Happy Birthday Landonator!

Well.....it has been a while since I've posted.  Seems like that's the first sentence in every journal entry I write, so if nothing else, at least I'm consistent!

Landon has just turned six.  I get a bit nostalgic when I think that he'll never be five again.  I want him to grow and mature and contribute to this world, but birthdays are a reminder that my children are young for only so long!  And what a child he is!

We were planning on having a birthday party for him -on his real birthday!- this Friday.  It was to be complete with nerf gun games, pizza, and karate chopping foam plates (a party favorite), but he woke up with a cough and sounded pretty hoarse.  I debated on whether to cancel or not for just minute, but since I had been feeling a bit under the weather, I decided it would be best to postpone the party.  Of course he was disappointed.  Luckily, Ryan had the day off so he wasn't devastated, ha.  We opened presents from the family, went out to lunch....I figured we weren't so sick that we couldn't go out, just sick enough to raise eyebrows of mom's dropping their kids off to our home....and went to see the movie Trolls, which I'm not a fan of by the way.  It reminded me of the dream Dumbo had when he got drunk....the whole time.  Anyway, the day wasn't all a bust, and since we plan on having the party on Monday, I think Landon was happy with how it played out.

Friday evening though, Landon woke up struggling to breathe.  It's happened to both Josh and him before, so we knew more of what to do: hot shower and then outside in the cold.  Ryan stayed with him on the couch the rest of the night, insisting he didn't need to go to the ER.  Luckily, Landon survived the night and I took him to instacare in the morning.  They gave him a steroid for croup and said he should be fine within the next 12 hours.  It was pretty cute, he was so excited that he didn't get a shot that we called it a birthday miracle.  Lucky things happen around birthdays, don't you know?  He's still not feeling well, and today's Sunday, so we might be postponing his birthday again.  I hope not, but it is what it is.  This poor kid has gotten sick on his birthday before...I guess it comes with being born during the winter.

Here are some things I want to remember about Landon:

-He is super smart.  He reads like it's nobody's business and loves school.
-He is so social.  I think one reason he doesn't get bored at school is because he loves people.  He loves to play with his friends....it's been a bit hard for him to be separated from his Farr West friends and living away from the kids in Snowhorse Elementary (we are building our house in Kaysville -Snowhorse's boundaries- but are renting in Layton) because it means that I have to organize play dates for him instead of him being able to play with anyone at anytime.
-He is very loving.  Landon tells me he loves me and gives me the best hugs through out each day.  He'll give me a little sideways look just full of love and happiness that makes my heart melt.
-He is still a tough guy.  He loves to wrestle and play rough.  He loves to yank his brothers to the ground and can drive them crazy.  He has another look that he gets when he's about to strike....if I see the look I know to hurry and step in.
-He loves to dress up and fight with weapons.  He got some cool nerf guns for Christmas and I think they have replaced his swords....he hasn't used his swords obsessively for a while now.  He and his friends or brothers often will use bandanas or my thick headbands as masks and play some kind of war game.
-He loves music and singing.  We got him a karaoke machine for his birthday and he loves it, as do his brothers.  He loves to have our electric piano play music, he loves to have my phone play music, and he loves to watch music videos (the approved-by-mom-and-dad kind).
-Landon is very eager and quite well behaved in church and school.  Because he's so active and rough with his brothers, I was a bit worried that he would be naughty in school and church.  But he's very good.  I'm sure the teachers have to remind him to behave every so often, but he listens.  And he loves to participate.
-Landon has a unique sense of style.  It's quite endearing to me. He is so very particular about his clothing and what looks good. He's always tucking his shirt in, even when he's wearing basketball shorts....he has to roll up his pant legs at least once or twice or three times!  He likes to wear socks with his sandals.  He loves to wear Cole's small church vest.  He doesn't like to wear his coat because it makes him "look fat".  He loves his hair brushed flat to the side, like squished flat with his hands over and over.
-Landon has such a good heart.  This little boy of mine is full of energy and fire.  He's active, coordinated, smart, and silly.  He's a happy soul and so very good (unless he's hungry or tired!!).  He is so attuned to spiritual things.  I know he will do many good things in the world and I'm grateful to be given the honor of being his mom.

Happy Birthday a Year Later!

Cole turned two last week....so now seems like a great time to get started on blogging again.  :)

Cole's birthday was pretty relaxed.  The night before, on Friday, we went to the county fair.  The boys loved it, minus the storm that flew in right as we were leaving.  The rain and wind were so strong, and the dirt was pelting our faces.  It was a long wait to get out of the parking lot, but we were just glad we weren't in the jeep that didn't have a top!!

The day of his birthday we opened his few presents, one of which was a helmet.  The size was for toddlers up to age three.  He was so excited to put it on.  He tried really hard to, but his poor head is too big!  He was crying and screaming trying to get it on and then get it off.  I bought him a new one a week later, and it fits, but he's still a little wary of it.  He doesn't like it on his head for long.

Then Ethan, a 14 year old boy from our ward, came over to babysit the boys while Ryan and I went tubing down the Weber river.  I felt a bit guilty for going, but our friends invited us and I figure Cole doesn't really care right now.  The tubing was fun....but too cold.  It was probably in the 70s and the wind was blowing a bit, so on the quiet stretches of the river, it got really cold.  I would like to go again if the temperature was in the 90s, but I don't think I'll go again if it's not hot!

Just last night, we had family over for dinner to celebrate Cole's birthday again.  And we included Bree (our new sister-in-law) in the birthday celebrations, since her birthday is almost here.  I made some lasagna and a texas sheet cake that I put in a toy dump truck (the bottom was covered in saran wrap).  The others brought some salads, a fruit bowl, garlic bread, and another cake, so we had plenty of food to enjoy.  Cole's sweet cousins gave him some gifts and it was a relaxed enjoyable time.

Cole is such a fun, sweet little boy.  Here are some things I want to remember about him.

-He calls dogs "Ruff"s.  He loves dogs, as long as they don't attack.  :)
-He loves turtles.  Like Teenage mutant ninja turtles and the Tiny Tim turtle song.
-Cole loves Mickey Mouse.  I think his love started when I showed him his diapers that have Mickey on them and then he saw a Mickey Mouse show.  He doesn't get to watch Mickey Mouse as much as he would like, because he has older brothers that hog the shows, but every once in a while we'll watch, "Mouse".
-He is very easy going, unless you tell him no.  He has now started throwing temper tantrums where he'll just scream and scream and try to hit you.  It's so darn cute, but I try my best not to encourage the tantrums.  But he's always been very chill and calm.  If his brothers are around to play with him, he'll just go downstairs and play.  When we are out and about, often he'll just be content in what we're doing.  In fact, just until recently (now he's getting to be a bit more saucy) I would be thrown for a loop if he was ornery for a day.  He was my rock, my calm baby, so when he wasn't, I didn't quite know how to take it!  Usually I'd figure out he was teething or had an earache, because really, he wasn't a fusser.
-He kind of likes to get other kids in trouble.  He's really tough, but he won't "fight" for anything with other small kiddos.  He'll let them take over and then he'll quiver his lip and cry, honestly, I think to help get them in trouble.  When we had swimming lessons, if the other little boy was there (the one that would scream and be ornery a lot), Cole would sit at the top of the frog slide, instead of going down like normal, and just quietly watch the boy scream and holler at him, ha!
-He loves to snack.  All the time.  If the pantry door is left open, he's in there grabbing something to eat, usually goldfish or fruit snacks.  Just this last week, I walked into the kitchen/living room area, after having finished getting ready, to see Cole with stuffed cheeks, and two fistfuls of fruit snacks.  I took them away while he threw a tantrum.  Landon was kind and brought me all the fruit snack wrappers from the office....there were about seven empty wrappers!!
-Cole is really starting to talk now.  He knows so many words and cute little phrases.  I love hearing him say his brothers' names, "Dosh, Darder, and Yandon".  Sometimes he says, "Landon" and I'm pretty impressed.  He loves to repeat words he hears, and he's very good at saying, "Tain-too" or "Tank You" if he's speaking well. :)  He will say thank you right away when I ask, "What do you say?"  and he'll often beat me to the punch and say thank you right when he walks up to you.
-If he's in any kind of mood, teasing, or ornery, his favorite response is "No".  Even for things he likes and/or wants.
-He loves to tickle.  He'll come up and say "tichkle tichkle tichkle" in this cute little voice while tickling your toes or neck.
-Cole loves to bug Ryan.  He'll come up and smack him to hear Ryan say, "Hey!" nice and loud.  He likes to try and wake him up, sit on his head, anything to get Ryan's goat.
-Cole absolutely loves to wrestle.  Josh is so good with him and will let Cole pull him down, sit on him, and do whatever, minus biting.  Cole did that to him today and Josh did not appreciate that!  When I talked to Cole about it, it was so cute to see him so nervous.  He quickly said sorry and was very "nice" after that.  All the boys are really kind to Cole.  He still gets to play the "baby" card, I guess, because although the boys ride each other pretty hard, they give Cole a pass.
-Cole is a snuggler at bed time.  And Ryan can get him to really snuggle in sacrament meeting if Ryan rubs him.  I love to sing to him before bed and just have him lay on my shoulder or in my arms.  When I sing to him, he'll say "more" after each song, so I've started telling him "last one" to prep him for the end.  But he does love songs!
-Cole loves to imitate.  He'll repeat back phrases we say, and he'll dance the same moves if others are dancing, and he'll exercise like Mom if he sees me exercising.  When Josh and Carter played baseball, he'd run over to where there team was standing, grab a huge helmet and put in on backwards, and steal a bat and try to go out and play.  When I would cheer for the boys and yell, "Run, run, run!!!" Cole would be copying me saying, "Nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh" as fast as he could.
-One of my favorite things is when Cole passes some gas, he'll smile and say, "Toot".  And he'll call out the rest of us too.  Sometimes he'll say "Poop?" if he thinks you need to take that into the bathroom.  :)
-Cole loves his grandpas.  He loves his grandmas, but Grandpa Farnsworth and Grandpa Allen are special to him.  When we visit my parents in Cedar City, he's glued to my dad's side and loves to tease him.  And up here in Farr West, we live around the corner and down from Ryan's parents, Cole will call out "Gampa!!" anytime we drive by their house.
-Cole has the biggest blue eyes and chubby little cheeks and very blonde hair.  He's just such a cute little stinker.  I admit, I'll be a bit sad when his chubby cheeks go away.  Hopefully they do someday, I'm sure chubby cheeks aren't as cute when your 17.
-I treat Cole much differently than I did Josh.  Poor Josh and poor Cole.  I know I was a bit too strict with poor Josh, and I'm a bit too lax with Cole.  Ryan often tells me, "And this is why the youngest kids are always so spoiled!!" because I never want to do something that Cole doesn't like, like take away his binky (dad's a dentist, so they are gone at age two at our house!), or tell him no more snacks, ha.  With Ryan's encouragement :), I'm getting a bit better.
-Speaking of binkies...Cole refuses to let his go.  With Josh, we cut off the end of the binky, and he was done with it.  Ryan cut off the end of Cole's and he was confused for a while and tried to fix it, but finally just gave up and kept sucking on it.  So Ryan cut off more, and Cole kept sucking on it.  Finally, Ryan cut off enough that Cole can barely hang onto it with his teeth, but Cole's doing his best to hang onto it, ha!
-Cole loves tractors and dump trucks.  And he loves digging in the dirt on the side of our house.
-Cole has always been a climber.  From the moment he could stand, he's been trying to get higher up.  This has caused some injuries, like falling off the piano and slicing open his eye...or falling off the high chair...but he seems undeterred.  He loves to grab the bar stool, scoot it over to the counter and climb up.  Just like he likes to climb up on the computer desk and the fences, and rocks, and basically anything he can get a foot hold on.
-And lastly, Cole loves to be the cream filling in our family "Oreo" hugs.

There's so much more to say, I guess that's what happens when you go a year with out posting.  Regardless oh my lack of posts, there is no lack in my love and interest and excitement for this little boy.  Cole, you are such a sweet blessing to our family.  You truly are a peacemaker and a happy little boy.  I love you so very much!!

Cole's the Birthday Boy

 Sweet Cole turned one the day after Ryan and I got back from Europe.  And yes, I planned it that way.  I felt guilty enough leaving the little guy for two weeks, I was not going to miss his birthday!  The celebration was pretty low-key.  Ryan and Josh went to Wal Mart to pick out a cake mix, and Josh chose the fantastic purple frosting.  We had bought Cole a little push-popper thing before leaving for Europe, and it got played with the day of his birthday, so he had no present to open there....Grandpa Farnsworth had gotten him a couple gifts, though, and I have to say, I was a bit impressed and surprised.  He got him blocks and a little toddler-safe sword and shield.  Very fun and very age appropriate.  Good job Dad!

Cole has been such a delight.  He's very easy going.  Sometimes I forget that and he'll give me a moment of orneriness to remind me how lucky I am to have such an easy-tempered 4th child.  Here are some things I want to remember about my birthday boy:

-Cole loves to be outside.  Loves it.  When we go on walks, he's quiet and happy.  But he has started throwing fits once we come inside and close the door.  Sadly, we have a teeny, not-super-kid-friendly back yard, unlike my parents', so we're going to have to make an extra effort to get him some sun-time.

-Cole loves to wrestle and rough-house.  He does really well being picked up, tossed around, bumped, and teased by his three older brothers.  He's a tough little nugget and tends to frighten other babies a bit....heh.  They aren't usually as interested in rough housing as he is.

-Cole laughs easily.  He loves to be tickled, to play peekaboo, to be chased, and to have funny faces pulled at him.  

-Cole is a really good eater.  It didn't necessarily start out that way, but he's come to eat almost anything put in front of him.  As long as he can pick it up and feed himself, he's good.

-We used to think Cole didn't like to read.  He'd try and turn the pages or close the book anytime we'd read.  But just a few days ago, instead of reading in order, I just let him turn to whatever page he fancied, and we ended up reading for quite a while.  You'd think I'd have figured it out before now!  So, I am happy to say Cole likes to read, as long as he can be in charge of what's read.

-Cole doesn't talk a whole lot yet.  He says "Mama" and "Dada" and "Dall" (for ball) and "Da" (for dog) and maybe a few others, but that's about it!  He signs dog and ball and more.

-Cole is a climber.  He climbs the stairs, climbs on chairs and kid tables and basically anything he can step up onto.  However, it hasn't carried over to him climbing out of the crib thank goodness!  I'm hoping he's follows the trend of his brothers and doesn't learn that before age 2.  :)

 Cole, we love you so much!  We are so happy that you're in our family.  When you're daddy blessed you, he said that you'd be a peacemaker.  That is so true.  You bring such a calm, peaceful spirit into our home.  Here's to many more birthdays!

Silly Grandpa!

Goodbye School, Hello Summer!!!

 We celebrated finishing up joy school by going to the zoo.  Woo woo!
There's Preston, Carter, Aliyah, Landon, Joshua, and Chloe.  Carter did so well this year!  He no longer gets discouraged with imperfection (tough when you're a 4 yr old writer) and writes!!  He's also starting to read, which is always exciting.  Last year when we did joy school in Oklahoma, Landon was allowed to join in (because of awesome nice friends) but was really much too young.  This year, he did so well!  He loved art the most and I believe he knows all of his letters! 

 Josh and Aurelois on the last day of school.  It's kind of funny, a lot of people ask me how I handle having four boys, but I tell ya--on the last day of school the boys are always happy and filled with joy (Josh's words), and there are always at least three girls crying.  :)

 Joshua got the Golden Ram award for being super amazing....I don't actually know the true requirements, so we'll leave it at that.  Landon and Carter were there too, but they were probably running a muck somewhere nearby.

 Josh with his awesome teacher, Ms. DePace.  For being a young spring chicken, she was surprisingly old school in quite a few areas.  It was quite nice.  Near the end of the year, (when I started becoming capable of doing things outside of home and family) I started coming to volunteer every other Friday in Josh's class.  Ms. DePace was so excited and told me that she had never had a parent volunteer during her 4.5 years as a teacher.  Never!  I couldn't believe it!

And this is what we're doing now, going to parks or going on hikes or going to karate (karate's two nights a week and I'm dying here, ha!).  Our goal is to go on 20 hikes during the summer....which now feels like too lofty of a goal, since so far we've only done five.  Ha. 

A Few Pictures...

 Cole is moving all over place.  
Must be something to do with trying to keep up with a bunch of older brothers...

 My sweet, big-mouthed Carter.

 My perky Landon.

Josh is such a great helper.  He loves Cole and Cole loves him!