Monday, October 31, 2011

Cutest Things Ever

 I broke my own blogging rule--I backdated the last three posts. Not that it matters. But I have to document it for my own sake.


...the costumes...

Little Red Riding Hood


and Princess

(Wait...hold on. Those were all the same kid...)

We celebrated twice this year. Once with my mom's ward on Friday and once with our own tonight--hence Jane's triple costume. (Wait...hold on. Three is more than two...) She didn't like the Little Red Riding Hood get-up. I was disappointed by that because it was such a stinkin' cute cape, but the whole point of dressing up is so the kids have fun, right? And if Jane wasn't having fun, well, that's lame.

At Mom's party, she traded costumes with Morgan.

Dad had some fun with it, too.

...other people's costumes...

Dalton the gorilla

Nicole the witch

Brenda the doctor/nurse/physical therapist/someone who wears scrubs and a stethoscope

There were others dressed up in our group, but I didn't get any good pictures. Except for my kids. Not just Jane--the rest of my kids, too. Just the cutest things ever!


Hot Dog

Trunk-or-Treat #1

Trunk-or-Treat #2

We finished out the night trick-or-treating to my parents' house--the only house we went to, incidentally.

Fun little note about Ben's costume. When we wasn't wearing the whole hot dog suit, he looked something like this.

What's the red part on a hot dog? Ketchup. Ha.

The actual side note I meant to make was that this red pajama set was Christopher's when he was a baby. Cute cute. Like father, like son. (Did you know that Chris liked to dress up as ketchup, too?)

Anyway, Happy Halloween! And thank you, snow, for waiting to come until today instead of yesterday.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

3 Months

3 Days

3 Months

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin. Pumpkin. Pumpkin.

It occurred to us recently that in the five years we've been married, we've only carved pumpkins once. And that was before any of our children were born.

Yeah, we're a little behind on that tradition...

So, to make up for lost time, I took advantage of FHE night to journey out on the grand adventure of selecting the perfect pumpkins. Perhaps we could have gone to a pumpkin patch on a quaint little farm...but instead we went to Harmon's grocery store. Just as good, right?

Carving was entertaining. Jane wanted nothing to do with the innards. "Super gross and disgusting," she said.

Megan had no problem with it.

Ben kept a respectful distance from both the mess and the sharp knives.

Jane had a lot more fun with the actual carving part. She perked up quite a bit.

We all designed our pumpkins on paper before we started carving. Jane really did draw her face--I was impressed. Megan, on the other hand, wasn't getting the whole face concept. We tried to ask her what kind of face she wanted--happy, sad, scary--and all she said was pumpkin. Repeatedly. So, Chris carved her a pumpkin on her pumpkin.

And the final products:

left to right
Megan, Jane, Chris, Laura

Hooray for belated celebration of a long-standing holiday tradition!

P.S. Happy Birthday Amanda!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Ben woke up first. I picked him up out of his bassinet and put him in bed next to me--I've never been one to actually get up to feed my nursing babies at night. I was a little annoyed to realize that it had only been two hours since I put him to much for sleeping through the night, eh? Oh, well. I went back to sleep while he was eating.

I woke up to screaming. Always rather disconcerting in those sleepy stages when you're awake enough to know something's going on but not awake enough for your brain to process what it is. Impressive, too, when I realized that it was only about four minutes later than when I had last looked at the clock with Ben and I was already that much asleep.

Megan was the screamer. She was sitting on the floor next to her bedroom door in utter despair--she doesn't know how to work the doorknob yet. I picked her up, sat on the edge of her bed, and just held her for a minute until she stopped crying. Then Jane woke up. Go figure. Screaming doesn't phase her a bit, but me walking into the room is like an alarm clock went off.

Jane said she needed a drink. Megan said, "Me too." Now, I am generally opposed to out-of-room venturing during the night. Too disruptive to the back-to-sleep endeavor. I put Megan down so I could get a drink and bring it back to them but before I knew it, they had both beat me out the door and into the kitchen.

Ok, fine. Get a drink and go back to bed before you wake up Dad and slash or the baby.

Megan sat on her bed content just long enough for me to get Jane tucked back in--"I need you to fix my blankets, Mom"--and find her baby, Honey, which was recovered only by my shuffling in small circles around the bed until my feet ran into said baby doll. I'm sure that would be quite entertaining to watch in daylight, bathrobe and all.

My attention was then commandeered back to Megan's bed. She sat on my lap for a while, refusing to even think about laying down. I told her she needed to go back to sleep, I offered any number of choice companions--her care bear, her pig, her doggie, her putt-putt fish, her baby Ronda. (Yes, Ronda. Thank you, Jane.) She would have none of it. I'm certain she fully intended to spend the rest of the night on my lap.

I nodded off a few times and just about dropped her on the floor once because my arms relaxed a little too much. I finally said, "Megan, I need you to lay on your pillow so Mommy can go back to bed. I'm tired." Her response? "Oh. Okay." And she laid right down, no problem.

Huh. I guess sometimes you just need a reason.

I shuffled back to my own bed, just to have my husband kindly remind me that I needed to sign my timecard or they wouldn't pay me for these overtime hours.

I laid back down and got comfortable, wondering who I could trick into counting middle-of-the-night parenting as overtime and pay me. How sweet would that be. That thought slowly switched to considering the wisdom that is my no out of room venturing policy, as my return to sleep endeavor had been officially thwarted. Something about interacting with every single member of my family between 12:30 and 1:00 in the morning makes it hard to go back to sleep.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lunch Break

I have hinted here, and stated obviously and repeatedly on Facebook, that Chris has worked a lot of overtime in the last few weeks. This has been a lot more stressful to our family than I really noticed in the beginning. Chris generally works 40 hours a week, 10 hours each Monday through Thursday, Fridays off. In four weeks, Chris worked 65 hours of overtime, meaning he averaged 56 hours each week. He almost doubled that last week by working 83 hours in six days--43 hours just in overtime. He most often came home around 10:30 or 11:00.

On the worst night, he didn't get home until 2:30 in the morning. No joke.

On the best night, he came home at 6:15. We girls were pretty excited about it. Jane and Megan very much enjoyed just being with Dad. I could tell they missed him, even if they didn't realize it enough to say it themselves.

I was surprised at how refreshing it was for me to see my kids with their dad. Too little of that going on lately. Even though he was home, he spent 30 minutes sleeping while I got dinner, then we had about an hour and a half with him before the kids went to bed (including dinner), then he was back on his computer working for another two hours before we went to bed.

It was a long week.

The oft-asked question, naturally, is WHY is he working so much?? To be followed closely by When will he be done?

In layman's terms--because that's all I have any understanding of--he's testing. They have software that is going to be released and it's Chris and his team's job to make sure the programs actually work. They run literally hundreds of tests to find all bugs and defects, then they have to fix them and test again.

So, that's a big project anyway. Add to that the fact that they are testing three different programs at the same time and the fact that Chris is in charge of organizing and coordinating the teams running the tests and collaborating with the programmers who fix the bigger bugs. Chris is also one of the few guys who actually really knows what the tests all are, so he's one of the go-to guys when problems come up that are harder to figure out. Physically exhausting to work that many hours with little sleep and often not quite enough food and mentally exhausting to be actively problem-solving for most of those hours.

(P.S. Sorry, Chris, if I've totally misrepresented what you've been doing. I tried to get it right...)

The big push last week was to get the testing all squared away, so every test passed, before Butch came this week. Butch is witnessing each and every test to make sure it passes. That's what's going on this week. Chris is there basically overseeing all the tests while his team runs them and Butch records. By the end of the day yesterday, he already had 28 hours on his timecard for the week, and it was only Tuesday. But, there is an end in sight--Butch is only here this week. We've got our fingers crossed that the week will end on Friday instead of Saturday, but it certainly won't go past that. Yay!

We did take advantage of my stay-at-home-mom-ness yesterday and packed up a picnic lunch, stole Chris away from the office, and spent 45 minutes together at a park just up the road. Eating and playing with Dad was just the ticket for a very, very good lunch break.

Convenient that the park was close, eh?

Just a side note milestone, Ben has already discovered his hands. He will stare intently at them until he goes cross-eyed, then work as hard as he can to get them both shoved in his mouth at the same time. That's skills, dude.

He also slept through the night for the first time last night--seven hours of unconscious bliss. Here's to many, many more nights like that, baby.

I'm pretty lucky to have such a good husband and adorable kids. I must have done something right...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

2 months, 2 weeks, 2 days

My little boy is getting so big!

Thank goodness for cell phone cameras to take pictures to send to Dad while he's still at work until 2:30 in the morning. (Blah for that, though.)

Every time Ben wakes up, he smiles as soon as he sees me. Even if he's been screaming, he'll switch right to a smile when I come in the room. That's just about the best thing ever. Ever ever.

Ben loves his sisters. He smiles a lot for Jane, too--right up until she accidentally sits on him or something equally not soft.

I love my baby.

Megan turns 2 for the 2nd time

Last Sunday was the combined Megan and Grandpa Jeff birthday party at my parents' house. Megan got to blow out the candles, which she hadn't done yet,

and she opened her presents from Grandma Karrie. Thank you for new clothes that fit and aren't stained! And Megan loves the pig in a blanket.

Grandpa Jeff also got to blow out his candles. He's just a little older than Megan, can you tell?

Luckily the smoke detector didn't go off...

He did get them all out in one breath, by the way. Go Dad.