Monday, February 25, 2013

Birthday Boys!

Okay- this is my last birthday post for a while I promise! :) 

We have a two and a half week span of birthday mania in my family! My Dad kicks off the birthday fun with his birthday being January 20th. It was on a Sunday this year, so we really didn't do anything. Not that we ever really do anything... my parents are pretty low key when it comes to their birthdays. But we did have a little dessert together, and celebrate as a family another year of my Dad! He is certainly the best Dad I could have ever asked for. A wonderful example of service, love, and of the Savior. He is so kind, generous, and a GREAT Grandpa! He does SO much for Shad, the boys, and I; and i don't think I could ever adequately thank him. 

My mom and us chipped in and purchased my the Dad "NHL Center Ice" package, so he now has access to all the Hockey games in HD he could ask for to root on his fellow Finns, and his favorite player in his supposed last year playing! 

And we made a giant cookie. A family tradition and usual. We are not cake lovers, but chocolate chip cookies, Oooooh yeah. Owen was the perfect helper making the dough and loved making a 'Reeeeeeeeeeeeallly Biiiiiiiiiiiiiig cookie!" He kept asking "Will Grandpa share his cookie with me?"

Yup, he shared his cookie! Mmmm...

Sad, I didn't get a picture of the actual birthday boy! 

Next on the birthday roll is Nathan. January 29th. Obviously he is only a 1 year old, so the day passed by without really any celebrations. Once and a while Owen would come over and say "Happy Birthday, Nathan! You're One!" I decided that I couldn't let the WHOLE day pass without a little treat. So Owen helped me pick out some brownie mix and ice cream to celebrate that night when Daddy came home. 

We sang to Nathan, with Shad's mom watching over Skype. 


A little help from big brother to blow out the candle!

And he was a BIG fan of the brownies and ice cream...

...So was Owen! Any reason for a treat! 

(I had just given them a bath before bedtime and didn't let them go too crazy with the treats! Doesn't make for as fun pictures...oh well!)

My mom has a birthday squeezed in there as well!! Her birthday is February 4th! At this point we had moved into our new house... so we hardly saw Grandma on her actual birthday. Just enough to wish her a Happy Day. :) My Dad treated her to the Cheesecake Factory... her new favorite! Where she indulged in a delicious Red Velvet Cheesecake. (Which you get for FREE if its your birthday!! Did you know that?? I am totally going there on my birthday next!) I think you all know how awesome my mom is! She is one of the sweetest ladies I know. I'm lucky to be her daughter. She is SO SO SO helpful with the boys and I'm not sure what I would do if she didn't live so close. They adore her to pieces, and I am forever grateful for her willingness to help out. 

And since Owen and Nathan's birthdays are just 8 days apart, Owen closing out the birthday mania on February 6th, we had a birthday party the Saturday (Feb. 2nd) between birthdays. Exactly 4 days after Nathan, and 4 days before Owen's! Good in concept, but planning a small family birthday party was not my brightest idea, since we were trying to move that SAME weekend! It was a little stressful. But it was pretty low key. 

My Birthday Boys!! 

We only invited close friends and family. Grandma/Grandpa, Shad's sister Heidi and her family, our best friends from law school, the Fischers, and Aunt Karen and Uncle Ben. Owen was thrilled with the people that came, and was so excited the entire time! Nathan didn't really know what was going on, but was happy to have presents, food, and cake! Score! I'm not sure how I'm going to ever deal with actual 
"Friend Parties" that seems like so much work!

The birthday spread: Chips, chicken salad sandwiches, meatballs, fruit, and veggies. 

The Thomas Cake. Not my best work, but I did do it sort of last minute and free hand. Owen LOVED it, and that's all that matters to me! He keeps asking me to make him another Thomas Cake or a Percy Cake! :) 

Getting ready to open gifts. 

Opening Aunt Karen and Uncle Ben's gifts. 

They love them, and we are so happy they came! 

 Nathan playing with some of his present loot!

Owen showing off some presents. Uno Moo! from Aunt Heidi, and play food and tools from Mommy and Daddy! 

These boys are so spoiled! They made out like bandits! 

Nathan with Grandpa. They are best buds. Nathan loves his Grandpa!

Aunt Heidi and cousin Julia. Two of Owen's favorite people ever! 


Finally, time for cake! Like I said, Owen loved his cake!  

Nathan was a little timid at first... not sure what to do with it. Owen on the other hand, had NO problem devouring every delicious bite!

 Nathan caught wind of the deliciousness and finally dug in! 

And finally, on Owen's actual birthday he had another day full of fun and all things Owen. We kicked off the day with going to McDonalds breakfast! Owen LOVES those hot cakes! Daddy went into work a little late so that he could tag along to celebrate our little boy. Owen was in heaven! Next the boys and I headed over to the Library, like we do most Wednesdays. Something he looks forward to each week. They moved the storytime to the library right next to the park. So the WHOLE time at the library he was begging to go to the park. Since it was an actual decent day AND it was his birthday I conceded. :) He loved being able to run around the park, and many of his library buddies joined him. 

Later, after lunch and naps. I actually had Activiy Days with the girls, so Grandma came and picked up Owen for a date! She took him to his favorite place, The SuperMall! He got to ride the Carosel, play, and she even took him shopping for new clothes! Then to top it off she took him out for a special dinner of Mac and Cheese and Oranges at Red Robin! They even sang to him, gave him a balloon, and free ice cream! Lucky Duck!

The birthday boy with his 'I'm 3 today' button! Look at that mischievous face! 

Alyssa, another one of Owen's favorite people, came over earlier last week and dropped off the boys  birthday presents. (I know, more presents!?) A GIANT cardboard train that you can color and play in! Pure awesomeness. It may just take up our entire new home! :) 

Love this little Ham! 

Owen is all about birthdays now! He keeps asking "Why is my birthday over from?" The next birthday in our house will be Baby Sister! So he has a while before we will be celebrating any more birthdays around here! :) And I'm sure glad to have a little break! Phew! 

Love my Birthday Boys!! It's certainly fun having birthdays so close together! Hopefully next year we won't be moving right in the middle of it all! :) 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Birthday, Owen!

YAY! We have internet again, and I finally get caught up again on blogging. I will definitely do a post about our NEW house, but first things first. 

On February 6th, my Owen turned the BIG BOY 3!!! It's official, he is now a big boy, not a baby anymore. 

Here is my Big Boy on his actual birthday! 

Here he is just three years ago. Just a little peanut!

We love him so much. He never ceases to amaze us every single day. He is ever the inquisitive little boy, and always wanting to learn more. He has discovered the "Why?" question... and absolutely questions everything. If something falls on the the floor he will ask "Why did that fall on the floor from?" The questions always start with the "Why?" and end with the "From?"

He is ALL boy. He loves all things that go. Trucks, trains, and tractors. Trains are is number one love though. He absolutely LOVES his Thomas trains, and loves to build tracks. He also got an electric train for Christmas that is loves to set up and watch go around and around. He turns everything into trains. remotes, food, other toys, crayons... everything becomes a train at some point. Since everyone knows he loves Thomas so much, oh man, the Thomas and Friends franchise has made a pretty penny off of Owen! We have SO MUCH THOMAS GEAR! And he hasn't tired of it yet! He also loves to crash things. All day I have to explain to him why we don't crash our toys... he has broken his share of toys because of constant crashing. Also, he got a tool set for his birthday and he LOVES to build things! He loves to repair things with his tool set, and I swear its the cutest thing I've ever seen. 

Currently he is also into "cooking" and "making Pizza." He likes to make meals for me, draw meals for me, or just feed me different concoctions he's made up. We got him some play food for his birthday and he is loving making me meal after meal of delicious food! He claims he wants to be a Chef when he grows up. 

My Boy in a fort we built. With a train in hand, and of course, Thomas on his shirt! 

He loves to learn. Holy cow, is he ever my little genius. He has been talking like a 3 year old since he was about 20 months, and I can't believe how much his vocabulary is growing even STILL. I can have a whole adult conversation with him. Which I love, because he is just my little buddy. He certainly keeps me entertained. Sometimes he sounds just like a little adult. Its so funny. Plus I love overhearing him talk with his animals, trains, toys, and other friends. Its hilarious. 

Building words with letters. His favorite. 

Owen is a very good and attentive big brother. He makes sure Nathan is always taken care of, and gets upset when he sees that Nathan is visibly upset. He gives him lots of kisses and hugs throughout the day. On Halloween, we went trick or treating with both boys, and at EVERY house Owen asked "How 'bout a couple for Nathan!?" making sure his little brother had candy too! Just shows how he looks out for him. However, sharing is a whole other issue! When it comes to sharing ANY type of toys... Owen is no longer the sweet, attentive brother. He is not a fan of Nathan playing with similar toys. Sometimes he takes it to the extreme and doesn't want Nathan to have anything. And he can be a bit of a bully, he come over and knock Nathan over, or bounce on him, try to wrestle him down... which Nathan doesn't always love. But they are brothers, I'm sure this is just the beginning! :) 

He is also very excited about "Baby Sister." He is always trying to help us think of names for her. And he gives her kisses and hugs. He likes to pick out clothes and things for her at the store. And he draws pictures of he ALL THE TIME. He may feel differently when she comes out, but for now its very sweet to see him turn into such a loving big brother. 

He really is a very sweet big brother. 

At 3 Years Old, Owen:

- Can write most of his letters
- Can spell 25+ words and type them on the computer
- Can count to 50 by himself, and to 100 with little help
- Knows the 50 states in alphabetical order, by shape, location, and name
- Is learning the 50 states flags, capitals, and cities (I know, Crazy! I don't even know all the state flags!)
- I'm pretty sure he has a photographic memory
- Can put together puzzles
- Knows colors (like blue violet, maroon, magenta, red-orange, etc.)
- Knows shapes (Octagon, Oval, Pentagon, Hexagon, etc.)
- Draw faces/people. His current favorite is draw "Baby Sister"
- Loves to sing! And memorizes songs fairly quickly.
- Still LOVES trains and Thomas
- Is becoming an excellent eater! (Whoo! Its about time! Still a bit picky, but it doesn't take him an hour to eat lunch anymore!)
- Loves cars, trucks, & tractors
- Loves to build things with Daddy, especially using tools
- Wants to be a Chef when he grows up! He "cooks" multiple meals for me daily.
- Is getting more social and has proper "friends," so cute!
- Likes going to Nursery at church! (It only took a year!)
- Has discovered sweets/candy/ice cream! And oh boy, does he have a sweet tooth like his Momma!
- LOVES his older cousins Julia, Victoria and Karissa.... especially Julia! :)
- Hates the doctor and getting a "Check Up"
- Is a bit of a drama king... especially when sick!
- Is still trying to learn how to share
- Has 1 to 2 meltdowns a day, when its impossible to reason at all with him!
- Is still taking a 1 to 2 hour nap a day
- Loves to go on dates with Grandma and Daddy
- Likes to visit Daddy at work
- Still loves to read books
- LOVES the iPad and iPhone
- Can watch Mickey/Thomas everyday
- Is really into getting his picture taken and looking at pictures. Not just of himself, but all pictures of people he knows and loves. He is always asking me "Mommy, can you take a picture of me?"

What We are Working On This Year:
- Sharing!
- Potty Training! (This is mostly me just being lazy and not getting on the ball. I know that he can do it. He has gone in the toilet many, many, many times. He knows how, I just need to buckle down and take away the diapers. He WILL be potty trained before baby sister... I hope!)
- Expanding that ever growing mind! I have high hopes for my future Harvard Grad! :)
- Pre- School, I haven't decided if I'm going to put him in pre-school next year. I'm thinking just one year of pre-school though; and maybe something like a co-op next year.
-Socializing more with others his age.

Typing words and letters on the computer. He did all of these all by himself!

 Here is a little interview I did with Owen today. I love these answers... So cute!

What's your favorite animal? "Elephant"

Why is the Elephant your favorite? "Because they walk like an elephant and make this noise (insert elephant noise here.)!"

Owen: "Okay, lets talk the Next Question!"

Whats your favorite color? "Green and Blue"

Whats your favorite song? "Take me Out to the Ball Game"

Whose your best friend? "Mommy, Yeah!"

Whats your favorite thing to do? "My Favorite thing to do is... Play!"

What do you like to eat? "Cheerios, sometimes when I was a baby."

What do you like to eat now? "I like to eat Fruit Loops."

Anything else? "Yes. I like to eat Jelly Beans. And a Rice Krispie Train! I like to eat Car Soup."

Where do you like to go? "I like to go to the Big Mountain Store." (Aka: The Supermall)

Whats your favorite game? "Ummm...Football!"

Whats your favorite toy to play with? "Trucks. Yes, Trains and Trucks are my favorite."

How old are you? "3!"

Are you a big boy? "Yes."

Whats your favorite show? "Ummm... Thomas Christmas!"

Whats your favorite book? "Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!"

What makes you happy? "Not getting in trouble."

What else makes you happy? "Painting."

What makes you sad? "When I get in trouble."

What else makes you sad? "When I pull all the books down off the shelf." (Something he got in trouble for recently!)

Whats your favorite movie/video? "My favorite movie is Day of The Diesels!"

Whats your favorite thing to do with Mommy? "Help her clean up."

Whats your favorite thing to do with Daddy? "Play games."

What kind of games do you like to play with Daddy? "Type letters, play football, play basketball..."

Whats your favorite thing to do with Nathan? "Wrestle! Yes, Crawl and Wrestle is my favorite thing to do."

What songs do you like to sing? "Ummm... 'Day of the Diesels', and regular 'ABCs'. And I like to sing 'Thomas and Friends', and 'Tacka-Wacka Shake Shake!'"

What do you want to be when you grow up? "A Chef!"

Why a Chef? "Because I like being a Chef."

Dear Owen,

Where do I even begin!? You are now a big boy three year old! It seems crazy that just three short years ago I became a mother. I feel like I have been your mother forever. I wanted for so long to be a mother, and when you came into the world everything changed. It was/is the most challenging and emotional experience of my life. However, watching you grow into the sweet, smart, and loving little boy you are now has made every challenge and every day worth it. I love watching you grow into the little person you are. Its amazing to watch your mind learn and grow. It almost feels like you should have been 3 a long time ago. In many ways, you are so mature... like in your speech and your thoughts.

Just when I think you cannot surprise me anymore you prove me wrong. I should know better by now. Your memory is so keen. You can remember everything, anyone, anyplace. Its amazing! You are so smart! I try not to brag about the strength of your mind... but really, its incredible. It's almost hard for me to know what is 'normal' for others your same age. I hope that you will always have a big desire to learn. I hope that you will always want to ask "Why?" and have that thirst for more knowledge. Your potential is enormous.

You are such a fun companion to have around. You are still my best little buddy. You are my shadow throughout the day, and always ask me to read and play with you. You constantly want company, and since I am the one around, I am the one to give it! I love our little chats together, and you always, always make me laugh! You are hilarious. I enjoy our one on one time together. We don't get much time together, but when Nathan takes his naps is when we get to play together. We play games and trains. We watch shows together, or eat snacks. Occasionally I will get to take you out on an errand or date, and I love just going out with you. You are just great company.

It has been so wonderful to watch you grow into your role as big brother! You were definitely meant to come first in this family. You take such pride in your role as big brother, and you take it very seriously. Its so fun to watch you as the big brother! You are very excited about 'Baby Sister' in Mommy's tummy. You give her kisses and hugs. You always want to help shop for her, and buy her things. You draw sweet pictures of her. I know that you will adore her and protect her just like you do with Nathan.  You will lead them both as big brother, teach them, and show them many new things! I love how Nathan just adores you, and thinks you are just the best. He looks at you like you have such wisdom and wants so badly to be big like you! He wants to play with your toys, and play like you and with you. You are the coolest big bro around!

You are a very special little boy. You have so many people that love and adore you. You are so spoiled by everyone. You are lucky to have great relationships with not just family, but friends too! Everyone just can't help but fall in love with you! You and your brother are at the start of a fun relationship. You protect and make sure he is taken care of, but you also don't miss opportunities to bully him and boss him around! I think you two will be very good friends, and I hope that you can always have a close relationship with one another. There is nothing like having a brother to rely on. I know that you will always look out for him. Of course you and Daddy always have a good time. What are Dad's for?! The two of you laugh and play hard together. You adore him, and never want him to leave for work each morning. You certainly take advantage of the time you get to spend with him, especially if its just one on one time. Your Grandma is wrapped around your finger. The two of you were made for each other right from the beginning. I don't think she loves anyone more than she loves you. You and her go out on special outings together, and have the best time. You are lucky to have her, she is just too good to us! You connect closely with adults more than other kids your own age. My best friends Alyssa and Kambria are also your best friends! You love them, and can't wait for their visits! It doesn't help that they also spoil you rotten! Since Mommy doesn't have any sisters, they are as close to Aunts as your going to get! And of course, there are your sweet cousins, Karissa, Victoria, & Julia. You constantly ask for Julia, and to go to her house. You love your Aunt Heidi and Uncle Steven... and could spend all day there! Those girls love to entertain you and play all day with you! See what I mean?? So many special relationships and people who love you and who you love as well. And that is just the beginning...

Even though you are just three, I know that you have a testimony. Its a very simple testimony of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. You love to say the prayers at mealtimes, and sing those church songs with all your heart. You understand more that I probably give you credit for, and I should be much better about teaching you scripture stories and gospel principles. I know you could master them! You always ask 'Why does Heavenly Father want me to do that?' And you try to follow his simple commandments. Don't lose that childlike faith and love for him. Its very sweet and I know its inside you!

Owen, as I always say, and as mothers always say... words cannot express my love for you. But I love you. I love you more than anything in this world. You have taught me so much about what it means to love unconditionally and you have truly strengthened my testimony of the Gospel and of families. I know that this is the family where you were meant to be. The love I have for you made me worry that I couldn't love anyone else as much! (But its true you can love more than one THAT much!) I am honored to be your mother, and to be a mother. I am so grateful that I am blessed with you for a son, you are just amazing. And I get you forever! :)

I love you!

My little boy. I ADORE him to pieces!