Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Day 2014

Christmas morning, the magically mornings of memories! Isaac was up first, excitedly calling Keila to say that Santa had arrived. We followed slowly and had a bit of time to snuggle everyone for a some good morning loves. Eli was a hoot, he sensed the excitement and giggled his infectious laugh while he played peekaboo with the blanket. I think he refected joyous feeling we were all having that morning.
The excitement upped another level after we finished a 'decent' breakfast. Isaac was ready to jump out of his skin!
Eli was a little overstimulated with all the noise. Nothing that a little snuggling won't fix though.
Stockings came first. This year Santa was uber generous with giving Isaac Pokemon cards, sixty of them - Santa can't pass up a deal when they're usually fifty cents a piece. He has definately secured at least another year of belief from this skeptical boy of mine.
Everyone always gets a beanie baby from a old collection Kent had.
sweets for Mama and Baba.
Pokemon obsession taking control!
Keila was so excited to open her present, it was the largest one under the tree. She began tearing the wrapping breathlessly saying, "It's a ... it's a ...huh???" I suppose a food dehydrator wasn't exactly what a 5yr old wants! Afraid her excitement would quickly turn to tears, we reassured her that her gift was inside. She was pleased to find it was a jewelry tree with rings, braclets and necklaces to her heart's content.
We no longer need to worry about losing rock identification books from the library as Isaac has his own.
Keila's homemade gift to us.
Eli spent most of the time playing with Kent's shoes and took some coaxing to open his own presents. He enjoyed ripping the paper more than anything but once the excitement wore down, he loved each of his gifts.
Leora took a nap through most of it but once everyone else was entertained with their gifts she got to open hers and enjoy a little attention.
The rest of the day was spent in content play, a visit to the park as well as a short visit with friends. It was a day full of love.
How grateful we are for this joyous day of our Saviors birth, for family, home and friends. merry Christmas to you all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December in a Flash

Random happenings for December.

One of our traditions is a gingerbread house. For this year we did gingerbread men. While the older two enjoyed the activity, Eli and I did therapies, otherwise known as playtime.
Magnets are the best toys! Eli giggles when he finally figures out which side will stick to the fridge. In the meantime I push them up higher so he has to work his back and shoulder muscles to pull them off.

Always a favorite of ours, that sharing down syndrome of Arizona and their Christmas party. This year we were able to hold one on the west side and it was exciting to see so many people attend. The place was packed and next year we will have to do it at a different location. Obviously Eli wasn't too keen on being on Santa's lap, but at least he didn't cry!
We also attended the ward Christmas party. This year all the children in the primary classes had a part in the nativity program. Even the nursery kids which included Elias sang a song before hand. I wasn't sure how Eli would do since he was pretty overstimulated by all the noise and candy, but I was surprised to see him standing up there without Kent and doing the hand actions to his song. We made costumes from items at home, Isaac was a shepherd and Keila was an angel. She was so excited to wear the hairpiece I had when I got married as her halo!
Someone also made snowballs for the kids. The older two had a blast, even Eli got into it eventually. A snowball fight, Arizona style!

Leora, Eli and I got to join in on Keila's preschool Christmas party. Keila was thrilled to have us there and to make the day perfect, her best friend Mona brought her a Christmas card and small gift. It touches me so to see my girl so happy.

We also spent some time handing out kisses and hugs (both chocolate and real ones) to some ward members. We were surprised to be given something back. This gingerbread house was a unexpected gift from Cookie Horne. I think we've just adopted another grandma!

This years homemade gift was caramel popcorn. Every year I try something new and this seemed like the cheapest option for making gifts for all of Kent's coworkers as well as our friends. I was rather proud of the results. Popcornopolis has me as competition!

From our time with the occupational students of midwestern, we learned a lot about what a swing can do for our kids. Kent installed one on the patio and it has been a huge hit for everyone. I love it when they snuggle up together in it.
Christmas eve was spent with Kent's side of the family. We had so much fun at Thanksgiving with all of them we had to see everyone and have the fun of Santa come and visit. Isaac and Keila had a blast with their cousins and Leora was introduced to a few of her aunts and uncles.
Good food, friends and family and plenty of fun make for great memories!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fond Farewell to a Bunny Girl

Almost 11 years ago we welcomed a beautiful furry friend into our home. I had about two miscarriages before this and that holiday season Kent had considered buying me a rabbit for a gift. We shopped for her together on his birthday and when I picked Sunshine up she immediately gave me what we fondly refer to as 'lickey kissies'. Kent was not so lucky and picked up one who peed on him in fright! It was a rather clear decision.

We named her Sunshine after the song I would fondly sing to her and for many years she was our first 'baby'. She would play tag with us in the backyard doing Mary Poppins leaps whe she was particularly happy, then settle quietly in my lap in the evenings while we watched a movie. It was always funny how she would silently hop up to a guest and starle them by nudging their feet. She loved bananas and cold cereal and was rather particular about certain spots in the home where she would nap. She was our little music critic and even my piano students would notice how she'd settle down next to their feet if they played a quieter soothing song well. We took her to see the nursery kids and she would put up with all the petting and curious poking. We loved her. Of all the kids she connected the most with keila even when she was young and most likely to be rough with her. keila often sought comfort from sunshine when things weren't going well with big brother. Here she is in her younger years.

We held a small memorial where we each talked about our favorite things about her. It was really nice and in the process the grief the kids we were feeling turned into gratitude for the small joys a loving pet can give. It's hard to believe it's been almost 11 years, we will miss our dear fuzzy friend.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Leora Hui Mei Montierth

Our precious pumpkin Leora Hui Mei Montierth was born on October 21, 2014 at 10:31 am. Her much anticipated birth came after a slew of long awaited doctor appointments for the other kiddos. We were grateful to be able to be induced that Tuesday morning and oh so grateful for the help we received for the other three kiddos.

The final preggie picture of me at 3 in the morning just before the induction. I can't believe how big my belly is! Things went fast and I was dilated to a 10 before they had fully finished the epidural. She came out at 7lbs 11 ounces and nearly 21 inches long - my biggest baby! Obviously the nausea due to pain in the last trimester didn't hurt her one bit!

I could always tell she was a strong one, even when she was in the womb. Her cry reflected it too.

Our little pumpkin has finally arrived! Clearly she is adored in all the following pictures.

I still can't believe we are a family of six now!

The first smile captured on camera!

Our little button just a few weeks old. She's debuting her very first outfit for church, one that big sister Keila carefully selected for her much adored baby sister.

We are so thrilled to have her here! While it is nothing of what we had pictured for ourselves a year ago, we wouldn't change it for anything! Welcome to our crazy wonderful life Leora!