Friday, December 23, 2011

The Taylors Visit the Big Guy

I admit, it took me a while to enter Christmas mode this year. Life just seemed to get in the way, and the hustle and bustle of Christmas was more annoying than anything. But then, with a little over a week to go before Christmas, we found the Christmas spirit. We've packed in lights, hot cocoa, parties, wrapping, movies, and a visit with the Big Guy in Red. For the record, I tried to get the perfect picture where all three of my kids were looking at the camera with sparkling smiles, but we got these instead:

Isn't Lizzie's confused little face priceless?

Bring on the BIG DAY! The Taylors are ready.

And to my you, my cyber pals, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Our Dancing Princess

I came to a realization at Halle's Christmas Dance Recital: My baby girl is getting old. Somehow, she's gone from a little girl who got up on stage, and shuffle stepped to "I Want a Hippopotomus for Christmas," to a sassy little girl dancing to a Christmas rock song. We've moved from curly ponytails to hair pieces. How did time go so fast?

Like always, Halle shined during her dance. She is so showy. I love it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The World is His Outhouse

We have a minor problem at our house. Chase, our newly potty-trained son, is having a slight problem understanding that even when he's outside, he still needs to go inside to use the bathroom. To him, it's a total waste of time. He'd much rather just drop his drawers wherever he is, and take care of business--if you know what I'm sayin'.

Case in point:

Yesterday, I took the kids to get ice cream after Halle returned home from school. After I got Lizzie out of her carseat, I walked around to the other side of the van to find Chase with his pants around his ankles, peeing all over the garage floor. "Mom, big pee," he tells me. Halle thought it was the funniest thing she had ever seen. And, I admit, it was hilarious, but I tried not to laugh, so I wouldn't encourage the behavior. We had a nice talk about using the potty, and I moved on with life.

Which leads to:

Today, Chase was in the front yard with Halle & the neighbor kids picking up leaves. Sam and I were watching them from the front window. Lo and behold, he hadn't been out there 5 minutes, and he needed to pee. Go inside right? No. Who needs inside when you can just take care of business on the curb as a couple cars are driving by?!? Mortified, I sent Sam out after him. The neighbors got a good laugh at it. We had yet another talk about coming into the house to use the potty.

Yes, we have a little problem on our hands. Please, as winter time approaches, remind your kids not to touch the yellow snow. Or, for that matter, please remind them not to turn the snow yellow. We will definitely be having that conversation at our house.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chase is 3!

We celebrated Chase all day on Friday. He loved it! He was spoiled with TONS of presents, which left Sam and I wondering what we are going to do for Christmas. Oh, well. We will worry about that another day.

He loved blowing out his candle. So much, in fact, that he blew it out 6 times. 3 times when Grandpa & Grandma Taylor came over, and 3 times when Grandpa & Grandma Burr visited.

At 3, Chase:

**loves garbage trucks, or "Stinky", as he calls them
**still has not made it through an entire sacrament meeting (45 minutes is his longest stretch)
**LOVES "tall, tall, big" (also known as milk... he likes us to fill up his cup "tall, tall, big)
**is potty trained!
**is improving his speech every day. We are so proud of him!
**is the master of pestering Halle. They fight about 10 times a day (or 20... 30...)
**loves following his Papas around.
**loves going to school each week.
**loves helping his daddy with tools, yard work, or anything else Sam is doing.
**is the sweetest little 3 year old around!

Happy Birthday, Chase! We love you!

Friday, October 28, 2011

October Fest

My blog has been nothing short of pathetic lately. True, things have been busy, but I could have found time to catch up with all of you in cyberland. My apologies. So, instead of making individual posts about the last month, I'll sum it up in one post.

1. Halle, our adorable first-grader, is in full school mode. She LOVES school. Her reading has really taken off, and her penmanship is almost better than mine. She makes life easy.

2. We took Chase to the neurologist to get some more information on his speech. He is making a lot of progress, but he is no where near where an average child his age should be. The doctor diagnosed him with dysarthria. It sounds bad, but we've been dealing with this so long, that we were finally happy to have any sort of diagnosis. Basically, Chase will struggle with speech for a while, but our goal of having him speak mostly clear by kindergarten is still intact. I argue with the insurance company often because speech is considered developmental, so getting coverage for therapy is hard. Hopefully, this new diagnosis will help.

3. Road trip! We went to St. George over UEA break. I love taking the kids down there. We have such a good time just hanging out as a family. (Plus, there is a Christensen's there. Bonus!)
The weather was gorgeous, and once again, I left wondering why we don't just move down there.
Sam & Chase spent hours on the golf course. It looks like I've got another golf fanatic on my hands.

4. Lizzie entered babbleland. Because of Chase's speech difficulties, I've been watching Lizzie's speech signs closely. This month she took off! Yea! Here's what she says:

Me: ma ma ma ma ma
Lizzie: da da da da da

5. We all went to the BYU/Idaho State game. I haven't gone to a BYU game in a long time, but we decided to risk taking all of the kids. They were awesome!

6. We made the annual visit to the pumpkin patch. Apparently, everyone in the valley found out about the pumpkin patch, because it was crazy!

The kids had a fabulous time, and I even convinced them to pose for a few pictures. (Well, most of them.... I always have to get action shots of Chase.)

7. We went to Chase's school Halloween party. It was amazing. I wasn't expecting much, but it blew away every Halloween bash I have ever attended. They had about 50 different games for the kids to play, lots of food & adorable decorations.

8. And, our best news... Chase is potty-trained! I convinced myself that he would be in diapers until he was 16, but after someone "stole" his diapers, it wasn't too bad. We make sure he goes to the bathroom a lot, so he's only had a few accidents.

So, in sum, it has been a pretty good month. We've spent lots of time together, which makes us all happy, especially me! Bring on Halloween!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Go ahead and remove my name from the Mother-of-the-Year Ballot

When I was a little tike, I loved The Baby-Sitter's Club books. I read all of them. Even the Jr. Club books (and those were lame). So, needless to say, I was a pretty dedicated member of the Ann M. Martin fan club. In one book (#33 Claudia & the Great Search--google it), Claudia is convinced that she is adopted for a variety of reasons, one of which is that her parent's don't have as many pictures of her childhood as her older sister.

Now that I've taken you through a second grade book report, I'll explain what made me think of that story. Our sweet Lizzie is adorable. She is sweet. She has the most beautiful blue eyes you've ever seen. And, me, her pathetic mother, have a few handfuls of pictures of her.

When Halle was 8 months old, I had a few thousand pics of every possible baby moment available. When Chase came, my documentation slowed significantly, but there are still lots of pictures of most of Chase's babyhood.

I have to remind myself to take pictures of Lizzie. I don't pack the camera around most of the time. If I did, Chase would bury it in the sandbox, or squirt it with the hose. To me, that's a pretty good excuse.

So, one day, when Lizzie comes up to me and asks why Halle & Chase photo pile trumps hers, I'll hand her a really old, ragged copy of The Baby-Sitter's Club because I'm pretty sure that Claudia's parents gave her some good, loving advice at the end of that book.

Isn't it amazing how "literature" can help us out! Thank you, Miss Ann M. Martin.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day of First Grade

Last night at our annual (two years running) "Back-to-School Dinner Extravaganza," Sam and I both told Halle all about our first grade years. It was amazing how much we remembered. So, it's a little surreal that we have a little girl entering the first grade.

Halle has been so excited to start school. She loves school, and we love that she loves it.

When we saw her class list this year, she was a little disappointed that she didn't have any friends in her class. After a few days of feeling bad, she finally said, "Mom, I'm just going to be super nice to everybody, and be everyone's friend." What a sweetie.

We are so excited to watch Halle learn and grow this year. First grade is going to be great!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You Don't Know the Trouble I've Seen...

In the next issue of the dictionary, I'm pretty sure if you look up the word "trouble" there will be a picture of Chase next to it. I know, I know. Everyone says that their two-year-old is challenging, but according to Sam, Chase is in the top 5% of naughty two-year-olds. I don't know what research he conducted to come up with that statistic, but I'm pretty sure he's right.

But every now and again, Chase is completely adorable. His big, brown eyes have super powers. It's true. He can get pretty much anything he wants with those puppy-dogs.

Today was one of those days when Chase completely melted our hearts. He started toddler class today. His class is part of the early intervention program that he is a part of to improve his speech. He walked right into class (backpack included) and didn't bat an eye when we left.

His teacher said he had a fabulous day. Imagine that! I was nervous that he was going to get the ol' "heave ho" after day one. But, alas, Chase behaved. We couldn't be prouder.

Once he turns 3, he will enter a speech preschool. We are hopeful that these opportunities give him as much help as he needs to work on his speech delay. But, in the meantime, he is growing up, and having a great time. So, watch out, World. Here comes Trouble!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

I remember as a child, summer always reached a point where it was definitely time to go back to school. I'd splashed, rode, and eaten enough popsicles to suffice my needs. Eventually--even though I hated to admit it--I needed a schedule.

We have nearly reached that point in our house this summer. We love the sunshine and the fun of outdoors, but we need a reason to be out of our pajamas before 11:00. The last few weeks have entered Groundhog Day mode. Each day is a near mirror image of the prior day. Here's our rundown:

8 a.m.: Halle heads downstairs to watch t.v. in her underwear. Always in her underwear. Apparently she's decided putting on pajamas takes too much work. Lizzie plays with toys. Chase is still asleep. Sam heads off to work, and I start getting ready for the day.

9:00 a.m.: Chase wakes up and asks for dad. Not home. Chase cries. Halle still in the basement. Lizzie eats. Me? Still not ready.

10:00 a.m.: Halle & Chase fight. I break it up. Lizzie naps. Chase wakes her up. Me? Closer, but still not ready.

12:00 p.m.: Lunch. Everyone is finally ready.

1:00 p.m.: We head outside, where we will remain for most of the day. Chase proceeds to start moving the recycling bins around. He likes to line up our trash cans with the neighbors. Sometimes he can convince a neighbor kid to help him out on his quest. Apparently, the outdoor toys are no longer fun, so we have to look for other forms of entertainment. Lizzie chills on my lap or in her playpen. Halle plays with friends.

2:00 p.m.: Popsicles.
4:00 p.m.: Lizzie heads in to nap.

5:30 p.m.: Sam comes home! I hand Chase off to him. Lizzie wakes up. I start making dinner with Lizzie perched on my hip.

6:30 ish: Dinner. Someone spills something.
7:00 p.m.: Back outside for a walk or chit-chat with the neighbors.

8:30 p.m.: We come in and try to convince the kids to go to bed. Lizzie obeys. Halle & Chase don't. Cartoons.

9:30 p.m.: Chase falls asleep. Halle occupies herself. I don't know what she does. I'm too exhausted to check.

10:00 p.m.: News.

11:00 p.m.: Sleep.

12:30 a.m.: Lizzie cries. Sam never hears her. I always do.

And then, we do it again...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summertime. And the Livin' is Easy.

Oh, Summer. I love you. It is so much fun to bask in the sunshine, and spend hours sitting on the grass. I love you so much, that blogging has taken a backseat. A major backseat. So, what does one do when there's lots of pictures and only so much time inside to blog? I know! A big, fat, throw everything into one blog post, kind of post. So here you go, peeps. Our summer. At least the last few weeks of it.

We made our grand reentrance to Salina for the 4th of July. It has been years since I have been back for the 4th, and we had a fabulous time. The carnival was great. We left with pocketfuls of prized possessions. Lunch at El Mexicano was super tasty, and visits with my grandparents were long overdue.

We headed back to SLC in the afternoon to enjoy a BBQ with Sam's family and one of the greatest fireworks shows I have ever seen. My father-in-law is like a 12-year-old when it comes to blowing things up.

We have been using my parent's Thanksgiving Point pass a lot. My kids love that place. And, when we are there, we are happy.

Of course, until we aren't....

And the sun is shining...

And the water is splashing...

And the horses are perfectly kid-friendly....

And, the toys are tasty....

And, pretty much that sums up our summer. Or, at least a few days of it. The rest of the time we are outside. But, I mentioned that already. I, don't, however, have any pictures of that. Feel free to imagine for yourselves...

Happy Weekend, All! Enjoy some sunshine!