Thursday, May 31, 2012

How to Landscape your Yard

Step 1: Marry someone who likes to landscape.
 And then you're done!

We did some work on our yard over Memorial Day weekend. As you can kind of see in the above picture, the grass originally went right up underneath the window and we thought it should have a little rock bed with plants in it. (We didn't think to take a "before" picture until it was too late, so this is the best you get.) Mckay is amazing and did most of the work himself. I did help quite a bit, but I was also doing other duties like watching the kids and making dinner.

Dallin spent much of the day in the water.
 And then when Connor woke up from his nap he joined the pool party.

We had Brats, zucchini, corn, and pineapple; all cooked on the grill. 
 (The onions on the brats were cooked indoors on the stove. Not as cool.)

Dallin falling into a meat coma.

I'll post the completed yard pictures later when I actually get around to taking some.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dallin, but mostly Connor

Apparently jumping is not the only thing that tires these boys out.
 Eating is also exhausting.
***
Connor has discovered how to get up on his knees.
 He can't really "crawl" yet, but he's scooting a little mostly backwards.

He is more active and trying out all sorts of new things. Of course, before participating in any kind of physical activity, he needs to stretch.
Then he does yoga. Starting with downward facing dog...
...and then moving into the plank pose.
I anticipate real crawling in the next few weeks.

Often when I feed Connor baby food, he'll make a face, almost like I'm feeding him lemons.
video
On another attempt to capture the squinty face, he kept moving back and forth in his chair and it was making me laugh.
video

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mother's Day

We went camping on the Friday and Saturday before Mother's Day. We had a lot of fun and it was a nice break from regular household duties; that's my favorite way to celebrate Mother's Day!

It was our stake family campout. It's normally the weekend they do a Father and Sons campout, but they invited the whole family this year. Both the boys did very well while camping. They slept well and we all stayed warm in our tent.
 This picture makes me laugh because I don't think there have ever been so many conflicting fabric patterns in one picture.

Dallin had a blast running around with all the other kids there.
 
And petting the dog.

Dallin loved the fire (as any young child would) and couldn't stand that everyone else got to play in it.
So we let him play in the cold ashes. 

We did a lot of sitting around the campfire, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.

There was a great Frisbee golf course there. Mckay practiced his "putting."

Connor discovered the pocket knife.

Dallin pushed Connor around in the stroller.
It reminded me a lot of when we went camping at Eagle Lake in 2009 when Dallin was just a baby and my cousin Stori was pushing Dallin around in the same stroller.
 See? Almost identical pictures.

On Mother's Day we made Steak Fajitas for dinner and Mckay did the dishes for me. I got to snuggle with my sweet boys.
 Dallin and Connor got me some knee length shorts and a cute necklace with matching earrings.

Mckay put a lot of thought into his present for me. He heard me mention months ago that I wanted a nice dress to wear to church, but it's really hard to find one that is long enough, covers enough, etc. but is still attractive. He spent hours online searching and bookmarking websites that had modest dresses. He narrowed down his top picks and then showed them to me so I could make the final pick. Because we had to wait for the dress to be shipped, I didn't get to wear it on Mother's Day, but I did get to wear it yesterday and I think it looks pretty cute.
Mckay did a good job. I am such a lucky mom.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sleep


Jumping is hard work.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Homemade Italian Dinner

Dinner was heavenly last night.
I made gnocchi with marinara sauce and french bread. All homemade.

First, the french bread. I've been on this kick recently of trying to make my own rolls, breads, etc. I haven't done french bread before. I just searched for french bread recipes, clicked on the first one with a good looking picture and went with it.

This bread is amazing.
 The crust was golden and slightly chewy while the inside was fluffy and soft. This was as good as or better than store bought french bread. And it made 3 huge loaves. One is in the freezer and one will be consumed later in the week. The recipe can be found here. It was pretty easy to make.

Next, the Gnocchi.
 We've had Gnocchi a few times before at restaurants and loved it, but I've never tried to make it myself. It never even occurred to me to make it myself until Mckay suggested it Saturday night. I figured it can't be that hard, right? (I think I've been watching too much Food Network again.)
It actually wasn't that hard to make. I had a few struggles, mostly because I was using an awesome little pasta maker we picked up last summer. I didn't add enough flour and it was a very hot, humid day which only made the dough stickier. I think it would be a little easier for me to do by hand. Time consuming, but easier.
The gnocchi were oddly shaped and non-uniform, but they tasted delicious. I used this recipe for the gnocchi.

For my marinara, I use Giada's Marinara recipe. I usually make up a big batch and then freeze smaller containers of it so I have it on hand for occasions like this.

And there is my tasty, inexpensive Italian dinner, all made from scratch.
Except for the asparagus.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bathtub and outside fun

Earlier this week I brought Dallin and Connor into the bathroom to bathe them. After the tub was filled, I went to grab clothes to change them into after the bath. When I came back into the bathroom, I saw that Dallin had climbed into the bathtub...on his own... fully dressed. 
 He was laughing and smiling, but that was probably because I was also laughing when I saw him.

Since Connor was born, I've always bathed the boys together, but I've had Connor in the little baby bathtub right next to Dallin in the regular bathtub. Yesterday, I decided to try putting Connor straight into the water with Dallin. Now that he's sitting up pretty well I figured he could handle it.
 They loved it.
***
It's finally beginning to feel like summer here. Dallin loves being outside so we have to find things for him to do to keep himself entertained. We taught him how to water the grass.

And he keeps an eye on the grill for us.
 We've been grilling a lot recently. Note: Grilled cheese on an actual grill doesn't really turn out very well.
***
Dallin had some friends over for a play date, and they somehow roped Mckay into reading a book to them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dinosaur Pajamas

Connor can now fit into these dinosaur PJs.  This may not seem like much of a big deal, but it reminds me of how small Dallin really is.

Dallin got these pajamas when we took a trip to California right before he turned 2. Becky thought he would look so cute in them and she was right!
He was 2 years old! And Connor is 6 months old. Big age difference.

Even more amazing is that while preparing to write this post, I came across a picture of Dallin wearing these pajamas on this last Thanksgiving.
Connor was a month old at Thanksgiving!! Dallin at 2 1/2 years could still fit into pajamas that newborn Connor would be wearing 5 months later.

I realized that I attach a lot of sentimental value to our baby clothes. I think back to when they first wore that outfit or the trips we took when they were wearing that. (Evidence: Connor at the WS walk wearing the same thing Dallin wore 2 years before.)
The 6-12 month size clothes that Connor wears now especially bring up memories because Dallin wore these particular clothes for over a year. He wore these clothes for his first Christmas, his second Christmas, while moving from Utah to Indiana...
Dallin was in these clothes for a long time and it's weird seeing Connor grow into them and almost out of them again so quickly. I knew that eventually Connor would catch up to him and they'd be wearing the same clothing size, but I didn't realize it would be so soon. The size gap between them is closing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Walk for Williams

We held a Walk for Williams Syndrome here in Lafayette on May 5th. We have been lucky enough to participate in a walk every year since Dallin was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome over 2 years ago. This year was different though because we were actually involved in the planning and hosting of the walk, rather than just attendants. You may recall that another local family has a daughter with WS and Dallin was on the news with her last year. Dallin and Kendal are in the same class in preschool so they get to see each other often. When Kendal's mom asked me if we wanted to help her put on a walk here in Lafayette, I knew we had to do it. There was a lot of work and planning that went into it, but the walk was a great success. Our goal was to raise $2500 and we got almost twice that amount! Not bad for our little city. We had a lot of people come and I hope we raised a lot of awareness.

Dallin loved that so many people were there and was excited to see old friends from last year.


Mckay and Kendal's dad held the banner as we walked around the park.

Dallin and Kendal rode right behind the banner in a wagon.

They were laughing and having a good time while we walked. They started a "game" where Dallin would make noises and Kendal would laugh hysterically. Oh the joys of being 3 years old. 
video

Here's a picture of all the people with WS and their families.
 
Connor was sleeping so he's not in this picture, but I promise he was there.

He spent most of the day just like this in his stroller.

We had a free lunch provided by many local restaurants and sponsors.
 Two of the fingers broke on my cookie, but it still looked pretty cool.
 Andy the Armadillo from Texas Roadhouse came to take pictures with the kids.
Dallin was uninterested. He looked at Andy for a few seconds and then walked away.

There was a face painter. Dallin wouldn't keep his head up.

Frito Lay donated 500 bags of chips. Dallin ate a few bags himself.

We had a raffle drawing and a silent auction. Dallin got to pull out a few names for the raffle.


This was one of my projects for the walk: making the donation box.
 The 4 sides of the box had pictures of people with WS.

A police car stopped by and the officer let the kids sit in the car, turn on the lights and look around.
 We told Dallin this was the only time he was allowed to be in a police car.
 (Anyone notice that Connor is wearing the same outfit that Dallin wore at his first walk? I may have planned that...)

 We had such a great time. We are so lucky to have many wonderful friends and family that support us and love our son.