Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Not a creature was stirring. . .wait... There's a mouse!

We had a little excitement in the house today. Maya was in the kitchen eating lunch while I was here in the office doing very important things like facebooking. Maya shouts that she thinks she just saw a mouse. So the adventure begins. We have it trapped in the family room, hiding under our sectional sofa. I have Maya get the broom - her job is to keep the mouse in the family room. This is a very big house - the last thing I want to be doing is searching to find a mouse the size of a golf ball. Once I get a visual on the mouse, I send Luke to get a bucket so we can try and catch this thing. I lift each part of the sectional and the mouse keeps evading us. Luckily the couch is pretty much the only thing in the room the mouse can get behind. I decide we need more hands. So I call my friend up the road and have her send her 2 boys down to help me catch the mouse. This should be the highlight of their day. Anyway, they get here, we give them each a bowl/bucket. I lift the biggest piece of the sectional where the mouse is hiding and on the first shot, Dustin catches the mouse under his bucket! Woo hoo! All in all it's been maybe 5 minutes. Not too shabby. Everyone checks out the mouse, but we have to be careful cuz it's a jumping mouse and keeps trying to get out of the bucket. We dump the mouse over the tall brick wall in our backyard.
I think now Luke will hopefully listen to Matt and I. We've been pleading with him to stop leaving his apple cores behind and between the sections of the sofa. Now that he's seen the mouse in our house and I can say "Hey, the mouse probably liked finding your apple. This is why Dad and I have been telling you to eat in the kitchen." Maybe he'll finally put it together and listen... Maybe. Here's some pics of our adventure.
My army of mouse catchers: Andrew, Maya, Dustin, and Luke
I had to post a pic of the room all cleaned up after the mess. I can't just post a picture of my house trashed. Cleans up pretty nice. We vaccuumed under the couches very thoroughly. Don't want to leave sny snacks behind for any more creatures.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The perfect storm

I'm not talking about weather. The image you are about to see is what happens when Dad/Matt puts away the clothes and the 5-year-old dresses himself.

The high water pants are in fact meant for our almost 2-year-old. They are a 2T. But this is something that Matt has always had trouble with. Don't get me wrong. I'm more than willing to deal with a few items of clothing put in the wrong drawer or closet if it means all the rest of the tons of clothes have been folded and put away as well. It's a small price to pay. Those sweats were Luke's when he was 2. Now they are Seth's, but were put in the wrong drawer. Luke is still learning how to match clothes. In his eyes, this looks just fine. If the sweats had actually been his size, it would've been a battle to get him to change into something that matches. Some school mornings can be difficult.
But this on a Saturday morning just made me laugh out loud.

Hurry! Quick! Would everyone just look happy for one picture?!?



It's been a very busy Christmas season (is there any other kind?). A little over a week until Christmas and I haven't even started our cards yet. No homemade cards happening this year. I'm gonna have to plan further ahead next year. . .Ha! Like that's gonna happen.

Anywho, we had ONE single night in our busy schedules to get a picture taken. A small window of time. Matt had taken the kids out to shop for gifts for me - can't argue with that. They got back a little after 5. The problem? Maya and I have to be dressed as angels and ready to leave by 5:30. That gives us less than 30 minutes to get everyone in somewhat coordinated outfits and set up the camera and timer and try to get a few decent shots (With little kids this is difficult and usually time consuming) then get Maya and I changed again and out the door. Mission Impossible?? Oh no, I was gonna make it happen one way or another. We got lucky and got some decent family shots right off the bat. The did have to try and keep Luke from doing silly shots. It seems to be the only kind he know how to do.

So for your pure entertainment (and my embarrassment) and our family journal, here's the silly shot we took in an effort to get it out of Luke's system and get a nice smile out of him. Please ignore the armpit stains on my shirt (luckily I had sewn the whole that was there earlier that day) and my undergarments hanging out as my arms are raised. I do realize I'm pointing these things out to you, but please ignore them. At least Seth is enjoying it.

Once we were satisfied with the family picture, I wanted to get one of the kids. So we tried. . .and tried. . .and tried. And when I realized I was starting to get frustrated and angry with the kids for not sitting still (since when does a 20-month-old sit still) I gave up. And with our Christmas cards I decided to go with realistic shots. This is how my kids are. If I had time to post all the shots it would make you laugh cuz it catches each of their personalities. So, no perfectly posed children, but they're still pretty darn cute. Even Luke and his super-hero punch pose.

After Maya and I left, the boys had a little more fun with the camera.

Merry Christmas!!!

Ward Christmas Party 2010

Our ward had a Christmas party the first weekend of December. The primary acted our a nativity while singing Away in a Manger. Maya was very happy to be an angel. (The tallest one.) Jen got to participate by singing Christmas Chopsticks (Twas the night before Christmas rhyme sung to the melody of chopsticks). 6 women singing this very fun song in harmony with a little bit of silly choreography was very fun (and difficult to keep a straight face). It was nice for Jen to get out from behind the piano and have an opportunity to sing. All in all a very fun night.

What a view

The front of our house faces west, so there are many nights we get to enjoy the beautiful sunsets* over the rolling hills of California. This is the view from our toyroom.

*Unfortunately, that means the back of our house which has the master bedroom and boys' bedroom windows is facing east and the sunrise each morning. We moved here in the summer time and the sun comes up very early, and the boys were starting to rise with the sun. Thanks goodness for nice thick curtains which were put up very quickly once we moved in.

Show me that pretty smile

The tooth fairy has been working overtime in the Wilde household. Maya lost 3 teeth in 3 weeks!! If it was october, we might mistake her for a Jack-o-latern. She's still the cutest!
She still can't bite an apple, but since the teeth aren't dangling in there, she doesn't have to be so careful. She likes the fact that food can fit into the holes (like pretzel sticks hanging out of her mouth). One of her favorite songs this Christmas was "All I want for Christmas is my Two front teeth."

No one's food is safe!

For those of you who have young children (now or in the past) you know that you cannot sit down and eat something without your little coming and helping him or herself to the food on your plate. Well, you can't leave your food unattended on the table and expect to come back to it later either.

I've learned how to make my favorite Jamba smoothie at home. (Saves a lot of money.) Everyone loves when I make up a batch. Unfortunately for Maya and Luke, they haven't quite learned that they can't leave their goodies on the table. Seth is our little smoothie addict. Here's a few occasions of him finishing off Maya's and Luke's smoothies while Maya and Luke were playing in the next room. He loves the stuff! (In the top left picture - fruit bits from the smoothie are all over his face including his eyebrow. We need to work on aim.)




Seth has also become coordinated and strong enough to move our chairs around the kitchen to get to whatever he wants. This Christmas season there has been a pretty much constant supply of treats on our counter and Seth pulls up a chair and helps himself. Chex mix and cookies have become the main source of nutrition for him over the past 2 weeks. We pop him a clementine or banana whenever we can.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Going Fishin'

This fall, Matt took Maya and Luke fishing for the first time. The kids loved it! It became a regular Wednesday outing for a few weeks since Wednesdays are early release days and Seth would be napping. It left me with a nice quiet house for a couple of hours, so I'm all for it.
Luke usually comes home sopping wet with lake water. He now has a pair of sneakers that are just for fishing trips so I don't care how wet and dirty they get.
On their second or third trip Maya caught a fish. She baited her own line, cast it out by herself and caught her very first fish! A small-mouthed bass we think. (There was a nature photographer there who said he thought that's what is was. We looked it up and it matches the pictures in the books, but who knows? I'm no fish expert) She named it lucky and she'll explain why in the video.


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Crazy Hair Day

Alright, I'll try to get these done in order. Time to think back.
September and October were filled with school during the week and soccer and church on the weekends. My kids love soccer as you've seen in previous posts.

School is keeping the kids nice and busy (but not too busy). Maya's quite a book worm and reads through several chapter books a week. At school she's really gotten into Tether ball. I haven't played that game since I was in elementary school. It sounds like it's making a comeback. Luke is doing a fantastic job learning to write all his letters and numbers. He's starting to sound out words. Pretty soon he'll be reading too.
The school had a spirit week and one of the days was crazy hair day. The kids had fun with it. Here's a few pics.

Of course with crazy hair comes crazy faces.

Slacker!

I am such a slacker. I didn't get around to writing a single post in the month of November. Now, once again I have a lot of catching up to do. The days are so busy with the kids and once I get them into bed my brain doesn't want to have to think anymore, especially if it has to use energy to come up with something interesting to say for each post. We'll try to do better.

I'll start with something funny that Luke said yesterday.
It's a Saturday morning and we're just waking up. Luke asks Matt to get him some breakfast, so Matt gets up. Before he goes he sits back on the bed to give me some hugs and kisses when Luke jumps onto Matt's back and says: "I'm in the love ball too."

That boy cracks me up!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Seth's Mad Soccer Skillz

I think I have another soccer player on my hands. This video was taken back on September 25th. That was the day Seth turned 18 months old. I'd say he's pretty good with a soccer ball.

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I have one more video with him kicking a full-sized ball, but for some reason it won't upload. Anyway, he loves it. He tries to run onto the field and play with the big kids, he can't get enough. I can't get enough of watching him.

Labor Day in Vegas

Matt actually had the holiday weekend off (I'm still getting used to him being able to have time off. It's always such a great surprise and it seems to happen a lot these days. I love it!!) so we headed down to visit my brother and his fam in Las Vegas. Two other brothers and my youngest sister also made the trip out and so it turned into a Crop family affair. We had tons of fun. The kids had a great time. We adults hardly saw them because they were all having such a great time together. I wish we were closer to family and able to see them all the time. Amidst all the great talking and hanging out, there were lots of fresh baked cookies and See's chocolates, Nertz! and BYU football.
Of course Vegas is HOT so we headed to the Air Force base to enjoy the pool.
(Me, my sister-in-law Rachel, and my sis Kendra with Ryan and Julia on the laps)

(Silly faces of course have to be made for the camera. Maya, Jules, and Ashlyn)

(Caden, Brayden, and Luke)


(My favorite pic of the weekend)

(My brother Justin's family: His wife Rachel, and from left to right - Caden, Ryan, and Julia

Thanks for letting us invade your home for the weekend!)


(My brother Jared's family: His wife Tiffany and the kids from left to right - Brayden, Ashlyn, and Brinley)


(Left to right: My sis-in-law Miranda, my "little" brother Adam, and my little sister Kendra. . .

and yes, that is my very mature brother and doctor in the background with a toy lightsaber)


And here is my little fam - I think you know who we all are by now.

Had to get a shot of all the little cousins. This is only a small portion of all the cousins my kids are blessed to have. Like I said, I wish we could be closer. So much fun to be had.

Luke's 5th Birthday

On September 2, Luke turned 5!

He has grown up so much over this past year and we are so proud of who he is becoming.

Some of his favorites right now are:

Color: Blue

Dinner: Lasagna

Dessert: Cookies and milk

Toys: Bakugan and Transformers

Movies: How to Train Your Dragon, Cars, and Transformers

Games: Plants vs. Zombies, Sorry, and Sequence

Animal: Spinosaurus

Books: Transformer and Dinosaur books

Sports: Soccer and swimming

Here are some pictures of the birthday celebration. It wasn't a big fancy affair because we headed out on a road trip shortly after. But we sang happy birthday and opened some presents and enjoyed some ice cream before heading out on the road to visit family for the Labor Day holiday weekend.






Below is another little birthday party that we had with family in Vegas over the weekend. Tons of fun and another post on that will follow.


Happy Birthday, Luke! We love you tons!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

First Day of school

August 18th (I think) was the first day of school for Maya and Luke . Maya started 3rd grade and Luke started Kindergarten. Here Kindergarten is only half a day, which works out well for Luke since he never did any preschool. (In Texas, Luke missed the cut off by 1 day - the cutoff being the 1st of Sept and Luke's birthday is on the 2nd. If we had stayed in Texas, Luke would be only old enough to start preK and would have to wait another year for Kindergarten. Here in California the cut off is in December, so Luke is old enough to start Kindergarten. My own little soapbox - they need to make the age cut off the same date throughout the country. So many families these days move around for work and it's confusing to have everything be so different state to state. It caused me a lot of stress in Texas because we knew there was a chance we would stay and a chance we would move to California and I wanted Luke to be prepared for either scenario which would effect his education schedule by an entire year. Anywho - it's all worked out and everything is fine.)

Here are some pics of the kids on the morning of their first day at Cambridge Elementary School.









Here's Luke waiting outside his Kindergarten classroom. At the end of the day he came out and I asked him how his day was. He excitedly told me they got to play on the playground 2 times! These are the important things in life, right?? That's my boy. Recess was always my favorite, too. Followed by gym.

Ready for our first day in the classroom.


Just look at that excited smile. As ready as I was for Luke to start school, I have to admit I was surprised at how hard it was for me to walk away and leave him there that first day. It's hard for a mom to let go and let her kid do some growing up without her.
Luke has such a great time and I love picking him up at the end of his school day and seeing that big smile on his face. He's growing up so fast.
Maya is doing great once again. Throughout her years of elementary school she has never had anything but green days. (Green is good, yellow means there was some trouble, and red is a bad day) She's so easy when it comes to school.
A funny note: Maya's teacher and Luke's teacher are married to each other. Crazy coincidence, huh?

Balancing act

On our way back from San Francisco we stopped to for lunch. The restaurant gave the kids dough to play with (I love when restuarants do this) and Seth got a little silly all on his own. I love watching his personality come out. He can be quite the little cheesball. He cracks me up every day. I love his face, especially his eyes as he concentrates on balancing the dough.

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The other Giants

I am from New York and so when I hear "The Giants" I automatically think NY football team. But out here on the other coast they have a Giants baseball team. We've heard that seeing a game here and experiencing the stadium is a must. Matt had a chance to go with the guys back in July and it did not disappoint. Here's a view of the stadium with one of the most scenic views around.

Milestones - Walking

Seth turned 1 last March. He is very smart but has always liked to do things on his own schedule. He was my first baby that let me see and pass my due date. My others came a few days before their due date. Maya and Luke were also walking right around their first birthday. Seth was content with crawling - he was a pretty speedy crawler after all. Through the spring and beginning of summer he would take a step here or there, but much preferred to crawl where he needed to go. We moved at the beginning of July and during that month he became a pretty good walker. Now he's running all over the place trying to keep up with his brother and sister. He wants to do whatever it is they are doing.
(As you can see from the pic and video - he loves to where his sunglasses. Also a first for one of my babies.)

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Below is a video from this past week. As I said, Seth likes to be doing whatever the big kids are doing (my husband is included in the"big kid" category). Luke and Matt were working on their super hero fighting skills and Seth decided he needed to show his off as well. It was pretty cute - er, I mean, amazingly tough.

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My 31st Birthday

For my birthday this summer we decided to check out the Exploratorium in San Francisco. ( My birthday was at the end of July - still catching up on blogging about the summer) We were still living in the TLF (temporary lodging facility) on base and didn't have a babysitter, so we needed to do something kid friendly. We were originally gonna go check out a California beach, but honestly, after driving from Texas I didn't want to make a several hour car trip and we were having a cold summer anyway and I knew I wouldn't be able to relax on the beach cuz I'm a mom and need to have my eyes on my babies at all times in a place like that.

Anywho, I thought since we live to close to San Francisco we should check it out. Went to some tourism websites and found out about the exploratorium which is a really cool hands on science museum. So on my birthday, we hopped in the car and headed to San Francisco.

As we got close to the bay area, you could see the wall of fog/clouds wanting to break over the mountains to our side where it was completely sunny clear skies. The picture below doesn't do the wall of clouds any justice. It was really cool looking.

Coming up on the Golden Gate Bridge. It took us a little under an hour to get there. Not a bad drive at all.



Here are the kids climbing in the geomotry area. There were all kinds of cool things to touch and see and learn about. Up in the biology area they were sitting at a table dissecting a cow heart for all the kids to see and explaining all the parts. There were areas where you experimented with light, air, magnets, heat, gravity, all kinds of things. If you are ever in the area, it's definitely a great place to take the kids. We had a blast.



The day before my birthday, Maya and I went out for manies and pedies. It was her very first time. (I didn't get my first until a few days before my wedding.) We had lots of fun and I told her it could be a once a year birthday thing for her. Here are our super cute toes.

The Kids