Saturday, May 19, 2012

It's really happening...

Dental School is coming to an end.  It doesn't seem real yet, other than the fact that Nathan finished up his last day in the clinic on Monday and will now be home with us until the beginning of July (wahoo!).  I guess you just expect to feel like older, more mature people when you complete something like this.  But we are the same Nate & Jess that started out on this journey 4 years ago...only now we've got 2 kids and Nate can fix your teeth. :)  I really am proud of my crazy, loud, funny husband, though.  He's worked really hard and he's been super committed to our family the whole way through.  Nathan is going to make a fantastic dentist, and I'm excited to move onto the next phase with him.  He's passed all of his licensing exams, finished his hours in the clinic, and now we are just waiting on the official graduation day (May 31st).  Until then, we are going to be sure to party as much as possible.  Here's the first of our exciting events...

My friend, Kara, suggested to me a couple weeks ago that we throw a little graduation party for our friends.  I was excited to help.  I love throwing a good party!  :)
We had a 'reception area' at the party where everyone picked up their T-Shirts.  Kara had the great idea of making some shirts for the guys.  My brother in law, Wesley, had a friend that did shirts as a side business so I got in touch with him, designed the shirts, and he had them made within 5 days.  The back of the shirt said, "grades are up...", which Nate suggested as a funny saying that would mean something to all the guys.  I think they turned out pretty cute!

This is where we put all the desserts...

And the "Filling Station" for all the food.  Kara made the adorable accordian wheels hanging from the fan and I put together the congratulations banner. We made a great little team!  It also helped that Kara has a beautiful house with a perfect backyard and pool!
And what Dentist Party is complete without goodie bags?!  
Kara's cute little prizes.  The guys all did a relay where they had to put on scrubs, a gown, a mask, and gloves, then do 10 push-ups/star jumps, then 3 summersaults or cartwheels, then jump in the pool and swim to the other end.  The first to reach the large cutout of the tooth at the end (which said, "Save the Tooth from Decay") was the winner and received the "Doctor, You're a Lifesaver" prize.  Ok so maybe a tooth saver isn't quite a lifesaver...but some might think so ;)
And of course a party isn't a party unless I have some over-ambitious idea that ends up taking me much longer than I wanted and which I severely regret about half-way through.  But they did turn out pretty cute, don't ya think?
And sadly I don't have any pictures of the people at the party...only the decorations.  Typical me.  And I would have loved to upload the video from the relay but blogger never wants to upload any of my videos...don't know what I'm doing wrong.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Sawyer! (and a visit from Omi & Opi!)

My little Sawyer turned 3 years old on April 29th.  3 yrs ago I couldn't imagine how life could get any better.  I had my first little baby and I loved him more than I could even express.  But I can confidently say now that things just continue to get better and better and my love for these kids just grows with each passing day.  I can't believe the rate at which he is growing and learning and maturing!  It is amazing to watch!  He is getting to be so much more helpful and listening better all the time.  

Sawyer is quite the talker.  He definitely knows how to use his words.  But he still prefers to throw a tantrum on occasion.  Thankfully, those have gone down in frequency a lot since last year.  He's a pro about going potty.  I think he's only wet his bed about 3-4 times total since potty training him last September.  Now if we could just get him to put those clothes back on after he's done! :)  We are working on letting him dress himself in the morning and he can totally do it--it's just a matter of how much patience mommy has for it on any given day.  

Sawyer's favorite shows right now are Super Why, Chuck & Friends, and Mighty Machines.  He LOVES anything that has to do with monster trucks, cars, airplanes, super heroes, etc.  A real boy through and through. He loves to play on the playground with friends, go to Costco with mommy and Violet, swim in his cousin Jakey's pool (and pretty much do anything with Jake), play on the I-Pad, go to the dinosaur museum, go to the zoo, visit his cousins in Mesa, go to nursery, and even play with his sister.  His favorite foods are quesodillas (how on earth is that spelled?!), chicken nuggies, pizza, mangos, strawberries, and pretty much every fruit, really.  But of course that list does not include junk food...because the list would be way too long if it did ;).  Thankfully Daddy the Dentist has done well teaching him how to get the 'sugar bugs' off of his teeth everyday.  

Sawyer has been such a good big brother to Violet.  Honestly, even better than I expected.  Sure, he has his moments, but overall he loves her so much and is almost always willing to help her or share something with her.  He often calls her, "Baby"...which I think is just so adorable.  The other night we saw on the video monitor that he had woken Violet up when he came out to get water.  We then saw his arms moving into the crib and we were about to go into the room and scold him for messing with her, when we realized that he was actually covering her back up with a blanket.  He then whispered 'night night' before heading back to his bed.  Moments like that just melt my heart.  And truthfully, that moment showed a very real side of Sawyer.  Beneath all the rambunctiousness and loud 'boy behavior' is a super sweet boy who cares a lot about others and never hesitates to tell us that he loves us or give us a big hug.  He is always honest, even if it means he's going to get in trouble.  And he's always quick to apologize.  I'm realizing as he gets older that he and I are going to be great little buddies.  He is going to continue being a great brother to Violet and whomever else decides to join our family in the future.  And he is going to be a great friend to all those around him.  I read somewhere that as parents to toddlers and preschool age children, our primary purpose is to help them increase their capacity for joy.  If that's true then I feel like we are on the right track because when I look in those bright blue eyes of his I see a little boy who is just FULL of joy.  And he brings SO much JOY to our family.  We love you, Sawyer!  Happy 3rd Birthday!

A Monster Truck Cake, as requested...
We had a combined party for Jake (4) and Sawyer (3) at the Train Park on Saturday morning.  My parents were in town because my dad had a business meeting in Mesa so that was a nice little perk.  We just invited Nate's sisters and Jen & Isac and it was the perfect little get-together.

Sawyer's Birthday gifts on the big day...unfortunately half of us came down with a stomach bug that day (including both Birthday boys) so we didn't get to celebrate as planned).  We were all better the next day (before the second half of the group got it) so we got to celebrate some more :)

One day while my parents were here we took them to the zoo.  They went in to Stingray Bay with the boys.  Sawyer was afraid of the stingrays the last time we did this but he LOVED it this time.  He was soaking wet by the time they were done.

Sawyer thought this person's stroller was pretty cool...I made him get off and told him we couldn't just climb into other people's strollers even if they looked like cool cars.  Ya...  That resulted in the following scened...Yikes.

of course we spent some time at Kristie's pool...
I'm excited for these two to start becoming friends :)

I am in love with this picture.  Look at that adorable little back!  Thanks for catching this on camera, mom :)

We had such a great time with my parents that weekend (aside from the getting sick part).  It was a nice little surprise to have them come out.  Thanks for helping us celebrate the boys' birthdays! We love you guys!

Dinosaur Museum

With school almost being over for Nathan, he's had quite a few days off here and there.  The other day he came home and told me he wanted to take Sawyer back to the Museum of Natural History in Mesa with his Dental Partner, Neil.  Nathan has been partners with Neil for the past year and he has LOVED working with him.  He's a super great guy and Nate will be sad to be leaving him soon.  But anyways, Neil lives out in Mesa and has a daughter about a year older than Sawyer so the four of them met up there and I had a morning to myself with Violet--win, win.  :)

More from Violet's Birthday

We did our cake and ice cream celebration on Easter Sunday, 3 days before her birthday, at Brooke's house in Mesa.  I decided on a nice and cheesy 'Cute as a Bug' theme for my birthday girl.

Ok so these pretzels are supposed to look like little bugs...I tried, haha
The 'bug cupcakes' are missing their antlers and they definitely did not turn out as cute as the ones I saw in Martha Stewart, but I was happy with them overall.  I made the second dozen a lot simpler for myself...

This picture just cracks me up.  By the time we got to doing cake and ice cream Violet was so tired.  She could have cared less about her cake.  The funniest part about this, though, has to be Sawyer's expression.  Like he's saying, "What is wrong with you?!...It's CAKE!!"
With Daddy on her Birthday morning
On Violet's Birthday I took the kids down to the zoo and met up with Brooke and with Kristie.  It was a beautiful morning and we all had a great time.  I'm gonna miss those outings when we move away!

Happy Birthday, Violet!!!  You are one cute little girl and we love you so much!!!!

Easter 2012

Well since Easter was right around Violet's Birthday (and Sawyer's, too) I decided that whatever happened I HAD to take some nice pictures of the kids to document their 1 and 3 yr old ages.  :)  Now that Violet is moving around so quickly (and so often!) it's almost impossible to get her to sit still for a picture.  This is what we ended up with...not bad, eh?!  

We had several Easter Egg Hunts to attend this year.  It started on Thursday with our Playgroup's Easter Egg Hunt at a friends house.  Here are my kiddos on their way out the door...

Violet was very interested in the rocks, not so much the eggs.  Sawyer didn't even bother to look for anything because he was completely consumed with the automatic Lightning McQueen car that their little boy had--he insisted on driving that thing around the yard the entire time!
I was in charge of the craft at playgroup so we made these little Bunny Puppets.
This was at our next Egg Hunt.  The ward had an Easter Pancake Breakfast on Saturday morning.  Sawyer came away with a few more eggs this time around.
And this was at the Midwestern University Annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Now this is where the competitive side finally came out in Sawyer!  Last year I felt bad that he only managed to pick up a couple eggs before they were all gone.  This year he was the oldest in his age bracket and he definitely cleaned house!  Our favorite Easter activity, by far.  :)
We even got a picture with the Easter Bunny himself! 
On Easter Sunday we went over to Brooke's house for dinner and we combined it with a little Birthday celebration for Violet...more on that to come.

The Thelins Come for a Visit

Alright it's time to finally catch up on things here.  We've been keeping pretty busy and it's only gonna get more busy over the next few months!  After our Disneyland trip at the end of February we had a fun little visit from the Thelins.  They stayed downtown at the Arizona Grand Resort and we even went down there and shared a room with Andrea & Paul one night for a little stay-cation.  We had a lot of fun while they were here...went to a lake east of Phoenix for a picnic BBQ, visited a chocolate factory, went swimming and to the water park at the resort, took the kids to the train park, and then went swimming at Kristie's pool on our last day.  We always have such a great time when they come down to Arizona!

Uncle Paul taught the kids how to fish while we were at the lake...Sawyer was loving it

Kristie and her kids joined us at the Train Park in Scottsdale