We were having Family Home Evening the other day talking about the Plan of Salvation. I was trying to lay out my flannel board world and spirit and body and Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial kingdoms but Hyrum was everywhere. He wanted to get down, or run around singing "Follow the Prophet" as he does at the beginning and end of every Family Home Evening. I tried to explain that we want to get to the Celestial Kingdom because that's where we could be together as a family but he kept asking where Mom or dad was ( since I explained the main person was him ). At the end I was convinced that the plan of salvation was lost on him at this point and decided to shelf the felt pieces until he was older. Then the other day while talking to my sister on the phone he got my pieces out and was playing with them on the kitchen floor.
I thought it was cute and was relieved that he was occupying himself and wasn't clamoring to get my attention and didn't think much more about it. Then I started to notice what he was doing.
He had placed the whole family on the Celestial kingdom! Maybe something did get through. It made all the struggling and fighting for his attention during Family Home Evening worth it.
We are a happy family!

Ever since bringing Noah home he has been "Baby Noah" to Hyrum. He has called him nothing else and we even found ourselves calling him that too. Then with my fatigue induced tied tongue I started shortening it to "Bubba". A stretch I know but it stuck and I found myself calling him Bubba more and more. At his two week appointment after hearing us describe some symptoms Noah was having the doctor said that he probably had a touch of reflux. Upon hearing that we started to connect the dots and it all totally made sense. Then we began hearing how hereditary it is and both Derek's father and brother had to have surgery to correct the problem. Meanwhile we began noticing that the symptoms were getting worse. We started to really worry about imminent surgery. They said they didn't worry about the reflux unless the baby is loosing weight so we figured that reflux babies were skinny. But our little Bubba was growing like crazy and getting so heavy. My mom kept saying that I needed to put him on a diet.
(This doesn't even do it justice this little man has rolls upon rolls and even has armpit rolls)

Even so when we went in for his two month appointment we were surprised that he was not only 24 inches long but also weighed 14 pounds 10 ounces!!! Hyrum who is almost 3 years old weighs 30 pounds. When I talked to the doctor the first order of business was to relay the family history and tell him how much worse his reflux seemed and was ready to schedule a surgery to avoid more misery since it seemed in all instances to be unavoidable. The patient doctor explained that when babies have reflux it gets worse around two months and even with the family history it could still clear up on it's own so we just wait and see. But in the meantime he gave Noah a prescription for Zantac saying that if it wasn't helping enough we could give him something stronger. In the write up about what babies should be doing at this stage it said that they should be eating 5-6 times a day and may drop the night feeding over the next few weeks. I was shocked. Noah was eating every two hours and sometimes more often with maybe a three hour stint at night. I began to think maybe I going too quickly to feed him when he didn't necessarily need to eat that often. Hyrum would suck on his fist where Noah couldn't seem to keep his fist to his mouth. I resolved to try harder to get him to use the pacifier. But the FIRST day I gave him the Zantac he ate much less and was probably right on par with 5-6 feedings a day and went 4 hours between feedings at night. He was much more calm and was awake much more too. Before he'd often start nursing and fall asleep. It makes sense that he'd want to be eating all the time since it would feel much better to have things going down than coming back up and he'd want to go to sleep to avoid feeling the fire. I know that when I was pregnant and dealing with heartburn I found myself eating a lot because I kept thinking the next thing I ate would make me feel better. Of course the only thing that helped was ice cream, and that must have been what I was producing to have him gain so much weight.

So we love Zantac. And Noah loves the affects of Zantac but does NOT love the taste of it.
What's funny is that he continues to jerk and shake his head like that for probably a half hour after he takes it. He even dreams about it an shakes his head. But despite all of that he woke up ONCE last night to eat. ONCE! Hyrum didn't do that until he was nearly a year. We might actually get him sleeping through the night by three months!

A little before Noah was born we signed up for a recycling bin from the city. I've always been reluctant to get one because of the cost(don't companies pay to use recyclables?). But never bothered to find out how much it actually cost. We looked into it and found out that it didn't cost nearly what I thought it would so we signed up for one. Let me tell you..I can't believe what we DON'T throw away now. I seriously wish the trash was only picked up every other week like the recycling. Even so I think we'd still have more recycling than trash.

This is a little deceptive because it's right after the trash was picked up and a week after the recycling was picked up but we'd probably have 6 grocery bags in the trash MAX on a normal two week period when we nearly fill the recycling bin ( of course we don't break down boxes either though).

I've discovered that it's easier for me to get rid of things when I know they will be used again. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a hoarder so this is a good thing. I'm not nearly to the point of saving used paper plates, but as I get old and crazy I'd be nervous. :) This is a good thing that we're recycling for no other reason than that! :) Still not sure why it costs us to do so though. :)

Happy Earth day! Is it really the 40th anniversary? Good heavens! I had no idea it had been around so long.

Friday evening my sister Nikki got here from Buffalo, NY. It's hard for her with four kids to get away by herself. But her great husband said that she needed to do just that and have a vacation. She decided to come visit me for her solo vacation. The first order of business was knocking a place off her restaurant tour of Utah.
Of course In and Out doesn't do chicken nuggets so we had to stop at McDonalds on the way for Hyrum be cause he doesn't do burgers.
It's the first time we'd been to In and Out in Utah. I went in California once but Derek had never gone. It was better than I remember it being, we'll probably be braving the lines to go back again sometime...and stopping at McDonalds on the way. Nikki felt like she was eating like a college student...I thought she looked like one too. :)
She hadn't slept in 24 hours plus before she came so we tried to get her in bed by midnight ( which was 2 in the morning where she came from) and we tried to let her sleep in good and long on Saturday. It was my birthday so Derek and Hyrum brought out my gift, a composting bin, and started setting it up for me. I've decided that April is the PERFECT time for my birthday. I end up getting so many gardening things which is what I always want.
As I began transfering the contents of my delinquent compost pile into my composting bin my sister was busy in my kitchen working her magic!!

When we moved into the house the kitchen in particular was put away pretty willy nilly. We just wanted to get things into the cupboards and didn't give it thought. Part of the disarray was my dismay at only having four drawers instead of seven and fewer cupboards as well. My sister went through and put things away on purpose. It's so logical and I have so much more SPACE too now. She spent the rest of her time here when I wasn't looking organizing and cleaning things for me. You'd swear that I insisted on people working while they're here. All I want anyone to do here is relax and enjoy their time. Maybe this is a commentary on my hostessing skills. She even had the sheets and towels in the wash when she left.

It has become somewhat of a tradition the last three years to plant something on my birthday and this birthday was no different. My parents sent me a plantable birthday card so I planted some wild flowers in card form this year.

I know it's not the most exciting thing to do on your birthday but it was the perfect way to spend mine. The weather was BEAUTIFUL (pretty much the entire time Nikki was here) and we just soaked up the sun. We did go to dinner that night to make it feel like a birthday.

I was certainly not the only one receiving gifts this weekend. Nikki came bearing gifts for Hyrum too.

In addition to other toys she brought all kinds of Blues Clues toys which are near impossible to come by these days and it's only fitting that Nikki pass along the Blues Clues toys when she was the one that gave Hyrum his passion for all things Blues Clues. Did you see what else she brought? That's right...a potty chair! I am way more excited about that gift than Hyrum is. Regardless it's time to get my act together. I know Hyrum's body is ready, we just have to work on getting him more excited about the idea.

Nikki certainly endeared herself to Hyrum with the toys. They became good friends.

He was also enamored with the Ford Explorer that my brother in law rented for her. He was all about riding in the "big car". Thanks Greg!

She and Noah also bonded. She was able to get him smile so much.

He was not happy to see her leave.
Our last full day together we headed out early to meet her roommate from college that she hadn't seen for 13 years. I told her that the boys and I could find somewhere else to be while so they could talk. Nikki said that there was no reason for that but after Hyrum sent his car flying at Nikki's ex-roommate 20 times or more I decided that we needed to play elsewhere. So we went outside to play with his car on the tables and chairs outside.
I started taking pictures of my fast growing little man and just couldn't stop.

He's been doing all of these new expressions lately. I tried really hard to capture it but he was just moving too fast. This was the best I could do.

After breakfast we headed off to BYU to the bookstore. Hyrum is a shopper and he was looking for things that he wanted for his birthday. He kept asking for some sparkly barrettes but then he found the hats.

In the bookstore and Hyrum had a strange tantrum because Nikki bought him a BYU flashing "lightsaber". He kept saying that he didn't want to pay for the lightsaber and that he wanted to ruin it. Seriously the biggest fit. So strange. Needless to say it went home with Nikki.

We hit Jamba juice on the way out then headed to Training table for lunch and FRY SAUCE. I'm not the biggest fan of fry sauce but my sisters both long for it outside of Utah so it was a must.

After a fruitless trip to the mall in order to make use of a gift certificate that my sister sent me for my last birthday we headed home with a quick stop on the blog tour of Utah. Nikki reads a blog that frequently mentions a bake shop so we stopped in for a few cupcakes to sample.

They were really good. Thanks again Nik. For lunch too. :)

All too soon it was over and Nikki was headed home. We were sad to see her leave but I know that her family missed her a lot and I'm sure she was missing them too. We did manage to get a sisters picture. It was a self portrait and missing a sister but documentation that we were together.
(Is it just me or do I look really weird in this picture?)
Thanks for coming to visit Nik!! We can't wait to see you again!!

The other day Hyrum and I were playing with his little plastic animals and looking at them I thought of the animal family he made to represent our family before Noah was born. I wondered how our family had changed in his mind so I asked him to make a new animal family for us. This is what he set out...
Derek is still the strong noble horse. But now I'm a horse too and running. I have to say that I can see that. Sometimes I feel like a race horse. Running as fast as I can go but not really getting anywhere. Although I'd understand the cow too with how often I'm feeding Noah. Whats funny to me is that Noah is now the monkey and Hyrum is now the tiger which also makes a lot of sense to me.

My in laws came down today for a snuggle and run. That's what I've decided to call their day trips that they take from time to time. Ever so often it gets too much for my mother in law and she just needs to snuggle the babies so they drive six or seven hours round trip to be here for three.

As always they came bearing gifts ( I swear that's going to bite them someday ) This time it was some light up Marvel superhero shoes. When we were naming the superheros on his shoes Hyrum said "Spiderman, Wolverine, Ironman and Captain Moroni" Well he's not a Marvel superhero but YEA that he's considered a hero! :) Hyrum was just warming up to them when they had to leave and he was upset when they left and refused to say goodbye. Then he kept wanting to talk to them on the phone.

They had another reason for coming down this time. That being to bring my birthday gift.
How excited am I?!?!

My mother in law said that she decided that she was going to do birthdays big now and do more subdued Christmases. I'm totally holding her to that because this is huge!

My Uncle Mitch called this morning saying that he and my two cousins were in town to check out BYU and wanted to see us. I contacted my cousin Hillary and we met them at the Creamery on 9th to catch up ( in my case) and meet ( in Hillary's case). My cousin Michael is deciding which school to go to next fall and BYU is in the running. So we decked ourselves out in BYU attire and headed for Provo. I say that like it was easy. It was more like: wrestle a shirt on Hyrum pick up crying Noah, pat him a few times tell Hyrum to get in his chair so we can eat dinner, look for Noah's sock that Hyrum ran off with, tell Hyrum to get in his chair again, phone rings, pick up a crying Noah again and try to nurse him while picking up Hyrum's sippy cup off the floor get plates and dinner on the table etc. talk to Derek and realize that I need to leave for the ice cream shop in 10 minutes, franticly eat, get Noah in his carseat with only one sock on, go to get a blanket and see Hyrum walking around with Noah's other sock, put a hoodie on Hyrum as I get us out the door, put Noah in the car while Hyrum lays on the floor playing with his toys, get him into his seat and then get into mine and realize we are suppose to be there in 10 minutes and it takes 20. Needless to say it was a little frantic GETTING there but SOOOOO worth it BEING there.
I don't get to see my family nearly enough. Especially the ones in Michigan ( My uncle and cousins checking out BYU came out from MI ) Hyrum was having the time of his life with his cousins. He'd brought in one of his toys from the car and was sending it across the table as we waited and also while we ate our ice cream. When we were going to leave he ran off with Michael and Alex and when I got him into the car he kept saying and continued to say all the way home "I no want to go home! I want to really see those guys!" I really wish we could see them more. I want to really see those guys too!

Noah in his BYU hat before we left for the Creamery. He's my butterball that's for sure! :) Look at those cheeks!

It has been a wonderful Easter weekend. We spent nearly the entire weekend indoors. My lucky family in the Midwest had amazing weather. We on the other hand woke up to this on Easter morning...
...and this was nearly noon after a lot of it had melted. (They said we had 5-7 inches)

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Friday night I slept in our guest bedroom with Noah instead of our normal living room couch repose so as to not interrupt the Easter Bunny in his travels. Needless to say neither Noah nor I slept much at all. So when Hyrum woke up for the morning (He'd been up a few times during the night too) Mom was not the best photographer. Plus there wasn't much she could capture from the couch where Noah had fallen deeply asleep in his familiar position. But I did get a small video before I hit the couch.

Nice grocery receipt on the floor. Good heavens! That egg that he's coming to show me is from Germany. They have these chocolate eggs that have toys inside that Derek really liked when he was in Germany so when one of his coworkers was going there for an onsite with a client Derek asked him to get a few for him.

When I went to the store to get Noah some little pants for Easter Hyrum saw the big boy underwear and picked some out and said "Let's take it home." Well I wasn't going to say no to that so he got them for Easter.

We also try to ask the Easter Bunny to get him something somewhat spiritual for easter to bring in the real meaning. This year we decided that it would be good with two boys to start investing in some Book of Mormon action figures. Much to our dismay though with chocolate and jellybeans in the vicinity he wanted little to nothing to do with Ammon, even with his sword.
We'd put it on the entertainment center with a few pieces of candy in front of it. He just took the candy and slid the action figure back behind the TV. He was much more excited about it the next day though.

As usual the Easter Bunny got him WAY too much candy.

That is without any grass people! I have too much of my grandma Nellie in me. I just don't think twice about giving sugar to my kids. But I'll pay for it when a treat won't have nearly the power it will for others kids.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing while we listened to Conference. Of course Derek didn't get to hear much of it with Hyrum clamoring for his attention. But he did get to listen to Priesthood session. So far it looks like that will be a pretty lonely evening for me in the future. My nephew went to Priesthood session for the first time this year. Actually I really can't wait for my boys to have this exciting time in their lives and be able to spend that time with their dad.

Easter Sunday dawned bright and snowy and after a remarkably restful sleep (Noah only woke up twice) I jumped into the easter season at the last second. While Derek and Hyrum went outside to try to build a snowman I got to work making easter pancakes.

Then in between sessions I made lemon cheese cupcakes having made lemon cheese cake the night before. There is just something about easter that makes me want to have lemon things.

Then while Hyrum was looking around for something to do he found one of our THREE packages of easter egg dye. We've had good intentions every year but neither of us like hard boiled eggs so we've never done them. We thought we were going to go yet another year without doing them but with Hyrum's motivation we consented to dye four eggs and he was in SEVENTH HEAVEN. We really should do projects with him more often. Here's a play by play.

He was BEYOND excited. When they were soaking in the dye he had to keep running back to check on the eggs. Then when they were drying he kept wanting me to take pictures of them.

Then ever so often we would find him just gazing at them.
We also took the opportunity to take Easter family pictures. For taking them ourselves I think they turned out pretty good.

Noah looked soo cute I just had to get more pictures of my little man...he's getting big too fast.

Wow this was longer than I thought it was going to be. Hope your're still awake.

Happy Easter! Hope it was as relaxing and meaningful as it was for us.