And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Big 5-5

Being 29 years old and looking forward I feel like anything older than 30 is getting up there; however, when I look at my mom...she doesn't look like she's a day over 29. My mom is young, tenacious, loves fiercely, and is the best grandmother to my children that I could ever hope for.  This year we are so lucky to be able to celebrate with her on her special day!!

The day went pretty smoothly and aside from the time she was working was a lot of fun.  We had a delicious dinner, opened presents, and topped everything off with some of the Dullam's famous choc-full'O-bananas milkshake.  Everyone had a blast and my mom felt super special and spoiled; I would say birthday success!! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

9 Months Old

So here we are again...another month old.  I am finding myself loving this stage that we are at right now so much.  Parker is mobile, but not quite into everything yet...he interacts, he is easy going, is still super portable without being fussy, and his sleep schedule is finally on a predictable pattern.  I. Love. It!!

Parkers all around personality still ceases to amaze me.  He is so light hearted and fun.  He will laugh at just about anything and unless he is hungry, tired, or poopy he won't make a fuss.  He loves to laugh at his big brother and finds him to be just about the coolest person in existence.  He is becoming more and more a child of preference.  He will pick one toy and then carry that toy around for the entire day...He will crawl with the toy, eat with the toy, and sometimes sleep with the toy.  As of late it is Papa's Icebreaker mint box, but in the past has been a small Captain America Figurine, and a little block. 

Parker loves to go for car rides and can will fall asleep pretty easily in his car seat.  Sometimes thought he just gets deep into thought and when I think he is asleep, I look into the back and see his reflection in the mirror just staring back at me...usually with a little smile. 

Parker takes two naps during the day at 10 and 2 for about 1-2 hours with his little ocean sound machine on.  His bed time routine starts around 7:30 and consists of bath, bottle, jammies, a song, and then in his bed.  He typically will fall right to sleep when you lay him down, but if he can hear big brother anywhere then he will fuss for a few minutes before giving into the sleep. 

Parker has decided that he no longer enjoys baby food and wants to feed himself.  I was already leaning towards baby led feeding, so this style has been quite enjoyable for everyone.  I try and make some type of veggie and grain that I can cook really tender and then cut up really small.  For breakfast he will eat some type of fruit, a grain, and some yogurt.  He likes little snacks throughout the day as well.  For bottles he will eat 6oz formula bottles at 9, 12, 4, and 7:30.  He will also wake up during the night anywhere between 2am and 6am, eat a 4oz bottle and then go back to sleep.  I'm hoping to break him of this soon, but with him sleeping in a pack'n'play in my room the idea of letting I him cry it out is not too appealing. 

We are cruising just about everywhere right now.  Parker can pull himself up on just about any surface and gets more and more adventurous everyday.  He can bend down and pick something up and then stand right back up too.  He recently started clapping his hands together, and is beginning to make the formations of a "hello" and "goodbye" wave.  We still have no teeth, but the amounts of drool produced by his little mouth has increased ten fold in the last week or so, so I feel they are not too far off.

Life is becoming more and more enjoyable each and every day with our sweet little boys.  I love seeing them interact and each one play off the others personality.  Parker is the missing piece to our family and I can not imagine what our life was like without him!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Well, with the exception of taking trains we had quite the traveling experience.  Alone and over the course of 24 hours I took two kids, on a total of 3 planes, 2 layovers, and 1 long car ride.  The trip was tiring to say the least, but my kids did fabulous and we arrived safely. 

The trip stared at 5:30am at the Kadena Air Terminal...roll call started at 6:15 and with us being category 1 on emergency leave (Red Cross approved emergency leave so I could get back and see Grandma Linda who was in the hospital with terminal cancer) I was one of the first ones to be called.  We checked in at the gate, paid out $110 (total cost for 3 people to fly to the states!!), and then went and sat in the waiting area.  Lucky for me there were three cute little boys for D to play with and this little wait coincided with Parkers first nap; can you say perfect start!! 

The first flight took off and we all enjoyed touching every button, drinking as much soda as our little hearts desired, and sang every primary song we could remember (and even made up some).  The flight was a quick 2 hours and then a 2 hour layover in Iwakuni where we grabbed some hot breakfast and D played with his little buddies.  Back on the plane for another 2 hour flight and then another 4 hour layover in Yokota.  This layover was not nearly as fun with the terminal being much smaller and the kids patience with traveling starting to wear thin.  However, attitudes were still pleasant and I had yet to encounter a melt down of any kind. 

Back on the plane for the dreaded 9 hour flight to Sea-Tac.  The first few hours were long, but as soon as dinner was served and consumed, the boys put on their jammies and settled in for the night.  The only infuriating part of the flight was the fact that the man sitting in front of me decided to do the gentlemanly thing and recline his seat literally the entire flight; ate his dinner reclined (his body leaning forward of course), went to the bathroom with it reclined, and even read his book with it reclined.  The first two times Parker pulled the mans hair when he was standing on my lap I apologized...The 10 times after that I just smiled at the man.  Some people are just real class acts.  As soon as the boys fell asleep the trip went relatively quickly.  The whole plane seemed to fall into a deep slumber only to find that a few hours later in an attempt to acclimate us to Pacific Time Zone, the flight crew flipped on all the lights and started serving breakfast.  Lucky for me, my children slept through it...most other parents did not fare as well.  After a quick breakfast we made our descent and landed at Sea-Tac. 

As soon as we landed we went through immigration and then went to baggage to gather our things.  Now in order to get all my baggage and make it through customs with 2 suitcases, 1 huge stroller, 2 carry on's, a duck pillow-pet, and Parker strapped to my front...Dominik had to sit on the front of the stroller.  Up until this point I had not had to deal with even one tiny melt down.  I knew my luck had ran out the moment I saw Dominik sit on the back part of the stroller.  As soon as I told Dominik he needed to relocate to the front had just lost it.  I'm not talking on the floor kicking and screaming, but he was pretty clear through his cries that he wasn't moving.  In an attempt not to loose my cool despite my exhaustion, I got down to Dominik's level and explained to him that he had two choices...he could either walk or he could sit on the front...then I told him he had three seconds to decide or I would make the choice for him.  All the while I had a Sea-Tac employee breathing down my neck and saying "mam, you can't stay need to clear customs."  I politely told her that I was doing the best I could...I hoped that despite my polite words, my eyes displayed the fire of rage I was feeling towards her.  Once my leaning tower of stroller was assembled we made our way through customs.  I had several employees tell me that they had "mad amounts of respect" for me, and one nice man even fist bumped his chest twice and pointed at me. 

Once through customs everything was pretty much smooth dad picked us up curbside and then we started our 3 hour drive to the beautiful Portland.  The drive was beautiful with all the changing leaves, but even better was the fact that I could read every single sign on the freeway...something that someone from America takes advantage of.  I knew when a business was a restaurant, and I knew what a company was selling without having to inquire their website or hear word of mouth first. 

I am so excited to spend the holidays here in Portland with family!  The trip could not have gone any smoother and I feel so blessed to have such incredible children.  Despite not having TJ here with us, life is pretty perfect for us right now!!


This year for Halloween we opted out of trick or treating on base and went to our Church's Trunk-or-treat.  Well, in all honesty, with TJ being the branch president I'm not sure that the choice was really ours to make...but I feel confident that if we really did have the choice between on base and at the church we still would have chosen to go to the trunk-or-treat. 

We (by "we" I really mean me) decided to do an ocean"ish" theme as a family costume.  I sewed the boys some shark costumes and TJ and I went as surfers who had an unfortunate run in with a shark.  The costumes turned out really cute, and the boys were good sports about wearing their thick felt costumes despite the warm weather. 

At the trunk-or-treat there was a soup/chili/curry cook off before hand and I brought some taco soup.  It would seem that everyone else had a similar idea because there were at least 50 other taco soups to choose from.  The food turned out great and was the perfect Segway into the bounteous the kids would soon be acquiring.

TJ and I decorated our van's trunk to look like a Dracula and with our van's plug in we got to turn on some light to make it look extra cool.  Unfortunately for us, the missionaries arrived before we did and had the exact same idea.  I would like to say that ours looked way better...but they are missionaries and I don't want to lose blessings for talking smack about them ;)

Overall the night was great and the kids had a blast; I would say a successful Halloween.  I was glad that we arrived home at a reasonable hour too, because we were scheduled to fly out to the states early, early, early...did I say early, the next morning.