Monday, August 31, 2015

busy august

 Month of School Starting!  Pretty nerve wracking, who ever wants to start a new school, especially their 4th or 3rd one.  So off to the DI for Lily, who found SO many cute things, it was crazy.  She is super fun to shop for, and loves quantity so the DI was awesome.
 We began frequenting the downtown splash pad before or after the library, which was nice for the heat even though Jackson has a crazy annoying habit of complaining about anywhere that we are going, no matter how fun it is, he doesn't want to do it and just wants to stay home.  Afterwards he will admit that I was right, but then still complains the next outing.
 The day before school started we took Lily and Jack to the Narrows.  So fun with just the older two!  We were able to talk about school and whatever was on their mind, and everything was just gorgeous and fun.  I look at these pictures and my heart just swells with gratitude for these two beautiful people!  (And yes Jack whined most of the 45 minutes there, but that kid loves exploring the outdoors so eventually came around)

 First day of school!  They insisted on riding their bikes because they were beyond excited to go with their cousins.  I went with Ada and Isaac to go and take pictures, Isaac had to wear his backpack too.  Can't believe how brave they were.  It's always strange to see your kids kind of nervous in a new place.

 Without fail, this is what Lily does at Mimi's.  She finally has some accomplices (sorry Nate and Audrey).
 Jackson turned 7!  I wasn't sure if he would want to miss school to do a lunch out with me and Adam, so I asked instead of surprised him, but he was all ready to go!  Later I saw a paper his teacher had filled out and where it said "I am special because" and he answered "my parents take me on lunch dates."  Very glad we started that tradition.  He has totally blossomed with the freedom of this area.  He loves to bike and swim and will work hard for anything he sets his mind to.  He is the sweetest big brother to Ada and puts forth pretty decent effort dealing with his little brother's peculiarities.  He might whine a bit and get super crazy over screen time occasionally, but overall he is such a wonderful part of our family.
 Isaac's first day of school!!!  After looking and looking for a preschool, getting on two waiting lists (???), and then procrastinating like crazy because I felt like I had waited too long to get him in anywhere, I got a few suggestions from his gymnastics teacher, and then I waited longer because I toyed with the idea of doing Joy School with some other moms, and finally called a woman out in Washington who had a little class for 2 hours 2 days a week in the afternoon for $55, the only place that had afternoon which is what I wanted and about half as much as everywhere else and he goes with a little boy down the street named Jones who we carpool with and basically it ended up being perfect and I still don't quite understand how it happened.  But boy oh boy, was this little guy nervous.  I am not used to any of my kids being as clingy as he is, I couldn't believe it.  He was so anxious to know if I was going to stay (no) and if I was going to come pick him up (yes).  My mind refuses to realize that kindergarten comes after preschool and then it is Ada's turn....
 Jackson only invited family and we were worried that he wasn't making friends at school because he was relying on Zach and Chase, so I challenged him to invited two other boys from the neighborhood/school class.  He invited another boy named Jackson and bam!  It seems like Jack hardly is ever at Liz's anymore.  The first time Jackson R. invited him over we were in the basement, Jack ran upstairs and I followed to drive him there, but by the time I got to the garage he had left on his bike.  I still drove out to find him to show him where the house was, but you could tell he was just bursting to be independent and bike to his friend's!  So awesome.
We got Mom and Dad tickets to Tuacahn as a thank you for Cannon Beach, and Mom loved it so much she had me buy tickets with their discount for me, Lily, Liz Brooklyn, and her and Dad to go to Beauty and the Beast.  It was so fun to go with Lily, she was so excited and I love those kinds of productions, they remind me so much of being in the pit orchestra in high school.  Lots of good memories.

Friday, August 28, 2015

next July installment

We went to a few new places in Cannon Beach this time around, this little tucked away place my favorite.  It was a nice little hike to get there, including going over one of those rickety wooden rope bridges.  So beautiful! Here are some July tidbits.  Behind the scenes of these happy shots I was having some serious issues with birth-control-producing-hormones, until I finally came to the conclusion that I need to remove myself from society at certain times.  Unfortunately I didn't realize that too quickly and let's just say it's lucky I'm still married.
Liz was always talking about how great it is in Pinevalley, where I was never overly impressed at being at a cabin where you have to bring your own food and clean up a ton after being there less than 24 hours, all while having little babies that don't really let you experience the peacefulness that place possesses.  I finally caught on to a few tricks like the nearby state park where the kids loved walking through the water - Jackson taking apart the dam, etc - and now the kids are almost old enough to actually entertain themselves, and can help clean up, and who cares if we eat cereal for two days, and now I'm hoping we make it more of a habit.
 Isaac and Pete, the inseparables.  They can just play and play, it is so neat.  We loved having those boys for as long as we did this summer!
 Rock climbing!  Thank heavens for the WCCC who allows all the rock climbing the kids could ever want at $5 a day, PLUS a huge indoor water play area with a hydrotube slide!  This is one of the greatest things about this area.  The kids fell in love the first time we went there, Lily took a few tries before she got to the top of Climb #1, and even though he had been climbing and trying repeatedly for about 45 minutes straight, Jack kept it up until he rang the bell as well.  When he came down I thought he would be ready to swim but he wanted to do it again (and again).
 We took a side trip to Portland to visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.  It was incredible.  That place could keep a kid entertained and fascinated for a few weeks of intense study.
 S'mores on the beach.  My brain still isn't functioning 100% and I forgot to bring warm clothes for Ada.  Or anyone in the family.  Apparently I couldn't think about coats while in the 110 degree St. George weather.
 Adam got the camera and took a photo-video of me (i.e. like 40 pictures really fast).  Here I am describing the boys sand and water activity by the waves.  They were building a fort of sand and every time a wave came Isaac would run and repeat "Ahoy matey!  Ahoy matey!" and everybody would jump on top.  It was hilarious and so cute.
 The Pig'n Pancake.  Dad loves the idea of taking the grandkids out to eat.  I don't really understand since kids at restaurants are the worst.  Isaac ordered a full waffle, saw whipped cream on it and wouldn't touch it, then proceeded to only eat the whipped cream on his hot chocolate.
 It is lots easier to remember that these kids won't always be around, when they aren't around.
 This park was a main selling point for this house.  We didn't get there until 2 months after we moved!
 For about a month if Ada didn't have pants on, she would take her diaper off.  Immediately.
 My kids love Star Wars and found this app pretty awesome.  Like I have about 30 of these with different characters and backdrops.
Britt visited from California and it was so good to see her as always.  Love how these girls get along even though they only see each other once or twice a year.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Girls at the beach

Accompanying email...
Love this picture.  I will always remember the combined effort to get Mom up the sandy, steep hill at the end of our long walk along the beach together.  We were all laughing like little girls.  So much that people turned to see what we were laughing at.  I suddenly felt so lucky, so grateful for a mom and sisters that I can laugh with.  Laughs of the best kind, deep belly laughs that make me forget everything else and appreciate the happiness of life.  I love you all so much.
Love, Liz

Was this picture the final winner also because of my monster arm?  Haha!  That is some crazy perspective!  (hopefully...)  - Sabrina

I mean, in real life my arm isn't bigger than all of our heads, right?  -Sabrina

Oh my word I just looked at it again and I am totally laughing out loud.  Let's take more tomorrow night!  Hahaha!!! -Liz

Wow, Sabey, your arm IS huge and I look skinny.  Great photo!  -Mom

Hey Sabey,
I hear the 49ers are looking for a new half back.  With those shoulders you are a shoo-in!  -Dad

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

...and another for June

The kids were super excited to find Sand Hollow Reservoir beach only 20 minutes away from home.  Nothing like sand and water on a hot day.   Such a gorgeous view with the deep blue water and red rock and sand everywhere.
This is one of my all time favorite pictures.  SO HAPPY!!!  She had just put her head down on the ground like playing peek a boo and came up fast and laughing.  Such a cutie.
 One of our last nights at Grandma and Grandpa's, Isaac hopped in the pack'n'play with Ada to keep her company.  They are really starting to play well together.  I hope I can figure out how to foster and encourage more of the same.
Courtesy of Isaac - early morning Ada.  Look at that just woken face and beautiful thick lips!  
That same morning I had slept in a bit and came out to this:  perfectly made cheesy eggs for everyone with the table set and even a bowl of oatmeal for Isaac since he doesn't like eggs.  When I took the picture Lily said "Wait!  The toast is coming!"  She loves to cook!!
Haircuts for the boys.  Awesomely enough, when I asked for the shortest clip to keep his part, Jack said it was too long and said he wanted a buzz.  So of course Isaac asked for the same.  They had so much hair, and were both so excited!  Along with me because it is 2 months later and I have just begun to need to comb their hair on Sunday!

 I bought this shirt which Dad labeled "appropriate."  Mom always gets a big kick out of what a busy girl Ada can be.
 Father's Day weekend we finally had Adam's family over for a pool party.  So many kids!
Ada takes her naps on our bed.  This day I had left her after a diaper change and came back to find she had laid down on the pillow and brought the blanket over too.  Thank heavens she now regularly naps every day!  It was not fun thinking she was done with napping since she refused at Mom's.
Amanda and Tyler left their boys with us while they celebrated their anniversary in NYC.  It was so neat to have them and see their personalities better.  When Amanda swam with Sammy before she left it took me, Adam, and Amanda to get him in a floatie.  But then when she was gone we put him in this little swim vest and with Grandpa's help he was totally independent, kicking wherever he wanted just like Ada.  Those vests are the greatest things ever.  Ada goes wherever she wants, in and out of the pool.  It is wonderful.
Isaac surprised me by going up a level in swim lessons.  I couldn't believe it since he is so darn tiny.  We still have to watch him like a hawk because he can't doggy paddle to breathe, but I'm sure by the time a year is up he will be swimming completely independent.   Which I can't believe I didn't get a picture of Lily and Jackson in swim team!  I had to overcome a lot of anxiety to let Jackson in the 13 foot pool without an instructor, but man was he anxious to try it.  I will never forget the time I went to watch and he was doing back stroke, but sinking like a fish with every stroke, having to hold on to the side to catch his breath and start again.  Every stroke.  It probably took him 8+ minutes to finish 25 yards, but he just kept on trying.  It was so amazing.  He loved swim team and initially I thought it was mostly because Chase and Zach were there, but even when they missed he still would go.  Not sure about Lily, who got out of quite a few practices, and complained a few times that she thought swim team would be fun, and they would just let you swim unless you weren't swimming, then they would say "Why don't you swim a few laps?"  The kids also went to a running camp led by the high school cross country team.  Again Lily complained, and tried to get Jackson to complain, but again he surprised me by going anyways, without Lily.  He definitely got a lot stronger this summer.  We will be a little more discerning next year when it comes to activities for Lily....She seems very happy with gymnastics and so I hope she continues and can see herself excel with that.
Mom got me to take this to show Amanda the zombie children watching TV at Grandma's house.  Ha!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

and another

Here is May!  Lily and Jack's End of Year School Programs were so fun to watch.  Lily was so excited to have us come, and Jackson was hilarious as always with his silly faces.
Grandpa paid for the SG grandkids to do the Ironman Kids Fun Run.  I love love love the pre-race excitement feeling, and wonder if my kids do too.  I try to make it exciting and not stressful, hopefully they can feel the same.  I love the tough guys Chase and Zach.
Ada was pretty confused at what was going on.  Isaac was SO CUTE when he saw the Finish line; he started running as fast as he could and thought it was so cool.
This weekend was a girls getaway for the Bird women which I wasn't able to attend for various reasons.  Seeing Jack and Lily holding hands while running and finishing was worth missing that trip (even though I was so sad to not be there)!  It was the neatest thing ever and of course I cried.  I remember when Lily did the mile run with Adam 2 years ago and Jack wanted to do a race so he could hold hands with Lily.  I guess I didn't think he really would, but boy does he love his sister.
Here we are visiting the house we were about to buy.  Isaac was VERY excited about the Gatorade in the garage and wanted his picture taken with it.
Desert cactus blooms in Kayenta.  Now that we are in our own house I look back and am so grateful for being able to spend so much time with extended family - my parents during the weekdays and most Saturdays with Mimi and Papa.
Jackson charming the ducks and Isaac challenging the male gander.  I had to intervene as the gander was super protective and I kind of thought would try to eat Isaac he was so aggressive.  Mom and Dad were behind on the bench having a good laugh as I was standing there telling Isaac to come away and him go closer instead.  He really doesn't have much fear.
Mother and Daughter Luau for Activity Days.  Lily was so excited.  I love that she loves to do stuff with me, especially one on one.  It is nice to have moments of connection and memories to look back on.
Last day of 2nd grade and Kindergarten!  Lily was given the "Most Tidy Award" and was so upset that she left early with me instead of stay for the last part of the day.  Ha!  She said she is good at so many other things!  I agreed but also emphasized how awesome being tidy is....
We celebrated our 13th anniversary by going to Zions.  I forced Adam to pose with some of the best pizza ever from the Pizza Wagon in Hurricane.  We stopped the next day too to get enough for Mom and Dad who had offered to watch the kids while we were gone for the night.  It was a good break but very short lived as within 30 minutes of getting home I was crying in my bedroom after seeing what a mess the kids had made with my earrings, essential oil, and glitter powder....
I couldn't resist taking this shot:  "Sabrina, what can I say, I'm a busy guy."  Apparently I was pretty lucky he would take a day off of work to accompany me.