell Brian I’m going to the gym and then I’m just going to go over there and sit in the hot tub. (Shhh. Don’t tell Brian.)

Will has pink eye. Woke up with it Monday morning and I have NO IDEA where he got it. But he’s been on antibiotic drops for more than 24 hours now and so far nobody else has it. *knock wood*

Daniel’s sleep schedule is all out of whack. Last night he was up basically from 3:30 to 5:30 for no apparent reason. As always, it’s super fun for me.

I’m currently reading like 5 books, and I have 3 more checked out from the library that I need to read so I can turn them back in. I can’t seem to focus on just one book at a time.

There, do you feel all caught up on my life now?