Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sedona : The Second Time Around

I took the kids to Sedona back in June while McKay stayed behind to study for the bar.  We got the chance to go there again this past weekend.  We've been on several trips over the Summer, but this was our first with just the 5 of us.  It was so relaxing and we loved every minute of it.

We went on a little hike down to the river where you get a perfect view of Cathedral Rock.  I ventured across some rocks with the kids.

This is me right after a close call...I still don't know how I righted myself, but I had visions of how I would rescue the kids when they fell in behind me....luckily that didn't happen.  And off the rocks for me.

Then McKay had to go show off, jumping rock to rock with Jackson on his shoulders.  Ya, ya...

I attempted a picture of the kids....and this was the best I got.  That's Cathedral Rock in the background.

 Sydney even snapped a picture of us.

I didn't realize until I looked back at all of our pictures, but we found lots of creatures to play with on our trip.  First was Mr. Lizard.  The kids followed him around for a good 25 minutes.

 Then there was the stink but that McKay got a little too friendly with.

And then Sydney's butterfly that she affectionately named Flappy Wings.  She brought him all the way back to our room and cried when I told her it was time to let him free.

We ventured to a little town near Sedona called Jerome.  It's an old mining town and we enjoyed walking through the shops and eating at a little place called Haunted Hamburger.
 We sat on the balcony of the restaurant and it overlooked the little mining city.  It was nice and cool and a perfect end to our day. 
 We passed a park as we were walking back to our car and had to stop and play.  It was old, with a really tall metal slide.  The kids were pretty unsure...

 And I don't know if Jackson will ever forgive me for this...

It was a great weekend away.

Birthday Boy Xs FOUR!

My little guy is still little, but he's getting older. Here's a conversation we had when he woke up yesterday morning :
Jackson : Mom, am I four NOW, or not until after my birthday cake?
Me : You're four NOW.
Jackson (looking down at his body) : I don't look 4, I just look 3 still.
Me : ....

We had a party the night before his birthday at a park near our house.  They had a splash pad and the cousins loved running and playing.
Jackson chose a present cake this year.  (Hooray for easy cakes!!)

He got some fun presents.

 I didn't get as many pictures of the party as I would have liked, but that will just have to do.

For his actual birthday I  made cupcakes during naps and the kids helped decorate them that afternoon.  We had them after dinner that night and then shared them with the preschool kids today.  Oh, and preschool was at our house this stuff.

We got Jackson the Mr. Potato Head Family.  They are a hit.

Carter is cruising all the furniture and walls.  He lets go to stand on his own, but hasn't taken those first steps yet.  I'm thinking he'll start walking in the next couple of weeks.

The preschool kids eating cupcakes.

I agree with Jackson, he still seems 3, and it's ok with me if it stays that way forever.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

10 Months Old

Carter finally made it in for his 9 month check up this morning....he'll be 10 months old in 2 days, but hey he's still officially in the 9th I don't consider it "late".

Carter has been huge since he was 4 months old.  I almost choked 6 months ago when the doctor told me he weighed 20 pounds...yes 20 pounds at 4 months!!  That's how much my older kids weighed at 1 year!

Well, now is no different.  He's still a big boy, but cute as ever. 
He now weighs 25 pounds (90th percentile)
He's 29 inches long (75th percentile)
And, his head circ. is in the 97th percentile. 

"Wow, he's so chubby!", is almost always the first response I hear from people who see him.  Then they want to squeeze his thighs or cheeks....and I let them. 

I hurt my back 2 months ago...I was racing McKay down the stairs (a story for another day) and thought it would be a good idea to jump down the last 6 steps...haha...not so much....ouch.  Anyway, lifting and hauling this boy every day doesn't help with the healing process.  I have a feeling I'll suffer until he can walk
...and magically climb in and out of his own crib and car seat
...and high chair

Anyway, here are a couple pictures of my big, happy, learning-how-to-squirm-out-of-every-photo-boy.

Always reaching for this...

...or that.

Throwing  his head back (often knocking himself over...remember that 97th percentile head circumference!)

Shaking his head back and forth....already telling me no...uh oh!

Making one of his many faces.

Ahh, there we go.

He always crosses his chubby little ankles.

I love my big little boy!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Uh Oh!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Some relief at last... least I hope!

After 4 throat infections in 3 months we were sent to an ENT and scheduled to have Jackson's tonsils removed.  It's been a terrible three months for this poor guy....not to mention that we dealt with 2 years of ear infections just prior to this.  He just had tubes put in his ears in April!  I wish I would have pushed harder to have his tonsils removed at that time.  It would have saved the poor kid from months of fevers, throwing up, gagging, choking, etc.  Let's hope that this procedure is the cure to his endless sickness.

We had to be to the surgery center at 6:00am so my mom came and spent the night so she could get Sydney off to school and take care of Carter while we were gone.
We got him all checked in and got matching bracelets.  He thought it was funny that my bracelet said "Jackson" on it even though that's not my name.  Silly doctors.

Then they called us back and he got to wear a "night gown".  He wanted to call Sydney right then and tell her he got to wear a night gown just like her.  He was really concerned when I told him that the special hat was to catch any hairs that fall out.  I found out after the surgery when we took it off that he though all his hair was going to fall out.  Poor kid.

The surgery was fast!  I only waited in the waiting room for about 20 minutes!  They gave him sleeping gas to knock him out and then put an IV in once he was asleep.  When they brought me back to him he was scared and violent.  He was thrashing and kicking and yelling for Mom.  They put him in my lap and that's when he saw his arm....

They had wrapped it all up so the IV would stay in place.  When he saw it he grabbed the tube and ripped it out.  Then he started ripping his gown off.  It was crazy.  After a couple minutes of thrashing around he would just stop and stare...just in a daze.  Then he'd thrash around again for a few seconds and then back to staring.  After about 20 minutes of that he knocked out and slept for about 20 minutes.

When he woke up he said "Hi Mom. Can I have a drink?"  Sweet as an angel.  He didn't remember anything and was ready to eat a popsicle and go home.  Phew.  They sent us home with some pain meds and antibiotics and Jackson gets to spend the next few days like this... 
...laying around having books read to him, watching movies, sleeping, and of course

eating popsicles.

Maybe I should have my tonsils taken out!  I need a break, too!

Gifford Reunion 2010

Every year our family has a HUGE reunion on some land we own up near Zion's National Park.  I think there are around 300 in attendance each year.  We haven't been since Sydney was a baby, so we were excited to load up and spend the weekend with family.  We bought a brand new 11X20 tent to house our growing family and I spent all day Friday packing every possible thing that could make our camping trip as stress free as possible.
I had the car loaded Friday evening when McKay got off work and off we went.
I just realized I haven't mentioned our new mini van on this blog...yes MINI VAN!  We bought a 2008 Kia Sedona a week before this trip and it fits our family so perfectly.  I love it more every time I drive it....and I never thought I'd have (let alone love) a mini van!

Sydney asked me to take a picture of just her....and Jackson just wouldn't have that!

Happy boy.

We arrived at camp late at night and much to our surprise our tent was already set up for us!  Woo woo!  We'd sent it up with my brother along with a couple other big things and they were nice enough to get it set up for us in the daylight. 
The next morning was bright and early.  No sleeping in when there are cousins to be played with!!
Our immediate extended family even had matching shirts!  The theme of the reunion was "Cartoons" and our family chose The Flinstones, but since my Grandpa's name was Sheldon we changed it to The Shelstones.  It was fun having everyone match...and there were A LOT of us!

The shirts didn't come small enough for Carter, so he got a little head band made out of one of the kids' sleeves.

McKay in his get-up.

Carter eating his first cheeto.  He's hooked.

Sydney, Grandma, and Jackson.

On Saturday there were games and races for the kids.  Here's Sydney and Jackson with some of their winnings.

There are never many pictures of me because...well just because.  But here's a lovely hair-from-yesterday-no-makeup-camping picture of me....and Carter of course.

My brother Bryan and his girlfriend Alyson.  She flew in from Idaho to spend the weekend with us.  She's a sweet heart and we all really like her (hint hint Bryan!!)

The back of our shirts.

Sydney and Jackson in thesack race.

More winnings.

McKay and Jared in the three legged race.  Notice how they tied their legs way up high?...

...yeah...that's why.  ;-)

I'm pretty sure it's always the Grandpa's job to fall asleep.

Saturday evening is a skit/talent show.  Fun stuff.

After a long cold night McKay and Carter got up and made a fire....and snapped a couple pictures.
We had fun seeing all our family.  Camping is still not my thing and I was excited to get home and clean, but the kids had a blast so it was worth it.