July 29, 2013

My Little Cutie

Lest we forget that I have an adorable new baby, here's some Levi.

Upon receiving a paci today, he stuck his thumb into the hole and sucked both together for the paci-thumb double whammy. Unfortunately, he was starting to lose his grip on both by the time we snapped the picture. But it was cute, none the less.

On our family walk last night, Levi sat up in the stroller like a big boy and wore his cute Nikes that my Uncle Jeff bought for Steven when he was a baby and all four of my kids have now worn.

During an evening at the park, Levi hung out on his blankie keeping the football safe.

And tonight, during Family Game Night (some Wii 100-pin bowling is going down in the background), Levi thought Mommy was pretty funny.

July 26, 2013

Summer Wrap-Up 2013

August will be here next week and I may be rushing fall a bit here, but I’m going to go ahead and wrap up the summer. If I pretend that summer is coming to a close, the weather will start cooling down. Right? My first Vegas summer has been brutal. Maybe the extra 10 pounds of baby weight I’m carrying around isn’t helping. But that week of 110+ earlier this month did me in. I am over the summer. Fall is my favorite season and every year around this time, I start really missing my jeans and boots. So, here it is: my summer wrap-up.

Our Summer 2013 has been another busy one. With Levi arriving just before the summer, we’ve been extra busy and all without even leaving town. May brought our first summer visitor when my mom came out for Levi’s birth. She spent two weeks with us being Super Grammy. She cooked and cleaned, cared for the kids, kept them entertained and basically gave me a break from life. Having a pre-school teacher for a grammy really does pay off. She had all kinds of great activities for the kids and they didn’t complain of boredom once while she was here.

mom3The girls on Mother’s Day

mom1First snuggle with Grandbaby #6

 mom2With the big kids at Red Rock Canyon

  mom4 Grammy and Jack-Jack


About a month later, Grandma Koper came out to visit for a week. While she was here, Steve’s sister and nephew, Aunt Michelle and Cousin Mason came out for a few days, also. We had such a nice time with them. Lots of relaxing around the house, going out to eat, a little bowling, a trip to the theater to see Monster’s University and lots of passing the baby around. Levi had just started smiling when Grandma came out and boy did he turn on the charm for his Grandma! She would hold him and speak Tagalog to him and he would just smile and smile. He is a big fan of his Grandma and apparently of her native language!

IMG_1214Grandma with 5 of her 8 Grandchildren

 IMG_1217 IMG_1445


 IMG_1460 Grandma and the big kids at World of Coca-Cola

Fast forward another month: My dad made the trip to sunny Las Vegas to see us for a few days. He spent lots of time being climbed on and tugged on by the big kids and lots of time walking around the house with Levi in his arms. When Levi would fuss, he’d always become content if Grampy held him so he could look around as Grampy walked laps around the house, just as he did with me when I was a baby, both my sisters as babies and each one of his other 5 grandchildren. Such a good Grampy.



IMG_1549 pic

IMG_1544Our mistaken trip out to Red Rock Canyon. We lasted as long as a quick picnic in the shade and then left. It was just too hot.

We have enjoyed having so much family come out to see us this summer and we are looking forward to one more visit next month! My sister, Holly and her family are coming out to see us in just a few weeks. We have a fun-packed 10 days planned so that will be a blog post all of its own.

In other Summer 2013 news:

IMG_1287[1] These 4 have just gotten cuter all summer long.

securedownload Gabby has lost three of her front teeth at the same time!

IMG_1270[1] We finally wore this kid out! Steven NEVER falls asleep in the car. It was worth documenting.

IMG_1232[1] This chubby boy weighed in at his 2-month check-up at 13.6 pounds. He is in the 76th percentile for weight and 90th for his length at 24.5 inches. My little beast!

IMG_1188[1] IMG_1193[1] Gabby got to go on her first motorcycle ride with Daddy. She loved it even if she was a little warm in all of her protective gear.

IMG_1076[1] With all of our visiting family, Steve and I have been able to enjoy several date nights. Yay!

IMG_1077[1] Gabby and Jack shared a bed for a few nights while we had lots of visitors. One night Steve and I checked on them and found them all snuggled up like this. So sweet. I’m sure they’ll love this picture when they’re teenagers. Ha!

IMG_1500[1] We spent 50 minutes perched up on top of this pile of construction wood waiting with a PERFECT view for our housing subdivision’s firework show on the 4th of July. 45 minutes after the show was supposed to start and hadn’t, we gave up, climbed down and went home. Of course as soon as we got home, we saw it start. Oh, well. Maybe next year.

IMG_1459[1] We visited M&M World on the strip. Pretty fun…and yummy!

IMG_1351[1] My kids became expert grasshopper catchers this summer. When Jack sees one, he yells, “Grasshopper Ahoy!” And then the chasing begins. It usually ends with one poor grasshopper that is caught and passed back and forth between the kids.

And now, You’re All Caught Up!

July 18, 2013

Seven things I am Smiling About This Morning

Levi has been asleep for 9 straight hours and is still going. I woke up and had to make sure he was still in the crib. He has never slept past 6am before. It is now 8am.

My dad flies in tomorrow to meet the baby and hang out for a few days. We are pretty excited to spend time with Grampie this weekend.

I made my first loaf of homemade sprouted wheat flour bread last night. I thnk it was a success.

I fit back into my favorite shorts yesterday.

Levi started sucking his thumb all on his own yesterday. Pretty sure that's why he has been able to sleep so long. Self-soothing babies are a gift.

I bought homeschool material for Gabby's Kindergarten and Jack's Pre-K yesterday. I think I'm as excited as they are to start working through the workbooks.

My kitchen island is covered in produce - strawberries, cherries, grapes, asparagus and peaches. There is no room for them in the fridge. Something about having a full fridge makes me feel like a successful homemaker.

The end.

July 14, 2013

Random Kid Stuff…Extremely Random

Warning: The random jumps in subject from one * to the next are extreme. You’ve been warned.
* Levi Thomas is two months old, today. Two months sure went fast. He is sleeping 7-8 hours straight most nights. He eats every 2-3 hours during the day. He is filling out his 3 month clothes quite well and we just moved up to size 2 diapers this week. He smiles at anyone who talks to and smiles at him.
* We got a little bit of rain and a lot of clouds earlier this week. It was so amazing to have some cool evenings. The kids and I spent one evening in the back yard. Levi and I sat on the porch while the big kids ran around the yard with their umbrellas in the light mist. It was cool and breezy and it felt like heaven. After running around for a bit, Jack came over to the couch and let me know that he was cold and he wanted to go inside and drink hot cocoa. You know, since it was 85 degrees out. I told him we were standing by Sheldon Cooper’s rule of only drinking hot cocoa in months that have an “R” in them.
* Jack amazed Steve and I today. Steven and Gabby went to a friend’s house to play for a few hours and this gave us some time with just Jack. Much to our utter disbelief, we found through conversing with Jack that he knows (although he has never been actually taught by either of us) the sounds that most letters make. This led us to ask him to spell some words. And he did. This led to us asking him to write some words. And he did. I have NEVER taught Jack what letters say or how to write them. I am not proud of this fact. I should have been teaching him these things. I had taught Steven by his age. I am a total slacker of a mother in this regard, but apparently it doesn’t matter. Here’s proof:
Jack Spells!
Adorable, right? And yes, we will work on writing from left to right eventually.
* Gabby pulled a tooth out the other night. It, also was caught on camera. Her reaction is precious.
Gabby’s Tooth-Pull
*Also on a Gabby note, I want to share an oldie but a goodie. I just have to. Today, I got online and saw a headline on my homepage about how Anthony Weiner is running for mayor of New York, but due to a past sex scandal, may not make it far in the race. Anthony Weiner’s sex scandal is one that I will never forget. I don’t know, nor do I care to know a single detail of the scandal. What I do know is that in the summer of 2011, he was involved in one. Because of this, he was mentioned in the news often for a few weeks. One day during that summer, the kids and I (five-year-old Steven, three-year-old Gabby and almost two-year-old Jack) were in the car listening to the Christian music station while running errands. At ten-till every hour, there was 5 minutes of national news on the station. And this particular day, then-Senator Weiner was mentioned. This brought giggles from the backseat. Steven said, “He said ‘wiener.’” I felt it necessary to let the kids know that the guy on the radio was talking about a person NAMED Weiner, and not about A wiener. More giggles. The following day, we are in the car again and the news came on. This time, just the sound of Mr. News-announcer’s voice brought back the memory for Gabby. She giggled and asked Steven, “Remember yesterday, there was a guy, (Giggle) and his name was (Giggle) Penis!"
See? I had to share it. It’s just too funny not to share.
* We don’t do a “tooth fairy” thing with the kids. But when they get a tooth out, we take them to the Dollar Tree and let them pick something out (We’re big spenders like that). Steve took Gabby to the store for her treat after this last tooth. While the two of them were gone, I wondered what he’d come home with. Steve has only been in the Dollar Tree once or twice before. He loses his mind a little in that store. EVERYTHING IS A DOLLAR!! He came home with about 20 glow sticks, some water guns, 200 water balloons, and Gabby’s jump rope that she picked. The rest of our evening looked like this:
IMG_1200[1] (Sleepy Levi was not that impressed)
There are no pictures of it, but the following day there was an EPIC water-balloon fight in our backyard. It was awesome.
I am so thankful for the memories my kids will have of their super-fun dad.
*Steven has been working hard this week to stop biting his nails. He has been a nail-biter for about three years. But lately, it has gotten really bad. The nails on his index finger were looking absolutely horrible so I set up an incentive-system to hopefully encourage him to stop. So far, his nails are starting to look quite a bit better after just over a week! I am impressed with his determination to stop and I hope we can end the habit this summer, once and for all. Steven seems to be very habitual. Once he starts doing something, it is often difficult to break him of it. But this is going well and I am proud of him.
IMG_1148[1]Day One – Yikes!

IMG_1212[1] Day 10 – Getting better!
So, there’s some randomness about the kids….And now you’re all caught up!

July 9, 2013

Picture Mania

It’s been a little over a week without Facebook for me. My month-long hiatus from time-wasting and staring at my phone has been good. One downfall, however is my desire to share adorable pictures of my children with my family and friends as well as interesting things going on. I’m sure my family is thrilled (sense the sarcasm) with the endless stream of texts and picture mail I’ve sent them about various things that I normally would have just posted on Facebook for them to see. I have much to share! So, here goes:
IMG_0972[1]Some hiking we did at Red Rock Canyon. This beautiful place is about a 20 minute drive from our front door!
IMG_0978[1]That’s Steven up there!
IMG_0986[1]Jack, my little mountain-goat
IMG_0987[1] A little rest for Levi and me on his very first family hike
We have spent a few afternoons enjoying the children’s museum. Places like this are why I love being a city-girl. This place is HUGE! Three stories of arts and crafts, science and experiments, and hands-on fun for the kids in the cool air conditioned building while it’s 117 degrees outside. Annual pass for the whole family? Yes, please.
And of course, we’ve taken 1.2 million pictures of this guy. Here are a few of my recent favorites.
We celebrated the Fourth of July in the best way possible – with lots of fire crackers!
Mt Charleston is a place we enjoy visiting often for hiking, sledding in the winter, and pretending we don’t live in the desert. It is currently on fire. Our neighborhood is on the edge of town closest to the mountain and we are still many miles away from the fire itself, but the smoke has put our home under a thick, brown cloud and covered our yard in a thin layer of ash for almost a week, now.
IMG_1159[1] We are all quite intrigued by the fire. Every time we leave the house, there is much discussion in our van about the big brown cloud of smoke. Steven took the trash out for me this morning and when he came in, he told me that outside looks like the beginning of The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy is in Kansas and everything is brown and the tornado is coming. He saw this movie for the first time earlier this week and after watching it, let me know that while he did enjoy the movie, the book was better. He’s so awesome.
And now you’re all caught up!