Friday, January 31, 2014

Charlotte and Rosemary

So meet Charlotte and Rosemary. We sort of accidentally fell in love. ;)

I was actually very determined not to, and I was doing a pretty good job of staying detached. But then we picked them up for a Christmas visit before my mom started finding homes for them. We took care of them for the first week of their lives, and then my mom had them, so the kids really missed them and wanted to see them again before it was too late. The Christmas visit stretched out longer, and longer, and longer. And eventually I had to admit to my mom that she would have to steal them away if she wanted them back. And since she didn't want them back and had been secretly {or not so secretly} hoping we would keep them she readily agreed. Thanks mom. ;) I'm pretty sure it was her plan all along...

They just fit in so perfectly. And we love their mom, such a sweet dog, so we're thinking they are going to be pretty awesome as well. So far they are beyond adorably sweet. I actually cried talking to my mom about it. Because I really wanted to make it work and keep them, but because of our past failures I was terrified of trying again. They just fit everything we need and want in a dog {well the kids and I anyway, my husband is not much of a little dog person, or so he says}, and I really like that they also have each other. I really didn't want them to be separated either. Plus it would have been hard to find Charlotte a home because of her cleft lip. Silly because she's my absolute favorite. But shhhhhhhh… don't tell Rosemary. ;) I didn't tell the kids what I was thinking, so for three weeks they still thought the dogs were leaving and through it all they continued to help with the puppies and tell me how much they loved them and wished they could keep them. Ira cried about how much he still misses Luna and broke my mommy heart… It was an emotional roller coaster. And in the end they stayed. And I hope and pray I made a good choice. It's hard to trust your judgment when you've screwed up in the past. But we all make mistakes and hopefully grow from those mistakes, right. Right. So my heart if full, three boys and three girls. Leiella loves having sisters. ;) The kids were so cute when we told them the news, and they are still thanking me regularly for their puppies. Although they keep reminding me of how much they like Meringo too, nice try kids but she's very happy with Neenee. :) We will see her often enough.

And my husband can say he doesn't really like little dogs all he wants, but I know better. :)

I can honestly say I never in a million years thought I'd want poodles… so I guess it's good that they chose us.

Life is weird with it's twists and turns. 

New Years day on the mountain.

We always go up to the mountains in search of snow on New Years day. It's been a traditions since J lived with us and we continued it with our kids. Because we've only had the tiniest bit of snow this year my kids were really, really, really looking forward to it. And that is an understatement. ;) We had a really fun New Years Eve together at home, movies, games and goofiness. And plenty of it. My husband falls asleep almost every year, but according to him the rest of us were having a raging party, ha ha! We were having a blast, especially when we were playing Slamwich, super fun game to play with the kids. :) Even Leiella played it with us, which really made her night since she is still too young to play most of the games that her brothers want to play. Anyways we made it to midnight and then were treated to an amazing fireworks show put on my the neighbors. :) Next morning, bright and early {way too bright and early} we headed up to the mountains. We lucked out with a beautiful day, not too cold, no rain, just lovely.

 And boy did we make the best of it! :)

 This is the first year that Atty really enjoyed himself. No whining and crying about being too cold, or that it was too hard, just lots of sledding. In fact the only melt down he started to have was when it was time to go. ;)

 This guy was a maniac, as usual, ha ha!

 Here they come!

 She LOVED going down on the sled, and kept on trooping back up the hills!

 Fast ride down the hill with daddy. :)

 So cute! So very, very cute. ;)

 This hat makes her look little again, I like it. :)

 My handsome dude.

 Back up the hill with daddy…

 So beautiful, everywhere you look…

 Me and my mommy. :)

 We were discussing his adorable cheeks… you just want to pinch them!

 I wish I'd thought to take a family picture with the mountains in the back ground.
Can't get a better back drop than that!

Sledding with my girl.

More beauty.

I got this gem of my sister and daughter flying down the hill. My favorite by far!

She just loves her auntie. I feel so blessed that my daughter is surrounded by such amazing women. She has so many great role models in her life. :)

Building little snow people.

Love on a mountain top.

And a little bit of silliness too. ;)

Neenee couldn't resist sledding as well. :)

Dog pile sledding. My favorite. ;)

So loved, so blessed, so happy.

Dog pile with auntie too!

And crash!!!! Ha ha!

We had a wonderful day in the snow, went home exhausted and happy. Good way to start the new year.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I don't think I've ever missed a whole month before!

I can't believe I'm just now blogging about December! Not even ready for January yet… good grief. I guess since I am so very far behind I will need to try my very hardest to skim the surface and make it a brief summery… as if that's possible for me to do. ;) I will restrict myself to Christmas break. :)

 We picked up Meringo and the puppies to spend time with us during Christmas.  And then the puppies never left… but that is another story. ;)

 They're just so cute, how could we not fall in love!

I absolutely adore Meringo, but my mom is in love with her, so she is keeping her. :) I feel pretty confident that her puppies will be just as awesome as she is. 
So needless to say there was a lot of puppy cuddling going on the week leading up to Christmas.

And Christmas Eve pjs picture was taken with puppies in hand. :)

We are all normal over here… ;)

Stockings were stuffed.

Christmas morning cuties.

More Christmas morning cuteness...

Basically we were overflowing with cuteness. :)

I got Leiella some Goldie Blox and she was super excited about it. :) Check out their website.
It's pretty cool.

I also found her the most ridiculously decked out glittery plush cat ever. It had wings and a crown and jewelry… And she loved it, ha ha! She really did, so much so that she went and put on wings and got a crown to match. So funny.

I took a bunch of pictures of these two playing with their remote control cars on the deck, in their pjs. So cute.

I don't think I'll ever get over how unalike we look, ha ha! It's weird to have kids that don't look anything like you.
I guess they all got lucky and look like their dad. ;)

At the end of the holiday break we all felt exactly like this. 

The day finally came...

Banden has been faithfully growing out his hair for quite a while now. But I could tell that the time had come, and he was ready. One day while I was cleaning he started sharing with me how he liked having long hair because he could teach other people about why he was growing his hair and also that boys could have long hair too. He told me that when people stared at him, or made comments, he just told himself that he was who he was and it didn't matter what other people thought. He told me that he liked having long hair, it felt comfortable to him. To me it sounded like he was almost trying to talk himself into why he liked having long hair… And then he told me that at school a boy told him he couldn't use the boys bathroom and tried to block his way, and that he had to tell him that he was a boy too. When he said this I could tell he was really bothered by it. Understandably. It made my mommy heart hurt. He's been so determined not to let other peoples opinion define his choices, and it has been such a wonderful learning experience for him… But I felt that his following me around the house insisting that he liked having long hair went a little deeper. In a way he was starting to cling to the long hair as identifying who he was. So we talked about how he is who he is because of what is inside, and long hair or short hair he will always be uniquely him. That cutting his hair is not giving up, or letting other people get to him. That it is his choice when he wants to cut his hair, and if he is ready, for whatever reason, then he has the right to make that choice for himself. I gently asked him if he would like me to measure his hair to see if it was ready to donate. He got super excited about that idea, for the first time, so I could tell he was more than ready. Before when we talked about it he told me he wanted to grow it out even longer than needed so that he wouldn't have to cut his hair so sort, but when I measured it he had almost exactly 10 inches. He decided to go for it anyways. :) He was definitely ready.

 His amazing golden locks. Some kid is going to have an awesome wig. :)

 I love his excited/freaked out face in this picture. 

And with that one hair cut he grew much, much older, sigh. So handsome!
Oh and the tough kid in that picture is mine as well, although sometimes I wonder. ;)

I'll admit that both Banden and I already miss his hair, and he is planning on growing it out a bit again… just not quite as long. :)

Also I did some research and found a different place to donate his hair to. I kept hearing things about Locks of Love that I didn't really like, so I looked into it and decided to find a different place. I found Children With Hair Loss and really liked what I read. So that is where we are sending his hair. Check them out, what they are doing is pretty awesome. 

November happenings… yes I said November. :)

We added a new member to our flock...

 His name is Milo.

 And he's good at making friends… or it might be that Rio is just a very patient kitty. :)
Either way they are super cute together.

 The day after Thanksgiving (which was awesome of course, spent with family and friends as usual} we went and found our perfect tree. The kids all took turns "helping" to cut it down.

 I found a heart in a cantaloupe. :)

We all decorated our cute little tree together. The kids are getting better and better at this part.

 Best news of all… I found a type of candy cane that Atty could have! In this picture is his adorable face tasting his first nibble. For the first time in four years we were all able to decorate the tree with candy canes! It use to be a favorite tradition of ours to decorate the tree and then at the very end hang up all the candy canes and eat one of course. We stopped doing that the year that Atty first started having seizures and went on his special diet. He has come such a long way that I decided to try these special diabetic candy canes that were sweetened with beet sugar. Not something I would want him to have all the time, just as an occasional treat. I was a little nervous, as I always am when adding in something new, but good news… no negative reaction! 
I was actually giddy with excitement when I found them online, I might have even cried a little. Until you have a child that can't have so very many things that others take for granted, you just don't fully understand. :)
It's the little things.

I got new cabinet pulls and knobs, and I love them. :)

It snowed once. Yes, once. That's it and I don't believe we will see any more. Which is a bummer if you ask me or the kids. The kids were so excited to see snow, and I knew it wasn't expected to last so I caved and let them go play in it starting at around 7 am. They had been pestering me for about an hour at that point. :) They pretty much stayed out in it all day, with occasional breaks, you know to eat and stuff, ha ha! And it's a good thing because it was gone the next day. :(

The adorable snowman that they made all on their own. They added, oh about a bag of bird seed… shesh. It was too sweet to be mad about. :)

And one last November picture… Fermented golden beets. Super yummy. 
One of these days I'm going to blog about fermented foods, and all the changes we've made around here, dietary changes. But not right now. :)