Monday, August 29, 2016

Cheeks' 3-Year Old Interview

What is your name? Cheeks Marler
How old are you? 3-years old
What is your favorite thing to do? Chasing Boy Howdy
What do you want to be when you grow up? Big like daddy
What is your favorite food? Chocolate cake
Who do you like to spend time with? Charlotte
What do you do really well? Going in the potty (lies)
What makes you laugh? Charlotte
What is the best time of the day? Going to Costco (after forgetting my Costco card for a few weeks in a row, she now asks me almost every time we go if I have my card with me)
What are you afraid of? Monsters
Who is your best friend? Charlotte
What do you like to do with your family? I like to do horses (no idea)
What do you love to learn about? Going in the potty
Where you like to go? Go to Costco (a girl after my mother's heart)
What is your favorite book? I like my book about houses (again, no idea)
If you had one wish what would it be? Be a robot
What is your favorite thing about turning 4? Mama, mama, got to go potty! I need to go potty (more lies)
Is there anything else you'd like to add? Boy Howdy knows about robots.

I'm pretty sure if I were to do this interview again, I would get mostly different answers. She really does love this little girl named Charlotte, though Charlotte is Boy Howdy's age and Tess is Cheeks' age. I was kind of surprised Tess didn't get the mentions Charlotte did. I was also really surprised about her obvious enthusiasm for potty training considering she has almost no interest in it outside of this interview. And yet we soldier on in our attempts for a diaper-free house and hope that her joy will someday soon manifest itself in her everyday life.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Cheeks Turns 3

For Cheeks' birthday, we decided to spend the day with her little friends at the beach in Neskowin. Perfect day!! And perfect little girl for our family.

The kids making sand angels

And more funny little pictures of our little birthday girl.

Cheeks chose a chocolate cake and the candy for her cake. I chose peanut butter frosting as opposed to the yummy but frightful pink frosting from last year. She had fun decorating it, using much more of her candy in decorating than Boy Howdy did his. That boy was DESPERATE to help his sister decorate, to open presents, to play with her new toys. He wanted to be part of her celebration in a big way.
I love these two, but on her birthday, I am especially thankful for this little girl. She is happy, constantly moving, stubborn, cutely tempestuous, eager to play and love and smile. I love how she hugs her friends when she sees them and is willing to play any part of Boy Howdy's latest make-believe schemes. So grateful that cute little face is mine for eternity.

P.S. Boy Howdy dictated this birthday letter to his sister. It kind of needed to be permanently documented for posterity before being unceremoniously recycled.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

First Movie in the Theater

Last Saturday, after being gone for a month and fatherless for almost as long, we spent a miserable first full day as a reunited family trying to potty train Cheeks. It didn't go well. And it was miserable. So for the second Saturday, I was desperate for us to actually enjoy family time. 

So after cleaning the house in the morning we went out for the afternoon. Lunch at Costco (surprisingly thought of as a treat for our children), and the kids' very first movie in a theater - Finding Dory. The theater was only about 10% occupied which offered a low-pressure first experience. Cheeks may have wandered briefly around the seats and Boy Howdy may have talked more than I would have liked, but overall they did extremely well for a first time.

After the movie we capped out our family fun day with frozen yogurt before heading home in time to send Matthew to the Priesthood session of Stake Conference.
Potty training Miss Cheeks might be a complete bust for the time being but at least we had fun for one day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Allentown Trip

Sooo, we extended our East Coast trip so we could see the Philadelphia temple in all its completed glory but seeing my best friend Malesa and her family may have also been a BIG bonus. I love this girl. I think I have already documented my feelings for her on this blog but what was so awesome was to find that the feelings have not diminished after not being away for over a year. We will always be friends and we look forward to me bringing Matthew with me on our next visit.

But for this trip it was me and the babes hanging out with the Brintons for a long weekend.
After our somewhat successful venture to the temple we stopped at a Philadelphia playground for the kids to play before heading back to Allentown. That Saturday may have been the muggiest day of the year; we were all drippy messes by the time we got back to our cars, but the kids still managed to enjoy the swings and long wooden slide.

Later that day, I organized a girls' night at Wegmans  (ah Wegmans how I still miss you every time I grocery shop). Malesa, watched my kids for me while I basked in the love of so many wonderful women I came to adore during my time in Allentown. I felt so much love from them for coming out to support my little evening venture.

The following Monday I had another lunch soiree at Chick-fil-A with other women who I equally love but couldn't come on Saturday night. What wonderful women. I love my Kutztown Ward!

I loved my time with my Malesa, my kids loved their time with her children (especially with their creepy life-like horse)

I thought kids could sleep anywhere. I thought you could lay out a sleeping bag on the floor and they would be golden. This East Coast adventure taught me that, while some kids can do that, mine cannot. Oh how they craved defined borders in their sleep environments. Poor Boy Howdy was so done with not sleeping in his own bed. Sunday night, with our flight not leaving until Tuesday afternoon, he broke down and pleaded with me to get on the big airplane the next day. "Please mom!!" he cried with such pitiable emotion.

But a day later and many hugs of these two (seriously every time they saw each other was a new opportunity for a hug) we left eager for the next opportunity to be reunited. I love me some Brintons.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Philadelphia Temple Open House

"I Love to See the Temple" that is what we sing every time we drive passed the Portland, Oregon temple. The kids have a competition for who can see the spires of the temple first. We've also been to the temple's visitors center.
The Philadelphia Temple was announced while Matthew was finishing up Law School and 8 years later, having spent 5 years in Pennsylvania, and after a year away, it was FINALLY completed and ready for it's open house.We were already on the East Coast for family reunion so we just HAD to extend our trip by another few days to make it to see the temple we waited for and prayed for for so many years. Matthew couldn't be there, but I was excited to show my babies this temple.
We got the tickets on a Saturday morning at 8 am. With the temple being an hour away from where we were staying, this meant being out of the house at 6:45 to make sure we made it to the temple on time. Eek, early morning for all of us but especially for the kids who weren't waking up until 8:30 or 9 for the last three weeks.
We made it to the temple, but Boy Howdy was beyond tired and cranky and didn't want to have anything to do with putting on the booties or being remotely pleasant. Everything was boring and the booties were itchy. Those two complaints were repeated over and over again. Cheeks was just antsy in her pants and didn't want to be quiet within the temple. Exasperated after only a few short moments I left with the kids. Thankfully my dear friend Malesa saved me and offered to wait outside with my kids and her 6-month old baby while I went inside and viewed the gorgeous new temple. What an angel of mercy.
I loved my time and was so thankful to get to be there on that crazy hot August morning. Malesa took a picture of me manhandling my children in front of the temple. What a gem!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Lake and a Grandpa

Ah this lake, my children have spent so much of their grandparent's time playing around this lake. It has been so fun to see my children play by this pond for the last 4 years. And thankfully they are getting old enough that I don't have to be directly beside them each time they venture outside. They got dirty every time they went out but at least they didn't venture into the lake on their own. They wanted to, but were smart enough to not to. And luckily enough no one fell in accidentally.

On the last Saturday we were in town, my dad took the kiddos on a ride in his canoe around the lake. They were in heaven to be on the lake, Boy Howdy killing spiders camped out in the boat with his water gun. 

But what made their lives complete was to swim IN the lake once their ride in the canoe was done.

My dad was so kind to help with bedtime while we were visiting. More than one night he generously read them their bedtime stories for which everyone was seemingly delighted, myself included!

I loved my time at my parent's house. I love how sweet they were with my children and went out of their way to make me feel their gratitude that we were there. I loved that being at my parent's house was full of love and support and, other than the shocking amount of sugar fed my children, I didn't have to cringe at anything done or said. I loved the extra time with my siblings and their families and the same love and support I felt from them. What a refreshing few weeks for my heart!