Monday, April 27, 2009

Life Has Really Been Happening Lately

What’s new with us? Quite a bit actually. It’s been a while since I’ve updated so a lot has happened since then. Tyler participated in a Cub Scout Fishing Derby and caught two very large trout: 18 and ¼ inches and 17 and ½ inches. The only pictures we got were these on the tray after they had been gutted and beheaded. But those are bigger than any fish I ever caught even from Cotter’s Pond (my brothers and cousins will know that reference). So not a bad day for a kid who had only fished once before in his life.
He also has started basketball season. They played well in their first game, but still lost. A friend from church (Jerry Balch) and I are coaching the team together (he has a son on the team as well). I missed the first game though because I was in the hospital. More on that later.

This is what happens when you let a 3-year-old dress himself.

We are probably going to have Bailey do tennis again this spring, then in the summer let her do something else. Trevin is going to do some sports classes with me as well, and he is starting preschool again this week.Lastly, Caden turned two on April 23rd and we finally had a little party for him on Sunday. He loved the Happy Birthday song and sang it to himself. He also enjoyed having cake and ice cream and opening his presents. He especially liked the ice cream, because he hasn’t really been able to enjoy ice cream for many months, since we took him off dairy. However, his ears are working perfectly and we have let introduced dairy back into his diet again. He went to the Dr. last week and checked out perfectly. He has another cold now, so if he avoids an infection this time, then it’s safe to say he has been cured of ear infections. Oh what a blessing it has been that he went to the naturopath. We can’t thank Cory enough, and of course, the Lord as well. And speaking of our little two-year-old, these are some of my favorite Caden-isms at this point in his young life:

Oh my goodness
No I didn’t
Swing and a miss
I hold you (meaning “you hold me”)
What are you doing dad (or mom)?
Bye, hope you find a new job (when I leave for work)
I got it! (when the phone rings)
Lastly, he likes to climb up on the piano bench to sing and play (the best a two-year-old can) “I Am a Child of God.” Quite sweet.

The kids also had a visit from their Aunt Ginger and two cousins Caleb and Ellie, recently. The six of them had a great time together.

Now for my hospital story; we got a call at 6:00 AM on Saturday from Carol’s mom. Her dad has been in the hospital for a week, and from the call it sounded like he was quite possibly on his death bed. They requested a blessing and wanted me and our Stake President, President Nashif. He was busy working out and so I paced around for 45 minutes waiting for him to get back to me. I hadn’t slept much or had anything to eat since the night before, so I was tired and little dehydrated, I would learn later. We eventually met up at the hospital and we gave him a blessing. Then, just seconds later, as we were about to leave, I felt dizzy light-headed and nauseous. I knew I was about to go down, so I headed for Carol’s Dad’s bed and laid down. The nurse quickly took my pulse and it was at an alarming 84/45 or something like that. They wheeled me down to ER and long-story-short, I spent the entire day in observation, taking several tests and several labs. The good news; everything checked out fine and it was most likely just caused from those several factors I mentioned, plus the fact that I stood with locked knees for a few minutes during the blessing. All those things combined and my body reacted. Anyways, quite a funny story now, but not how I wanted to spend my Saturday. On the plus side, I did get to watch most of the Sox beating the Yanks while I laid in bed all day. As for Carol’s dad, he is making some progress and might be able to finally be discharged tomorrow. And as for Carol, be sure to read till the end for a good laugh. Now onto the latest funnies…

Trevin has reached a point in his life where he is all-knowledgeable. Every time we tell him something, he responds: “I know that.” So I told him something recently, to which he replied, of course: “I know that.” I said, “every time we tell you something, you say: ‘I know that.’” He replied matter-of-factly: “Yeah, because I know everything.”

A couple of days later, I told Trevin he needed to go get his teeth brushed. He replied with his new catch phrase. I then you need to go get your diaper on, too. Again, “I know that.” I then said: “well if you know that, then why don’t you go get it done.” He said: “I don’t knew that.” Then, as if he remembered our conversation, earlier in the week, he said: “There is only one thing, I don’t know. I know everything else.”

We had a lesson on foul and vulgar language for Home Evening a couple of weeks ago. We talked about words that qualify as “garbage words.” So the other morning Trevin comes into our room and says, “Dad, Bailey said dumb.” I told him that wasn’t a nice word to say. He asked: “Is that a garbage word?” “I replied, yes it is a garbage word.” He quickly headed back out to the living room to report to Bailey that she had used a “garbage word.” We didn’t hear her response, but Trevin came right back to our room and asked: “Is ‘so’ a garbage word?”

The boys were watching one of the Blazers’ playoff games this past week and as the broadcast came back from a commercial, they happened to show the Blazer Dancers, as they often do. Usually we turn the TV off for commercials, but Carol was changing Caden’s diaper so she didn’t get to it. So Tyler and Trevin were watching pretty intently and Carol said: “OK, you don’t have to stare.” Trevin responded: “Yeah I do.”

Bailey does not like kidney beans. She disdains them. We have them as part of our dinner meals quite regularly because they are so good for you. Anyways, we usually only give her like 4 or 5, but even that is a fight. We always try to tell her that if she eats them with other things on her plate that she won’t even taste them. She complains that no matter what, she still always tastes them. So I told her: “It’s all in your head.” Then, in all seriousness and quite emphatically, Bailey says: “No, actually, it all goes in my tummy.”

Tyler and Bailey were whispering to each other at the table. However, they were covering the mouths on the side and actually talking into each other’s noses. So Carol said: “Where do you hear from, your nose or your ear?” To which Bailey responded: “I can hear from my nose, too. I’m a hearer.”

Trevin was eating some of Caden’s birthday cake and forked basically his whole piece. Of course, most of it fell off and tumbled to the floor. Carol said in a frustrated tone: “Trevin!”, to which he quickly responded: “That was the cake’s fault.”

Carol has too funny habits while she sleeps. She likes to talk occasionally and it always has hilarious results. Unfortunately, when she is pregnant, she tends to snore a lot, too. She doesn’t too often when she is without child. Anyways, recently it has been getting worse, as she progresses in her pregnancy. When she does, and I’m still awake, I gently try to bump her so she will just kind of move herself without waking up. So I did this the other night and she turns over to me with a big smile on her face, but says nothing. So I made a snoring sound to let her know why I had bumped her. She turned away immediately, saying nothing. I said; “I know, you can’t help it.” I then named off several other things that she says “I can’t help it” about, all in a loving way, though. Then I said: “What else can’t you help?” I thought she was totally awake at this point, mind you, but she replies: “When I go to school.” I said “what?” She said, “That didn’t come out right.” Anyways, we both got a huge laugh out of it. So a couple minutes later, I tell her good night again and she appears to be awake, but then literally two seconds after she says good night, she lets out a big snore. I laugh and she says, “What?” I asked: “Didn’t you hear that?” To which she replies: “That wasn’t me, it was the keys.” I repeated it to see if I heard it right, then laughed so hard, I almost started to cry.” She heard the noise, but didn’t even realize it came from her. It was so funny. Carol has insisted that I put a disclaimer in to explain that when she does this, she is half asleep and half awake and usually is dreaming. She says she gets her dreams and reality mixed up and that is why she says the things she does. Whatever the case, I always enjoy a good conversation with a half-asleep Carol.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

July Is Coming And Carol's Belly Is Growing

Happy Easter everyone! The kids enjoyed a good egg hunt here at the house and we made sure to remind them of the meaning of Easter with our FHE lesson last week. Plus, for good measure, some of the eggs had special messages in them to remind them that Jesus died for them because he loves them. We also hid an empty one to remind them that the tomb was empty after the Savior was resurrected. Hopefully they will remember that as they eat all their candy.
They also got a visit from Grandma Livingston and Monica on Saturday and Monica put on quite an egg hunt for them, they really enjoyed it and all the candy. Let's see, what else is new? Just an update on General Conference, I was replaying the first session on the computer one day this week and on two or three talks Tyler said: “Oh, I remember this talk.” And then he repeated what it was about. That was great to hear, and it tells me they indeed were listening at least some of the time. I have started up Wii Fit again, after a very long lay-off. My body has been feeling the pain all week, too. But it’s gotta be done. I need more energy to keep up with these kids.

We planted our strawberry bulbs this week, as well as a tomato plant, and we are anxious to plant the many other things we will try to grow in our first attempt at being Mr. McGregor. Let’s hope that pesky Peter Rabbit doesn’t show up.
Carol is doing well and the tummy is growing. Just three months to go, now, or maybe a little less. Trevin starts pre-school again in a couple of weeks, and Caden will probably be a little bored when he goes. He does well at entertaining himself most of the time, though. And he sure can talk up a storm. One of his favorite things to say right now is: “What are you doing, Mom (or dad)?” But he doesn’t necessarily like it when we ask him the same thing.

Bailey lost her fifth tooth this week, and this time she was biting the piano. Yeah, you read that right, the piano. She was holding up the lid with her teeth, so she could look inside the piano to see the stroke pads moving as she hit the keys. It slipped out of her mouth and her already loose tooth was hanging by a thread. Carol yanked it out and that was that. Hopefully this picture illustrates what I tried to explain.
One more thing; Bailey is quite thoughtful about remembering other people’s birthday’s and other occasions, and she drew this picture for her little cousin, Madison for her 2nd birthday, which is tomorrow. Here is a picture of it. She still plans to send it in the mail, but because it would be late we told her we could post it here for her cousin to see, on time.
Hope you all had a nice Easter. Now it’s on to the latest and greatest kids’ quotes:

Trevin was having some little stick pretzels for a snack and he had evidently stuck all of them in his mouth at the same time. He had a huge mouthful, and barely had enough room to chew. I said: “You need a drink.” He shook his head no. I said yes you do. He began to inch forward in his chair to head to the fridge, with a big grin on his face. I said: “See, I told you, you needed a drink.” He replied with a big grin: “There’s a lion behind you.” I guess that was supposed to scare me into submission.

Carol went in to check on the kids while they were sleeping. When she went to adjust Trevin in his bed, he mumbled something that she couldn’t understand, and then he said loud and clear: “In my royal underwear.” We have another Disney book to thank for that one. When Robin Hood and Little John rob Prince John in his coach they leave him nothing except his royal underwear. I guess that part really stuck with him.

Caden came back to our room and said to Carol: “I pee.” She asked, “You went pee?” he replied “yes.” She said, “It’s OK, you have a diaper on.” Caden replied: “Oh”

Carol got new frames for her glasses a couple months ago, which are kind of reddish. So, she recently updated her Mii on the Wii and made her frames red. She and the kids were playing the other night and she asked them if they had seen noticed the change. They said yes, and then Tyler said: “You should make yourself fatter because your tummy is fatter.”

Trevin left the bathroom light on and I called to him from our room to go turn it off. Nothing happened, so I continued to call for him. Finally, I got really loud; to make sure he could hear me. I wasn’t angry, mind you, just loud to make sure he could hear. He finally responded: “I’m coming right now, for crying out loud.”

Trevin, Tyler and I were getting ready to play basketball and I was helping Trevin get his basketball shorts on. He said: “We gonna win. And Tyler gonna lose. And then Tyler gonna pout.” So I tell Tyler about it and Tyler says “yeah right.” Then about 3 seconds later, Tyler says: “He might be right.”

The kids like tease mom about her growing pregnant belly, but honestly, they really aren’t getting it from me. Anyways, we tried turkey pepperoni on our pizza the other night and Bailey took a couple a bites then said: “This tastes different.” Carol told her it was turkey and said: “That means it has less grease.” Bailey then said: “But my pizza still has grease on it.” Carol replied: “But it has less grease.” Bailey then said (remembering something I once taught her): “Grease makes you fat. Mom, you must have been eating a lot of grease lately, cuz you’re kind of getting fat.”

My mom has done foster care for many years and she has had a little girl who is Caden’s age (2 this month) for most of her short life. So, the kids were asking Carol about when we got married and who was there? Bailey asked if Grandpa and Grandma Shirts were there, then if Grandpa and Grandma Livingston were there. She then asked if Monica was there (my youngest sister). She said yes to all of them. Then Trevin says: “But not Jaylyne, she was still in Grandma Livingston’s tummy.”

Bailey’s bed is made out of wood and kind of creeks when you get on it in a certain spot, at least according to Carol. So one night Carol climbs up on her bed and says: “Geez, Bailey, your bed sure is getting squeaky.” Bailey replied: “Yeah, because you keep getting bigger.”

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Don't Pay For Photos Anywhere Else

These are by far the best photos we've ever taken of the kids. They were so cooperative for the entire shoot and the shots couldn't have turned out better; don't you think? And in case you didn't know, you can click on the photos to see them much larger; and thereby then take in all their glory.
No, this is not a Halloween mask...

By far, the creepiest face she's ever made...

I think he almost pulled his cheeks completely off his face...

Not so creepy, but he saw his siblings having fun, so he gave his best attempt, unprompted by us. In fact, Bailey started the whole thing and as soon as we got the camera out, they all wanted a piece of the action.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Who Was That Four-Armed Man?

What a wonderful General Conference weekend we’ve had; but first a report on our Spring Break. After several impressions while listening to past General Conference addresses at work, I have felt the need to come up with a way to spend more one-on-one time with each kid. So we have started “Day out with Dad.” One day a month, I plan to spend several hours with each kid individually doing something together away from the home and their siblings. Being Spring Break, we were able to do all three of them this week. (Caden is still not quite old enough for this, but we’ll begin doing a scaled down version for him soon.) On Tuesday, Tyler and I went up to the church gym and played sports together. It was a lot of fun. On Wednesday, we went to Monsters vs. Aliens with Grandma Shirts. It was a pretty funny movie and the 3D was great. Then, on Thursday, Bailey and I went to the Library and checked out some books. However, Bailey is becoming quite the young lady already, and after a short time we headed to Once Upon A Child (used kids clothing store), where she tried on several dresses and then purchased one she really liked. She wasn’t done yet though; we then headed to the Dollar Store where after much deliberation, she bought a bag of bubble gum.

Trevin’s turn came on Friday, and of course, he wanted to do what Tyler did, so up to the gym we went again. We played catch with a football, then shot baskets, played kickball and played a little baseball. He was ready to head home though, after about an hour, so I asked him if he wanted to something else, like go look at toys at Wal-Mart (right across the street). He said he wanted to go where Bailey went and look at clothes. I said: “Look at clothes, really?” He confirmed, then I said: “That’s for girls.” He stopped and asked with a concerned tone: “Really?” I said: “Well guys look at clothes, too, but is that what you really want to do?” He decided to look at toys at Wal-Mart instead. All-in-all it was a fun week with lots of good moments with the kids.

And of course, I haven’t even mentioned Monday, yet. We finally brought soil in for our garden box, which we made two years ago. They were all very good helpers, including their cousin Hailey, who was spending the day with us. And they are excited to plant, and then harvest a garden.

Now to General Conference: We are to liken the scriptures unto ourselves, right? So with that in mind: Mosiah 2:1&5-6 read: “1…the people gathered themselves together throughout all the land, that they might go up to the temple to hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them. 5 And it came to pass that when they came up to the temple, they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family…. 6 And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them….”
We wanted to get the kids excited about conference, so we read them those verses and then set up their tents. We made them a word find, and came up with a good way to get them to pay attention. We chose about a dozen words or phrases and attached each of them to a different snack. Each time they heard a speaker use one of the words, they got the snack. Of course, they loved that game. Hopefully, over time, as they grow older, they’ll come to love and appreciate conference for its spiritual nourishment and not just the physical. But for now, we were pleased to see them sit (mostly quiet) through four sessions of conference. And Tyler and Trevin even went to the Priesthood session with me. They like to go (and are very reverent), so who am I to say no?

One other note on conference; Tyler gave us a lesson on the importance of general conference on Friday evening. As part of that, we all made two selections as to who we thought the new Apostle would be. Bailey went first and picked two from the 70. She then changed her second choice to Neil L. Andersen. I said, no you can’t pick him he’s my first choice. Of course, it was OK that we both picked him. I have listened to a few of his talks over the past several weeks, and I just had a feeling he would be the one. So, with that in mind, it was really cool to hear his name called.

Well, that is a recap on our Spring Break. Kind of wordy, but for those who don’t have this much time on their hands, remember Grandpas and Grandmas, do. Now, on to the latest funnies:

Trevin was on the couch with Carol and I and he kept stinking us out. Carol said: “Whoa, stinky tooters; point that bummy somewhere else.” Trevin replied: “Point that tummy somewhere else.”

Bailey was choosing her treat after lunch and we still have a few mint M&Ms left from Christmas, in a little container. She asked: “Can I have all of them?” I didn’t think she knew that they were the mint flavored ones, so I told her they were. She said: “Oh, then I’ll save them till next Christmas.”

Trevin wanted a toasted English muffin for breakfast, and he wanted to make it. I asked him how he was going to make it? He said: “You can butter it, and I can put it in the toaster.” I reminded him he couldn’t reach the toaster. He replied that Tyler got on the counter and did it. So I had him come over and I picked him up so he could put it in. He ran back to the table and excitedly said: “Bailey I put my English muffin in the toaster, all by myself.” Bailey remained quiet for a moment, and then said: “Well, I don’t have to be excited about it.”

Trevin likes to push his little brother around, tackle him and knock him over. It’s something we are always telling him to stop doing. That’s not working obviously, because he continues to do it. The other day he knocked him down and Caden’s forehead hit the corner of the couch. It is solid wood and it left a huge dent, which later turned into a huge bump which starts in the middle of his eyebrow and goes close to an inch above it; nasty looking lump. After the fact, Trevin was upset because he had lost some privileges for the rest of the day. He then said he didn’t push him down, he fell down by himself. I told him to tell the truth. He said that was the truth, even though he had earlier admitted to his deed. I said: “You’re supposed to be honest. I’ll bet in Primary they teach you to be honest.” He replied very emphatically: “No, they never tell us that.”

As explained above, we are getting ready to do a garden for the first time this year and just brought in soil. The next day Trevin asked Carol if we could go out and plant the garden. Carol told him we didn’t have any seeds yet. So they were naming some things they would like to plant, and Bailey asked: “Can we plant squash?” Carol replied: “I don’t think you guys like squash.” Then Bailey replied with the wonderful facial expressions she is so akin to: “Yeah, I tried it like 19 years ago, and I just liked it.”

Bailey’s joke with me the other day: B: “Dad, what’s your name?” Me: “Dad.” B: “What color is the sky?” Me: “Blue.” B: “What’s your last name?” Me: “Livingston.” B: “Dad Blue Livingston”, followed by hilarious laughter by Bailey. She’s got a future as a Late Show writer. Later, I learned from word on the playground (Tyler) the last question is supposed to be “What’s the opposite of down?” thus making the answer: “Dad blue (blew) up.” So much more funny, now that the punch line is correct.

During the closing hymn of the Sunday morning session, they showed a shot of the two guys playing the organ. However, it was lined up just right that one of the guys was right behind the other and all you could see were his arms. Tyler, said: “Whoa, what happened? He has three arms. No, he has four arms.” Carol said: That organ is so big it takes two people to play it.” They then showed a different angle where you could see both men.” Tyler goes, “Oh there are two of them.” I said: “Did you really think he had four arms?” He smiled and laughed at himself and said: “Yes.” We all had a good laugh, him included.