Thursday, January 28, 2010

Early Morning Thoughts

At about 4 am this morning Jacob woke up for probably the 4th or 5th time since bedtime.

Though my littlest still does not sleep through the night anyway, he had shots at the doctor yesterday afternoon and I think they were not providing for the best night's sleep.

As I fed him, he started fiddling with my fingers. I just sat looking at those tiny fingers next to mine, and I thought about how very sweet my baby boy is. I always think he is sweet, but I had one of those moments of overwhelming love...the love you always feel for your children but that sometimes hits you in highly concentrated doses and makes you feel particularly content.

I thought how nice it was to be needed.

So much of the time I am racing through the day, trying to take care of the children's needs as quickly as possible so as to move on to other tasks...sometimes I forget to stop and bask in the glow of the blessing it really is to be needed, so much , by a little someone. By two little someones!

Right now their world is small, and I am such a big and important part of that world. Not a day goes by that they don't need me, greatly. With each passing year their world will grow and grow, and my part in it will fade, bit by bit. They'll start to find a thousand other things in their lives to devote their attention to, and eventually their need for me will be all but gone. Someday they will even be gone. And then, where there was once a busy, messy, noisy household with needy children that often tired out or frustrated a young mother, a quiet, tidy, childless house will have taken its place, and in it will sit a woman who is just anxiously waiting for phone calls. I try to remind myself of that all the time, especially on the hard days...I think, "These are the days I will miss someday."

I want to make more room for that kind of contented-ness in my life...I want to carve out more moments in the day where that overwhelming warmth of love can settle in and melt away the anxiety of constantly trying to complete a to-do list which will never truly be done, anyway! Someday my sons will be men, but right now they are my babies. I want to hold onto the moments with them as carefully and lovingly as I can, for I know that all too soon, in years that seem like seconds, these days will be gone forever.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

These Boys

I love these boys. Oh do I love them!

(And I love that photo, I do, but I would LOVE it with capitals if Jacob looked a little happier!)

Jacob is almost nine months. I'm already starting to think about his first birthday party. That freaks me out. I dread the day when his sweet baby smell fades away forever.

Thomas officially passed the 3 and a half year mark this month. He's now closer to 4 then 3. How am I the parent of an almost four-year-old? Has it really been that long since my first-born was laid in my arms?

I need to write more about these boys (and post more photos, more often) as the days of their littleness slip through my fingers. I vow to do it soon.

Here's a story from this week (forgive me if this grosses you out):

Poor Tommy had some kind of sudden stomach bug a few days ago. He told me he wasn't feeling good and I gave him his pillow and my Snuggie (ya know, the blanket-with-arms that is really poorly named) so he could just lounge on the living room floor and watch cartoons for awhile. But as he was getting situated, with no warning whatsoever, I suddenly realized he was vacating the contents of his stomach all over said pillow and Snuggie. Ryan and I commenced the cleanup process, and unfortunately Thomas felt pretty equally awful the rest of the evening. Poor guy.

That night as I tucked him in bed (with a bowl next to him, just in case) he said to me, with the sweetest sincerity,

"Mom, I'm sorry I puked on your Snuggie."

Is it weird to say that my heart melted?

I hadn't been upset at all about the mess, and hadn't said a single thing about my soiled Snuggie.

My little boy is growing up.

And I have now promised myself I will keep an on-going list titled,

"Things Heard 'Round the House This Week."

Should make for great entertainment in the future. =)

*photos from our family session in early November 2009. Jacob has already changed so much...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Respite in the South

My husband has decided that Utah is not all bad in the winter. There are places that still have 50 and 60 degree weather in January, and that's enough to make us say "Hallelujah!"

St. George was a great two-day reprieve from Utah County's winter. I could be talked into moving there. I was actually a little bummed that we didn't have time to drive around and look at houses and maybe check out some model homes, just for fun.

Our trip was short and simple, but nice.

We stayed at a newer, pretty nice hotel, which is always kind of fun (though pretty much any hotel room on the planet is too small for young children).

We threw our "Eat Better" resolutions to the wind for the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed our hotel's fantastic breakfast buffet. Their sausages were gooooood, I ate way too many.

On Saturday we hiked through Snow Canyon for a few hours, Jacob on his daddy's back.


We took a lot of breaks on our hike, by request of Thomas and his tired little legs.

Thomas said: "These are comfy rocks" (haha!)

We lunched at Pizza Factory, which is and always will be a favorite of ours, but an all-too common occurence, occurred once again...I was brought an Alfredo Chicken pizza instead of my beloved Alfredo, Tomato and Ham pizza, ARGH! But we didn't feel like saying anything to our waiter about it. (I practically filled up on their bread twists and ranch dip anyway...mmm)

We swam in the hotel pool...well, Daddy and Tommy swam in the hotel pool. I relaxed in our hotel room with baby Jake and dinked around on Ryan's laptop.

We went to see "The Princess and the Frog" (I was impressed!) and it was a relatively successful outing for our first time to the movies with both of our younguns.

The movie made me wish I had a daughter
to buy cute "Disney Princess" things for!

We stayed up late watching a movie on Ryan's laptop (with earphones) after the kids went to sleep. (It was the last segment of Return of the King. We've been trying to re-watch all the Lord of the Rings films over the last week or two, but only after bedtime so our little children don't get nightmares from them...)

Sunday we walked around the grounds of the St. George temple (my first time there) and chatted with the Sister Missionaries in the Visitor's Center.

We lunched at In'N'Out, the second time that I've ever eaten there. I agree its quite good, but man I do not understand the craze surrounding that place. We just got two in Utah County and people were camping out and lining up days before it opened. Its a burger, people.

We drove home, and poor Jacob cried and cried from being stuck in that car seat so long. Poor little guy. That part was not fun.

But then, what journey home from a vacation is?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One Year Ago Right Now...

...Ryan, Tommy and I (and Jacob-still-in-my-tummy) were in Hawaii.

Warm, lovely, beautiful Oahu. A whole week of it.

We were there for a Christmas celebration with Ryan's family. It was a fantastic week and particularly glorious to escape the bitter cold of Utah.

I'll never forget how our car got stuck in the snow just minutes after we left our house, headed for the airport. We were already running late, of course. We had to make a stop at our mailbox (the kind with little lock-boxes for everyone in the subdivision), and despite the large snowdrift surrounding it, I requested Ryan drive up as close as he could so I could just roll down the window and slip our mail quickly into the "outgoing" slot. When we went to drive away, our Jeep (a Jeep!) slid and squealed but didn't budge, no matter what we did. Ryan had to push us out. He had dressed to walk off the plane into Hawaiian weather, so while I stomped on the gas pedal he stood ankle deep in the snow, pushing, wearing his shorts and leather sandals. His feet were numb when he finally got us out and climbed back in the car.

Utah's Winter seemed determined to hold onto us.

I remember when our plane finally lifted off the runway in Salt Lake City, I looked out over the snowy, mountainous landscape and thought how different my view would be in a few hours. Beaches, palm trees, warm, balmy breezes!

The 14 of us stayed in a lovely house in a quiet residential neighborhood in the small town of Ka'a'wa, only a 2 minute walk from a gorgeous beach. It was 15 minutes to Laie (home to BYU-Hawaii) and 30 minutes to Honolulu/Waikiki. It was the perfect way to experience Hawaii, and it was definitely a tempting taste of what it would be like to live there.

And boy, does my husband want to live there.


If I agreed to move there he would put our house up for sale tomorrow I bet.

'Cause, you see...he hates winter.

He hates it and he's always hated it and it gets worse every year...this year he's been threatening to move us away from Utah forever.

So we're off to St. George this weekend. Its not Hawaii, but we hope to find a little sunshine!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year Letter

Hello Family and Friends!

Happy New Year! I missed sending out a Christmas card or letter (again!) in time for the holiday season, but I still wanted to write to each of you to say we're thinking of you! Ryan and I feel so blessed to have so many dear friends and loved ones. We hope your Christmas was filled with family, friends, feasting, fun, and all the joy that comes with remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Its hard to believe another year is already over! Ryan and I recently celebrated our 8th anniversary, and the years just seem to fly by faster and faster as we get older! We are really looking forward to 2010 and the chance for a fresh start and a renewed commitment to our goals and dreams.

Our biggest news of 2009 was a new addition to our family! Our second son, Jacob, was born in late April and is now a busy, crawling, babbling 8-month old! Its so fun going through these baby phases again and watching as he explores and discovers everything around him. He is a healthy, handsome baby boy and has always been a very happy, mellow little guy. His smiles and giggles just melt our hearts! He has been a shining light in our family and we are all absolutely in love with him.

Thomas loves being a big brother and is very loving and sweet with Jacob (the majority of the time!). Tommy is almost 3 and a half now, and we have been amazed as we've watched him turn from a toddler into a little boy, all arms and legs! He is growing like crazy...he definitely got all the tall genes from both sides of the family! He has boundless energy, a dash of attitude, and he continually impresses us with things he is learning. He loves building or fixing things and helping his daddy whenever he has work to do in the garage.

Ryan is a great dad and loves spending time with his two little guys. He runs his own drywall contracting company, Premier Drywall, and we are grateful that he has continued to find work despite the poor condition of the construction industry here in Utah. Ryan also worked as the general contractor during the building of our current home in Saratoga Springs, Utah, which we completed about a year and a half ago. It was a lot of hard work and a difficult process at times, but he did a fantastic job. It was our dream for many years to build a house, and we feel very blessed to be here. When he has time Ryan goes dirtbiking at the nearby motocross tracks or the Little Sahara sanddunes, and in 2009 he got a chance to travel and do a bit of snorkeling, another hobby he loves.

I have been busy, busy, busy with our little boys and learning how to be a mom of two. I love watching them grow and learn...they are a lot of work and a lot of fun! I have plenty of things I love to do whenever I find a little free time. I've taken a break from college classes at BYU for a few semesters, but I love learning and am determined to complete my bachelor's degree. I plan to pursue a Bachelor of General Studies through independent study and night classes, with an emphasis in Writing. I also love playing the guitar and am thinking about taking lessons. I would really like to try my hand at songwriting, but I think I need to know more than 5 or 6 chords! And on top of it all, I'm learning to digital scrapbook so I can finally do something with the hundreds of photos I am always taking of my cute kids!

We hope this message finds you all happy and well! Please keep in touch, and if you have a blog, facebook account or new contact information we don't know about, please let us know! We wish you all a wonderful new year, and hope it will be your very best year so far! =)

All Our Love,

The Laidlaws
Ryan, Darci, Thomas and Jacob